Debut album from Ninja Tune veterans The Cinematic Orchestra. J. Swinscoe's music threads the line between jazz and downtempo with graceful ease. The combination of the two musical forms is an undeniable mixture in the British producer's hands. And when you look under the hood at his process you can see why it works so well. Before going in to record Motion, Swinscoe collected samples of drums, basslines, and melodies from various recordings and artists that inspired and influenced him (spaghetti-western composer Ennio Morricone and Roy Budd's spy film scores, 60s and 70s jazz and soundtrack scores from musicians such as Elvin Jones, Eric Dolphy, Andre Previn, David Rose, and John Morris). From there he worked with a group of musicians, primarily Tom Chant (soprano sax, electric and acoustic piano), Jamie Coleman (trumpet, flugelhorn), Phil France (bass), and T. Daniel Howard (drums) to learn and improvise over the samples. Swinscoe then took recordings from the musicians and sampled and arranged them to create the songs on Motion. The results are lush and expansive, filled with the hallmarks of downtempo, classic soundtracks and the incessant energy of improvised jazz. The arrangements build on repeated grooves creating a sense of anticipation as phrases transform and mutate. There's plenty to dig into with The Cinematic Orchestra and Motion is the perfect jumping off point.
- music label: Ninja Tune 1999 / 2013
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 03/2015