cubest 001

cubest 001 collection by the cube orchestrasince joining the cube orchestra in october 2013 i have recorded over 230 improvised tracks with an eclectic array of musicians. most of this was done in mono on an iphone using a voice memo app and levels often peaked, rendering the sound almost unlistenable. more recently though we’ve taken to setting up two mics to enable stereo-esque recording in high quality. i can’t say it’s improved our playing, but at least the listening back is not as painful

also, improvising often leads to long sections, while we explore a theme’s possibilities. seven minutes, ten, twenty+ minutes feels like no time at all while we play. more recently we appear to be mastering the art of ending a tune, yet the track lengths are still… er… impressive. in an effort to present my pick of the best of the cube orchestra in a more listener-friendly fashion i’ve edited them wherever i’ve felt prudence allowed

so here is my selection of the best of the cube orchestra stereo recordings so far in 2014… (some session musicians listed may not be performing on the track selected)

rub shoulders

2014 06 25
Steve Burwell: Violin
Fionn Ball: Percussion
Chema Gala: Sax
Christian Liberati: Harmonica
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals
Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass
Javier Cebrian: Percussion
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Ellie Glitch: Guitar, Jaw Harp, Vocals
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      01 rub shoulders

okay, so i’ve started my stereo selection with a mono track, but this jazzy number came so complete i just had to include it …and no edits anywhere …it’s just too good. javier’s drumming is bright and lively – we miss him. the bass and guitars are working well, chema’s sax is spot on, ramon pipes in and there’s even a cricket chirruping! the tune finds a collective ending, building up then dropping off so well it’s hard to believe it isn’t practised

duh-nung na nuh-nung

2014 07 23
Gareth Pitt: Sax, Percussion
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Christian Liberati: Harmonica, Triangle, Vocals
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Fionn Ball: Percussion
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      02 duh-nung na nuh-nung

gentle and floating and full of funny incidental sounds. the guitar parts are sterling. i managed to edit over two minutes out of the original take

ripple

2014 07 16
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Tambourine
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Fionn Ball: Percussion
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards
Amali: Flute, Accordion

      03 ripple

a short burst

parp parp

2014 09 03
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals
Ollie Owen: Effects
Chema Gala: Sax
David Finch: Flute
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals

      04 parp parp

chema is great on his sax, solid with a sense of fun, accompanied by david’s flute, with glitches from ollie’s box of tricks

flitter

2014 07 16
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Tambourine
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Fionn Ball: Percussion
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards
Amali: Flute, Accordion

      05 flitter

amali (i think that’s her name) turned up on our doorstep with a friend and we let them in and encouraged her to join in. she departed halfway through the session and we were left wondering if she’d come to play with us or whether we’d simply swept her up and forced her to make music. the track sports a fine drum solo from fionn and dreamy bass from jon

ka ring

2014 07 23
Gareth Pitt: Sax, Percussion
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Christian Liberati: Harmonica, Triangle, Vocals
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Fionn Ball: Percussion
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      06 ka ring

crazy morphing sounds as our instruments gather and take flight, fluttering, stalling, effervescent, settling on a bed of sounds that i’ve no idea where they came from

rhythmic descendent

2014 07 23
Gareth Pitt: Sax, Percussion
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Christian Liberati: Harmonica, Triangle, Vocals
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Fionn Ball: Percussion
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      07 rhythmic descendent

we just burst into this from out of nowhere and i’m struggling to keep up on the drums, occasionally skipping a beat to make up time. gareth’s sax sounds great, but there are great guitar parts, plus some restrained keyboards from marcus. i even like the talking halfway through

gargle

2014 09 03
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals
Ollie Owen: Effects
Chema Gala: Sax
David Finch: Flute
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals

      08 gargle

sad, sweet melody with electronic gargling from ollie’s box of tricks

funky jogger

2014 07 23
Gareth Pitt: Sax, Percussion
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Christian Liberati: Harmonica, Triangle, Vocals
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Fionn Ball: Percussion
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      09 funky jogger

i’m on the drums again but thankfully i have assistance from ramon pummeling a floor drum and christian’s wonderful triangle. as always it came unexpected and developed into an afro beat with great guitars

surge

2014 08 20
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Chema Gala: Sax
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ale Fernandez: Bass
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      10 surge

odd things happen when you touch those dials

gritty muesli

2014 09 10
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion
Chema Gala: Sax, Vocals
Oliver Kohll: Viola
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      11 gritty muesli

i love the way this track comes together, feeling its way around, then – instant – snappy. pity i’m on those slippery drums again. steve is playing slap guitar like he’s gonna break a string, while oliver and ramon nibble around the edge

mario

2014 09 17
Steve Watson: Guitar
Dalila Rabih: Vocals
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion
Chema Gala: Sax
David Finch: Flute
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Ollie Owen: Effects
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      12 mario

we’ve run out of time, but the hangers-on want to party

i could’ve carried on adding tracks, but i decided to present this as the first in a series of selected albums

download the album: cube orchestra – cubest 001 (80mb zip file)
more cube orchestra music: session 23 july 2014
more info about the cube orchestra: cube orchestra wiki

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