cubest 004

cubest 004improvisation is a difficult genre to sell. the concept of musical exploration is such that you can’t expect to find something new and exciting without stumbling over a few loose and tuneless rocks on the way. recording the cube orchestra sessions gives me not just the opportunity to audition what we did, which always comes as a surprise, but to consider tracks on their individual merit with regards to editing them down into tastier morsels, which is what the cubest series is all about, making them more listener-friendly

i can’t stress enough how impressive it is to hear these musicians at play, each one has a knack of contributing solid, inventive playing. our stable of guitarists find space to play around each other, jon’s bass playing is so solid he has to wear a crash helmet, marcus sits and leads from the back, teasing us to make sounds and, while ramon and myself sit in on drums when there’s a space, it’s the likes of david insua-cao and yoni who best demonstrate proficiency on the drums. over the top of these we might hear trumpet, clarinet, sax, flute, viola, dulcimer, castanets or my beloved melodica. when the moment seems right someone might add some vocals. it’s the interplay between all things present, done on the fly, that gives me the buzz it does …

cubest 004 has a different feel to the other collections. here are some ‘sleeve notes’ to accompany the tunes

false start

2014 11 19
David Cunningham: Flute
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion
David Insua-Cao: Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Scream
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Bass
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad
Jon Shepherd: Bass, Guitar
Ollie Owen: Guitar
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      01 false start

the guitarists are always ready to go before the rest of us, but the drums get sorted and it picks up at the end with some fine parping on trumpet from ramon, carnival stylee

we synthesise

2014 11 26
Nick Warlow: Percussion
Nina Lifely: Recorder, Vocals
Oliver Kohll: Viola
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      02 we synthesise

“the cube orchestra needs to get a bit weirder, i think.” ramon announces and we all slide down and down and down and down, before rising somewhat triumphantly. i like the recorder

palestinian minion

2014 11 12
Yoni: Percussion
David Insua-Cao: Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad
Ollie Owen: Guitar, Effects
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      03 palestinian minion

a slow burning melodica, heavy with effects, provides the intro to the theme, while marcus chats with an intruder. as usual, we’re in no hurry to get anywhere. the two guitars wail at each other while marcus and david feel around on piano and drums respectively, finding a syncopated rhythm, full of insanity

lost at sea

2014 12 03
Aziz: Beatbox, Vocals
David Finch: Sax
Dalila Rabih: Vocals
Ghoufran Warlow: Clarinet, Piano, Percussion
Bertrand Lesca: Harmonica, Percussion
David Insua-Cao: Percussion, Dulcimer, Glockenspiel
Jean-Michel Maheu: Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, iPad
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Ollie Owen: Electric Guitar
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      04 lost at sea

distorted melodica this time, calling to the others to set adrift and float on the breeze. dalilah’s vocals, low and purring at first, rise in intensity throughout, while david and ghoufran interplay on sax and clarinet. as the beat takes hold there’s some fine guitar playing, alternating stabs, showing great restraint to good effect. the original is 14:31 long, so chopping it down to 8:50 felt harsh enough an edit

funeral for freddie

2014 10 29
Sammy Weaver: Flute, Vocals
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
David Insua-Cao: Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, iPad, Percussion, Vocals, Bass
Jon Shepherd: Bass, Harmonica, Vocals
Marcus Valentine: Piano

      05 funeral for freddie

we have marcus on the cube piano providing us with a lovely soundtrack to play over. restrained and sensitive and not a guitar in sight

ragga swagger

2014 11 12
Yoni: Percussion
David Insua-Cao: Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad
Ollie Owen: Guitar, Effects
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      06 ragga swagger

pacey from the outset, yoni gives us a demonstration in beats. i can’t tell you how great it is to have david join us on percussion. he turns up with a box of toys and here you can hear him making a weird windy, gurgling sound. halfway through it hits a groove and i add a modulating synth, then it goes jazzy, then drops out again. beatastic

warp zero

2014 11 26
Nick Warlow: Percussion
Nina Lifely: Recorder, Vocals
Oliver Kohll: Viola
Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion
Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      07 warp zero

i always manage to feedback on the ipad at least once a session. may as well make something of it

radio newsnight

2014 10 25
Steve Watson: Guitar
Dalila Rabih: Vocals
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals, Keyboards
Oliver Kohll: Viola, Piano
David Finch: Flute, Sax
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Ollie Owen: Guitar, Effects, Percussion
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      08 radio newsnight

recorded live at marcus’ hawaii-50 party at the cube. marcus encouraged audience members to provide musical themes for us to perform. this one is our interpretation of ‘radio newsnight’ and i think we have it sewn up. i like dalilah’s rap. it has a good ending (for us)

gala

2014 12 03
Aziz: Beatbox, Vocals
David Finch: Sax
Dalila Rabih: Vocals
Ghoufran Warlow: Clarinet, Piano, Percussion
Bertrand Lesca: Harmonica, Percussion
David Insua-Cao: Percussion, Dulcimer, Glockenspiel
Jean-Michel Maheu: Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals
Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, iPad
Jon Shepherd: Bass
Ollie Owen: Electric Guitar
Marcus Valentine: Keyboards

      09 gala

dark and mysterious, with some cool dulcimer. aziz’s beatbox vocals compliment dalilah’s, while my sole contribution is an occasional echoey vocal stab. great bass line

these collections provide the listener with a varied presentation of what the cube orchestra creates
– keef chemistry

cubest 004download the album:
cube orchestra – cubest 004
(92mb zip file)

cube orchestra - cubest 003the third cube orchestra selection:
cubest 003

cube orchestra - cubest 002the second cube orchestra selection:
cubest 002

cubest001the first cube orchestra selection:
cubest 001

cube orchestraeven more cube orchestra music:
session 23 july 2014

more info about the cube orchestra: cube orchestra wiki

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