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Abstract Orchestra

Madvillain, Vol. 1

Led by Saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra have been a consistent presence on the u.k. music scene, touring constantly in promotion of their debut LP "Dilla" and follow up 45 "New Day feat. Illa J", steadily building a loyal and supportive fanbase. Inspired by the legendary live performances of The Roots with Jay-Z and the 40-piece orchestral arrangements by Miguel-Atwood Ferguson of the work of J Dilla, classic arranging techniques underpin modern loop-based structures, breathing new life into familiar material. The band itself is based on the classic jazz big band instrumentation of saxes, trumpets and trombones and features the cream of the north of England's jazz scene who collectively have played with Jamiroquai, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mark Ronson, Martha Reeves, John Legend & the Roots, Roots Manuva and Amy Winehouse. "Madvillain Vol. 1" takes the template of their debut LP "Dilla" and applies the same approach to the collaboration of MF Doom and Madlib, aka Madvillain and their albums Madvillainy and Madvillain 2. Sampling the likes of Sun Ra, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, George Duke, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder gave the albums a jazz-oriented feel and ethos which in turn lend themselves perfectly to the deconstruction and re-imagining of Abstract Orchestra. As with their debut, all the tracks were recorded live in the studio with very few overdubs. They explored sounds that were menacing, angular, dissonant, frantic and yet captivating. They were also able to write music that was the flip side of all that dark chaos, and write lush and beautiful music. Arranging and scoring up Madvillain Vol 1. Has allowed me to explore these sounds that I've always loved, yet keeping a strong hip-hop identity as the core of its sound.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Abstract Orchestra adapt another legendary hip hop album and this time it’s the infamous masked Madvillian. The 40-piece band create sound big jazzy beats on this release, play Accordion and Fancy Clown loud!!

Abstract Orchestra

New Day (feat. Illa J)

Led by Saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra have been a consistent presence on the u.k. music scene, touring constantly in the promotion of their debut LP "Dilla" and steadily building a loyal and supportive fanbase.Inspired by the legendary live performances of The Roots with Jay-Z and the 40 piece orchestral arrangements by Miguel-Atwood Ferguson of the work of J Dilla, classic arranging techniques underpin modern loop-based structures, breathing new life into familiar material.The band itself is based on the classic jazz big band instrumentation of saxes, trumpets, and trombones and features the cream of the north of England's jazz scene, who collectively have played with Jamiroquai, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mark Ronson, Martha Reeves, John Legend & the Roots, Roots Manuva and Amy Winehouse.

"New Day" is the eagerly anticipated new single and features rapper and J Dilla's brother Illa J on vocals. Supported by a U.K. tour with Illa J throughout February, "New Day" takes the blueprint laid out on last years LP "Dilla" and expands it with Illa J's understated vocal delivery. Radio support anticipated from BBC6's Gilles Peterson who has been an advocate for Abstract Orchestra on both his BBC6 and Worldwide FM shows, as well as Huey Morgan (BBC6), Shawn Lee (Soho) and Dom Servini (Wah Wah 45s). "New day" is the first original work by Abstract Orchestra and builds on the foundations laid on their debut. Flutes and electric piano lay out a gentle pad, propelled forward by Joost Hendrickx's insistent drums. Occasional fragments of saxophones add an urgency to the insouciant groove laid out by the rhythm section as soft trumpets and trombones are gradually added to the flutes. This provides the perfect foil to Illa J's laid-back vocal delivery as he describes a typically relaxed Tuesday morning spent contemplating the day ahead. The B-side is the AO remix which takes the instrumental performances of the A-Side, chopping and fragmenting them and re-framing the original with a slightly harder edge, which should be popular with those DJs and listeners looking for something with a tougher sound.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: It’s been a long wait for this and it’s finally here! Illa J, Dilla’s younger brother performs the smoothest vocals over the top of Abstract Orchestras’ distinctive instrumental hip hop sound. Fans of Children of Zeus will love this!

Recently championed by Gilles Peterson on his BBC6 Music radio show, "Dilla" by Abstract Orchestra has been generating a buzz since it's inception in 2016.

Led by Saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra seeks to reflect the diversity of music sampled by Hip-Hop producers by presenting music that has the complexity of jazz, framed within the simpler structures of Hip-Hop. 

Inspired by the legendary live performances of The Roots with Jay-Z and the 40 piece orchestral arrangements by Miguel-Atwood Ferguson of the work of J Dilla. The band itself is based on the classic jazz big band instrumentation of sax, trumpet and trombone and features the cream of the north of England's jazz scene.

"Dilla" by Abstract Orchestra is a tribute to the work of the highly acclaimed and influential producer. Opener "Welcome to Detroit/The Diary" takes the the vocal sample from Isaac Hayes's "Man's Temptation" and places it against lush brass and driving beats while "Workinonit" transplants the original 10cc guitar samples from the Dilla original onto biting trumpets and aggressive saxes, underpinned as always by Joost Hendrickx's on point drumming. On "Stop" vocalist Anna Uhuru handles the Dionne Warwick vocal with assurance while the band lay down an arrangement that is reminiscent of the work of David Axelrod and Don Sebeskey.

The middle of the album revolves around 2 Dilla medleys featuring versions and sections of"Airworks", "ULove", "Last Donut" and "Welcome To The Show"."Raw Shit" sees Farfisa organ underpinning the insistent brass figures with the bass taking on an almost bassoon-like quality while "Official/Fall In Love" sees Anna & Akin provide a stunning vocal performance, trading lines over the delicate horn arrangement. "Fantastic" features the Rhodes intro of the original which is then taken up by the flutes and baritone sax. Inspired by the work of 20th century classical composers like Barber and Copeland the 2nd half of the arrangement takes on an almost orchestral feel with shades of Gil Evans.

"Love","So Far To Go","A.N.G.E.L.", and "Sun In My Face" provide interesting takes on these well known Dilla originals while album closer "Two Can Win"(recently championed by Gilles Peterson on his BBC6 Music show) acts as a showcase for the variety of Anna Uhuru's vocals, blending the style of the original Sylvers track with Minnie Ripperton style harmonies, 70's funk and Lalo Schiffrin/JJ Johnson film score vibes.

Let's face it 'Donuts' is probably the best cut up album there is, so how can you not love this?! Awesome.




STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: If I could think up a perfect record it would be this exact one. Dilla originals switched up by Abstract Orchestra brings a huge influx of jazzy hip hop beats. So good!


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