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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't mention Chill-out, 17 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Everyday (Audio CD)
I'm not going to do the obvious and put this album in the much lamented 'chill-out' box just because the songs are slower than 120bpm (not all of them are, 'Flite' is about 140bpm and is in 7/8 time!), but if you like Zero 7 then you will love this album. Gilles Peterson puts it like this "Don't say 'chill out' or 'hardcore' but think both".
The Cinematic Orchestra share a common laid-back, jazzy, left field approach to music with Zero 7, but it is there that the similarity ends. The Cinematic's are clearly more influenced by Hip-Hop, with heavy, plodding beats and scratching running alongside clarinets, organs and harps. They even get the UK Hip-Hop legend Roots Manuva to provide vocals on 'All Things to All Men'.
There is a warmth and roundness to the sound of this album that makes you feel like you are wrapped up in a blanket on a winter day. The tracks are what I would describe as epic. This isn't because they're long (though the longest track stands at over 11 minutes); it means that they are big on sound, like Zero 7's 'End Theme'. Each track builds through a complex layering of instruments that mean you are still discovering new things on the 100th listen.
This sound is very well summed up by the name of the band as is sounds very cinematic. This doesn't mean that it sounds like the soundtrack to a film, but rather that it is to mainstream music what well made cinema is to television.
As the Orchestra part of their name suggests, the sound is made up, quite heavily, from traditional instruments ranging from the double bass and harp to the clarinet and saxophone. However, alongside this are cleverly manipulated injections of electronic sound that help to fill out the sound and separate it from traditional jazz, but without feeling obtrusive.
In short, this is an album of true music that is both aurally and emotionally moving. Whether you want some relaxing background music, or the musical equivalent of a good book that you can really get into and think about every word, this is the album for you. One of my all-time favourites.

Beats Du Jour
Beats Du Jour
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatmeister, 21 April 2002
This review is from: Beats Du Jour (Audio CD)
This is fantastic genre-defying electronic music. It's not quite breakbeat, not quite electronica, not quite trip-hop, but better than all of them put together. It encompasses funky basslines and piano leads with tight, chopped-up beats. his style is similar to only one person; Domu. Riton delivers a slice of sublime beat-based music that ranges from the hip-hop tinted 'Put That On My Momma' to the dark and cinematic 'Hungry Ghost.' A must for all fans of chopped up beats.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Madlib, 21 April 2002
This review is from: Unseen (Audio CD)
I cannot believe this guy! Madlib manages to drop rhymes as two different people with two different personalities, and produce jazzy beats with catchy loops all at the same time!
Tracks like Jazz Cats Pt1. and boom music really show where the guy's coming from inspirationally, with the break in the middle of Return Of The Loop Digga giving us a glimpse into his beat research and crate digging.
The Unseen has 24 tracks, the longest of which is 3 minutes 48 seconds. However, this is one of the albums strengths rather than a weakness, never dwelling on anything long enough for it to get boring. The tracks are dotted with humerous vocal samples and crackly vinyl samples which make them unrepeatable.
This album is spot on, and a must for all beat heads and anyone who wants to get into hip hop. Check out Madlib as another of his alter egos Yesterdays New Quintet for some very Jazzy stuff. sublime.

Hostile Environment
Hostile Environment
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Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How it is., 21 April 2002
This review is from: Hostile Environment (Audio CD)
Rasco truely is an MC that tells it how it is. This album is full of insights into hip hop culture with none of the gun toting arrogance and machismo of many rap artists.
The album covers jazz influences on tracks such as Rockin it to darker numbers with a message such as Message from the bottle.
Although this album is more rap than hip hop, its he funky, jazzy numbers such as The Jamm and Sunshine that polish it off, and Rasco manages to keep it real throughout.

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