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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Late Night Tales - The Cinematic Orchestra

The idea behind Late Night Tales is that an artist rummages through their record collection and puts together a mixed compilation of their favourite late night tunes. As part of the process they also have to produce a cover song, perhaps as a homage to a particular artist or an opportunity to put their own twist on one of their favourites. To top off this mixture the artist has to come up with a spoken word story for the climax of the cd. Much like the Fabric Live releases this is a real gateway into the musical mind of an artist and having listened to Lindstrom's and the Flaming Lips' offerings I've been very impressed.

Anyhow, click 'Read More' to brood over my review of the latest in the Late Night Tales series by The Cinematic Orchestra.


















4 Sizzling Squidlies!



Late Night Tales -
The Cinematic Orchestra 


The glittery opening of Flying Lotus' ghostly harps and guitars instantly set the twilight tone of the album, and this is sustained by Nick Drake's rhythmic finger picking and gentle voice which, accompanied by only simple bongos ushers in that evening campfire ambience. The album is conscientiously ordered so that the songs sweep fluently into one another and Eddie Gale's uplifting acid-jazz gospel number leads seamlessly into the soulful roar of Terry Callier. The bass driven 'Behold the Day' is a welcome addition with a cheerful xylophone and strong stabs of brass. After a brief percussional interlude, the whirling organ chords of 'Aht Uh Mi Hed' are gingerly tapped into centre stage and we are treated to the gentle, unelaborate singing of Shuggie Otis accompanied by colourful flutes and meandering strings. As the final piano notes fade out, the catchy beat of one of the stand-out songs from Thom Yorke's 'Eraser' begins to play as Yorke's soothing voice flows over the gnarled bass line. 


Now comes the true emblem of the perfectionist, the Cinematic Orchestra inserts a 19 second piece of their own music to blend the waning 'Black Swan' into the cheerful arpeggiated guitar of 'Electric Counterpoint.'
The following Bjork song seems perhaps a little out of place after the compilation's folky beginnings, but it's a beautiful song nonetheless and it still preserves the overall gloaming atmosphere. The tranquil strings of Imogen Heap's 'Cumulus' compose us before the toe-tapping hi-hats of St. Germain's 'Rose Rouge' steadily materialise. After the unflustered piano-driven 'See Line Woman,' comes the rolling snares and progressive piano and strings of what is surely the highlight of the album - S├ębastien Tellie's 'La Ritournelle.' As the track dies down it leads into the stirring and meloncholy strings of Burial only to raise our spirits once again with the soothing transcendental lullaby that is Burt Bacharach's 'South American Getaway.' The Cinematic Orchestra left their cover song until last and rightly so. From the moment you hear the deep, chunky chords of their version of Syl Johnson's 'Talking About Freedom' you know that this is the warm conclusion to a very sentimental hour of music.   
By the time you've finished listening to the poignant closing track it's an almost bitter-sweet pleasure to hear a rather bizarre short story narrated by sardonic ex-shooting stars team leader Will Self but hey, no album is perfect.


Truly a gem. A carefully selected, thought-provoking group of tracks, meticulously ordered and blended together to create a near-perfect evening of relaxation and pleasure.

4 Sizzling Squidlies!

Late Night Tales
Cinematic Orchestra


Late Night Tales were even good enough to smack a trailer on youtube to wet your eager buds

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