Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Submotion Orchestra - "City Lights"
I was first made aware of the merits of Submotion Orchestra when my brother made me aware of their second full-length album "Fragments". They are a 7 piece band who were formed in Leeds in 2009. Their website describes their sound as "a fusion of bass-heavy electronica, jazz, soul and much more besides...", but it's the three elements mentioned that most clearly shine through in their work. They are a phenomenal proposition live. I caught them on their last tour at Koko and it is definitely in that arena that they most clearly shine. They are about to release their third album, "Alium", on November 3rd. It will be released on Counter Records. And a November tour around Europe will follow. The song "City Lights" is a great taster for the sort of thing Submotion Orchestra do. The female vocals, provided by Ruby Wood, are beautifully delicate and heartfelt, capturing the feel of a city, illuminated only by lights, after the chaos of the day has passed. The beat that accompanies her vocals has a broken-beat/jazz type feel, in the fact the beat has snares that are staggered. It's a sound that is often found in the dubstep that Magnetic Man/Benga came out with. I love the way it feels as if it shuffles along, but in a smooth way. The instrumentation is quite jazzy, as in most of Submotion Orchestra's work and there is a trumpet solo that is best described as classy towards the end. To be fair, that's the way I'd describe Submotion Orchestra in general on record. But I'll re-emphasise, when they are live they bring another dimension of danceability to their music. Can't wait to catch them live in November!