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cubest by the cube orchestra There's a distinct theme running through Cubest 012, that of the synth. The tracks are from two sessions where we had a stage full of musicians and all the inputs on the mixer were taken. This often leads to a busy and complicated sound and I remember there being some feedback issues here and there, which I've tried to work around. Happily the sound on these tracks is more harmonious than I could've hoped for and I'm pleased with the result. I hope you are too ...

Cubest 012 packs in 40 minutes of synth-based variety, so listen, read on and enjoy ...

Jump to Download link ... Back to Cubest series ...


Where's My Chewing Gum?

2015 04 29 - Matt Taylor: Percussion; Daniel Souza: Flute, Harmonica, Ney, Melodica; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Keyboards, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Ollie Owen: Guitar; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

I like to include some of the chat surrounding the creation of a piece and our opener begins with Jean-Michel realising why he never has any chewing gum when he wants it. Turns out whenever he pulls his mobile from his pocket the pack of gum falls out. Happy with the knowledge that his chewing gum bill will be lower in the future he utters "Hallelujah!" and grabs his guitar, having unwittingly given us our theme. I muse vocally over the loss, while Marcus sets up a nice, gospel piano line. It drops out to just Jon's bass line and a jaunty jangle on guitar. The rhythm settles down, Ramon comes in on drums, a flute fires up, in comes trumpet and sax and I dong on a little rusty cow bell, bought on holiday in Northern Spain. I knew I'd get to use it at some point in our sessions. It manages to be happy yet reflective at the same time. It slows down a minute before the end and fizzles out thoughtfully

Open The Gates

2015 05 06 - James Jarvill: Banjo; Mat Challis: Harmonium, Tank Drum; Ella Polczyk-Przybyla: Clarinet; Ben Abbots: Piano; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Piano, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion, Clarinet, Effects; Kieran Gillick: Trumpet; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

Jean-Michel often interjects some great lines and "Open the gates" is typical. Rhodri works around a set of notes on bass and delivers line after great line, providing the main theme. Ramon introduces some beats, plus there's some fine piano work and I simply love the banjo, but it's Ella on clarinet who really shines in this piece. That said, the banjo snippets and Jean-Michel's totally wonky guitar work add to it all. There's a slight underlying tone of feedback for a while as I try unsuccessfully to mic up the tank drum into the mix. The piece swells and falls, carried by the bass, punctuated by the drums. It settles and lands at the end

Oscillateur Harmonique

2015 05 06 - James Jarvill: Banjo; Mat Challis: Harmonium, Tank Drum; Ella Polczyk-Przybyla: Clarinet; Ben Abbots: Piano; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Piano, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion, Clarinet, Effects; Kieran Gillick: Trumpet; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

This track is one of three featured here, all taken from the same 25-minute piece called 'Grate Expectations'. Listening to it in its entirety is pretty amazing, but I felt these three sections stand well on their own. Rhodri is on synth duties, with Ghoufran adding sounds with his effects boxes. The long modulating lines made it tricky to find good editing points. Again the banjo and guitar provide excellent counterpoint to these sounds. I add a little melodica here and there. Ramon's drumming is as fitting and inventive as always. I like the way it drops out

Gently Does It

2015 05 06 - James Jarvill: Banjo; Mat Challis: Harmonium, Tank Drum; Ella Polczyk-Przybyla: Clarinet; Ben Abbots: Piano; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Piano, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion, Clarinet, Effects; Kieran Gillick: Trumpet; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

We give Mat some space to play his tank drum, which was difficult to mic up high enough. It's lovely and gentle, so we slowly add sounds around it, providing the beat with hand claps. Too many nice bits to mention in the build up, it maintains a light and airy feel, like a gentle Spring shower. The bass line moves around and drums appear on the scene, as Marcus fires up some blues piano and someone has a coughing fit. Stuff like this makes me laugh. Before you know it there's a groove going on, with funky synth line, flappy banjo, jangly guitar and squeaky clarinet. It drifts along while a conversation strikes up between the synth and echo pad. The machines are talking

Looked Around And Drank It All In

2015 04 29 - Matt Taylor: Percussion; Daniel Souza: Flute, Harmonica, Ney, Melodica; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Keyboards, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Ollie Owen: Guitar; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

I really like the drift, like floating away with the clouds, soft and unhurried, while guitar and piano flitter around. A bass begins grinding away and wakes up the flute, slow breathing, drums roll in and we're carried off. The synth glistens and sparkles. In comes some soothing sax as the drums build on the sound. The synth sounds develop and fade as the sax and rhythm roll on. The piece went on for a while longer in a similar fashion, it's over 15 minutes total length, but I thought this a good point to introduce a long fade, ever aware of my self-imposed 40 minute overall length limit

Platypussy

2015 04 29 - Matt Taylor: Percussion; Daniel Souza: Flute, Harmonica, Ney, Melodica; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Keyboards, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Ollie Owen: Guitar; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

I had to leave early to get to a gig at this session, so was very pleased to hear what the orchestra got up to in my absence. Matt had turned up from nowhere and jumped on the drums, setting up a jerky beat to a great, funky bass line. Jean-Michel's twangy guitar gives the rhythm a nice counterpoint. Good trumpet work, in fact the trumpet, flute and sax really compliment each other. There's some classy piano work too, plus that insistent synth whine. It's a great tune, with some nice switches here and there to keep it interesting, especially approaching the end. An instant classic

Synth Say The Word

2015 05 06 - James Jarvill: Banjo; Mat Challis: Harmonium, Tank Drum; Ella Polczyk-Przybyla: Clarinet; Ben Abbots: Piano; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Piano, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion, Clarinet, Effects; Kieran Gillick: Trumpet; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

If the last track was smooth, this counters it with an unsettling yet expansive sound. It's the second of the three sections taken from the 25 minute epic called 'Grate Expectations'. I love all the sounds in it - Ramon's drums, the banjo and guitar, great bass line, plus Rhodri and Ghoufran on the space-age sounds. Jean-Michel leans over and emits a guttural cry down my mic. When I finally pipe up some vocal lines it takes me a while to settle on the words, but I was watching Rhodri and Ghoufran shaping the sound and felt the synths were in charge and dictating. There are elements of Pink Floyd, but when did they use the banjo to such great effect? The guitar is nicely to the back, while trumpet and piano delve around the tune. I think the totality is pretty epic. As it drops out the synth has the last word

Timpani Alley

2015 05 06 - James Jarvill: Banjo; Mat Challis: Harmonium, Tank Drum; Ella Polczyk-Przybyla: Clarinet; Ben Abbots: Piano; Rhodri Karim: Bass, Piano, Percussion; Ghoufran Warlow: Piano, Percussion, Clarinet, Effects; Kieran Gillick: Trumpet; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Ramon Sanchez: Trumpet, Percussion, Vocals; Jon Shepherd: Bass, Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Vocals, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

The third section from 'Grate Expectations'. I like the driving bass and synth surge. All the instruments have a play, while the synth disrupts the sound like a naughty boy. The momentum is destined to falter, but Marcus takes control with some mad piano work, adding a zany feel to the tune. Ramon and Kieran help create a sound reminiscent of a circus troupe. There's a great long descending piano line to round it all off and before you know it it's all over

While there are plenty of instruments to tune into on Cubest 012, this collection is dedicated to the synth ...
- keef chemistry

Download the zip file here (8 tracks @ 320kbps = 92mb):
http://www.keefchemistry.com/cubeorchestra/zipanddownload.php?f=cubest012
(The files need to be zipped before download. This may take a while, so please be patient ...)

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Last edited April 15, 2016 2:33 pm by Keefchemistry (diff)
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