cubest 002

cube orchestra - cubest 002hot on the heels of cubest 001 comes its successor and this time i’ve tried to be savage with the editing. by chance this compilation features a host of singers, with only the one instrumental track, and the result sounds like an album! the nature of improvising with a group of musicians means at any time someone might be playing something cool while another bod has found a bum note or missed a beat, plus time is elastic and the emphasis shifts… everything conspires to make snipping away at a track’s time challenging. cutting a ten-minute track to under seven minutes will either give it cohesion, or remove it, so i hope i’ve retained the spirit of each track while making it more accessible to the casual listener

here are some sleeve notes to accompany each track on cubest 002

y tu y yo

2014 10 08
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion, Melodica
Alice Holland: Vocals
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass, Guitar
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      01 y tu y yo

i like the way it starts all skippity, then morphs to a rock steady beat, taking turns at the refrain. ramon fires up the trumpet and finds a tune, which he then translates into a vocal line, singing in spanish, sweet words of wonder. as it approaches an end point the beat is pulled back, slowing, distorting to an epic finale. great start

valet parking

2014 10 08
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion, Melodica
Alice Holland: Vocals
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass, Guitar
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      02 valet parking

a lovely bass line sets things up for an atmospheric, drifting tune. with the space created you can hear my condenser mic picking up the ambient sounds and feeding them through my echo pad. it’s unintentional, but i like it. dunno what the others think? i took some time to learn more about echo pad and how to control it, but i can’t do anything yet about my stupid mic. there’s some lovely licks from jean-michel, plus nice keyboard work from marcus and my wheezy melodica, but the tune takes shape properly when alice joins the fray with her dreamy vocals. it takes a while to find its end, but i cut as much as i dare and didn’t want to hurry the ending too much, it’s too good

bu-da bu-da bu-da bu-da

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

      03 bu-da bu-da bu-da bu-da

i just love the way this comes together, starting with jean-michel and a conversation on his mobile phone piped through his guitar pick-up. gareth’s sax flutters around and the two guitars twang as fionn rattles on the drums. when the double bass comes in the players converse and mass, gathering into a gentle swarm and take flight on the breeze. it flutters and swoops, reshapes and dissolves wonderfully, as marcus announces ‘we have a job to do’

reality and pornography

2014 10 16
Steve Lake: Vocals, Synth
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Cubichord
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, Vocals

      04 reality and pornography

unusually, the orchestra was asked to warm up for a cube film event about ‘the year of the sex olympics’ and three volunteers stepped forward. there was a tentative sci-fi/futuristic theme, which was enough info for us. here, ghoufran has slipped behind the screen and is playing some weird harpsichord piano thing, with screws sticking out of its body, in the dark. a great accompaniment to steve’s narrative delivered to a polite audience

reverberation

2014 09 24
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Percussion, Vocals
Steve Lake: Vocals, Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Ollie Owen: Effects
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      05 reverberation

a little incidental surge in a concept album stylee

sincerity skank

2014 10 15
David Finch: Sax
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Sax, Percussion, Vocals
Sharleena Raczkiewicz: Vocals
Bertrand Lesca: Percussion
David Insua-Cao: Percussion, Vibes
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      06 sincerity skank

dubby bass, floating keyboards, light guitars, sax and melodica form the basis for a chill track, that is until two minutes from the end when it morphs into a hoedown with sharleena providing the patter call over the top. it crashes to its finale impressively

future flux

2014 10 16
Steve Lake: Vocals, Synth
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Cubichord
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, Vocals

      07 future flux

back to the ‘sex olympics’ live gig. we can hear ghoufran and steve play off each other really well and i like the beats i find. it has a great futuristic feel which develops nicely, ending with a nod to what we can expect in the future from steve, or is it already happening …?

long time

2014 10 15
David Finch: Sax
Steve Watson: Guitar
Ramon Sanchez: Sax, Percussion, Vocals
Sharleena Raczkiewicz: Vocals
Bertrand Lesca: Percussion
David Insua-Cao: Percussion, Vibes
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      08 long time

this one has a lot of time on its hands. time and space. quirky and lilting, it evokes smokey jazz clubs, including smacked-out singing from sharleena

it’s the sex olympics

2014 10 16
Steve Lake: Vocals, Synth
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Cubichord
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, Vocals

      09 it's the sex olympics

this was the grand finale for our half-hour live set at the cube. short and to the point. sweet

i hope this collection provides the listener with a well-balanced presentation of what the cube orchestra creates

download the album: cube orchestra – cubest 002 (85mb zip file)
more cube orchestra music: cubest 001
even more cube orchestra music: session 23 july 2014
more info about the cube orchestra: cube orchestra wiki

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