It’s been twelve years since The Cinematic Orchestra released a studio album. At the time, in 2007, “Ma Fleur” was recognised for its bold departure from the group’s sonic traditions; in the years since, it’s been continuously celebrated, with tracks like ‘To Build A Home’ reaching huge audiences, spilling out of televisions, cinemas and radios long after its release. Heralded by the new creative partnership of founding member Jason Swinscoe with longtime collaborator Dominic Smith, The Cinematic Orchestra are back with a definitive new album, “To Believe”, that explores a timeless question of vital importance in 2019 - what to believe? They have enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new from Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend, Dorian Concept and Tawiah. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson features on strings, Dennis Hamm on keys and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic™. Longtime bandmates return like saxophonist Tom Chant and drummer Luke Flowers, who’ve both formed an important foundation of the group’s sound.
In 2019 it is easy to see the band’s influence; jazz is all around us, London and LA have recently produced scenes more prolific than anyone expected. When The Cinematic Orchestra released their critically acclaimed debut album “Motion” it helped pave the way for this moment, incorporating as it did an interpretation that had been lacking in the oeuvre and encouraging a new generation of musicians to break rules. “To Believe” doesn’t shy away from this ethos - its articulation of the band’s unique sonic language, encompassing not only jazz but the sort of transcendental orchestration combined with the elegant electronics of artists like Ólafur Arnalds and Floating Points, artists they have helped forge a path for, has never been more cohesive and compelling.
Photo Credit: B+