Fragments – Submotion Orchestra (2012)

Submotion Orchestra

Album artwork for Fragments

Submotion Orchestra have rapidly built up a reputation as one of the most interesting and original projects emerging from the UK today.  Drawing upon dubstep, soul, ambient electronica, jazz and dub, their unique music is at once delicate and heavy, spacious and dense, highly atmospheric but firmly rooted.  Earth-shaking bass and drums combine with lush keyboard and trumpet textures to create the perfect bed for the fragile beauty of Ruby Wood’s vocals, and the celestial effects of sound designer Ruckspin.”

The paragraph above is an excerpt pulled from the bio posted on the group’s website.  Let’s take a minute to reflect on those words.  Dubstep, soul, ambient electronica, jazz and dub.  Those of you that keep up with my posts on this site will know by now that I’m always a big fan of cross-genre mixtures.  In that regard, Submotion Orchestra have certainly gone above and beyond with their newest album, entitled Fragments.  It’s actually the ideal combination of styles – many opponents of the advent of popular electronic music will use the argument that it such genres sound too “robotic” or “repetitive.” If we posit for a moment that such a claim is true, then surely we could turn to jazz as a musical style on the complete opposite side of the spectrum.  Just about everything about jazz is based around live improvisation and the interaction between players.

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Mad Liberation – GRiZ (2012)

Album artwork for Mad Liberation

Album artwork for Mad Liberation

GRiZ released his debut album, Mad Liberation, less than a week ago, but it’s already making huge waves in the electronica community.  In lieu of joining the horde of current EDM artists releasing fairly straightforward house music day after day, GRiZ has taken a more alternative approach to creating his unique brand of electronica.  He has combined the heavy sub-bass tendencies of modern dubstep with a medley of other styles, including jazz, funk, and hip hop.  The 21-year-old producer describes his music as “electro soul” and “future funk,” titles which, upon listening to Mad Liberation, seem to be quite accurate.

I would first like to quote GRiZ’s own description of the album, as there is certainly no individual more qualified to address it than he:

This collection of noise – to me – became an album, a sound in a whole, an idea free from limits of thought and more an idea of the heart and soul. Mad Liberation is a piece of me that is representative of my past, breathes life into my present, and is a taste of the future.

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