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cubest 018 by the cube orchestraUsually a Cubest album is a collection of pieces from a variety of sessions, or in some circumstances from a single session. With Cubest 018 I had two interesting sessions to select from, with too much material for a single album, yet too little for two. The answer: Resort to the double mini-album format!

Many of the tracks featured are relatively short for Orchestra Cube workouts and I've taken advantage of this to cut them down further, giving each set the feel of a sampler. Taking a more relaxed approach to the edit points creates dynamics within the structure, working as a snapshot of the events of each evening, with each track appearing in chronological order. I've not even bothered with agonising over the spaces between tracks!

Presenting Cubest 018 by Orchestra Cube - a double mini-album featuring two session samplers ...

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


Mini-Album 1

In The Olden Days...

2015 07 15 - Casey Hale: Guitar; Daniel Linker: Melodica; Claire Nicholls: Piano; Daniel Souza: Flute, Melodica, Ney; Chema Gala: Sax, Percussion; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

Kicking things off by way of an introduction to the proceedings is this piece, with smatterings of conversations, tune-ups and general interventions. I like the incidentals. It's lead by two Daniels on two melodicas over an insistent guitar riff. The interruptions persist when it drops out for an Iberian moment, before dropping out completely to more tuning-up and voices. I like the snare chain rattling away to the bass as it fades

Long Phase

2015 07 15 - Casey Hale: Guitar; Daniel Linker: Melodica; Claire Nicholls: Piano; Daniel Souza: Flute, Melodica, Ney; Chema Gala: Sax, Percussion; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

Well, not so long after I'd chopped it down from it's original nine-minute length. Nice flute intro by Daniel Souza over a rhythmic beat. Daniel Linker's nimble fingers take over on melodica. There's a lot of space and Jean-Michel enters the fray with some interesting guitar body bashing, creating a pulse. Chema finds the pulse on sax. Then I pipe up on synth and the tune throbs forward, ebbing and flowing to a tuneful melodica, before changing slightly and floating off

Slight Sense Of Urgency

2015 07 15 - Casey Hale: Guitar; Daniel Linker: Melodica; Claire Nicholls: Piano; Daniel Souza: Flute, Melodica, Ney; Chema Gala: Sax, Percussion; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

It's true, you can feel the slight sense of urgency from the outset, the beat ever-moving, sax, flute, melodica piping away, chugging guitar, plus some Dr Who-style distorted synth sounds from my iPad. It builds, the beat there but hard to pin down, the sense of urgency growing. It snarls and grinds with every stab. I move over to the drums halfway through, they kick in and the sax flies. The scale plays out a few times, quietening, Chema controlling the flow of his sax. It almost stops, then picks up with sultry sax and some nice melodica backing. The flute comes in again and together they end like professionals

Have A Bash

2015 07 15 - Casey Hale: Guitar; Daniel Linker: Melodica; Claire Nicholls: Piano; Daniel Souza: Flute, Melodica, Ney; Chema Gala: Sax, Percussion; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

I wanted to pick the pace up and bashed this out on the drums. When Jean-Michel asked me to keep it up I couldn't remember what I'd just played, so we did the next track instead ...

Funky Odour

2015 07 15 - Casey Hale: Guitar; Daniel Linker: Melodica; Claire Nicholls: Piano; Daniel Souza: Flute, Melodica, Ney; Chema Gala: Sax, Percussion; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

Nice funky wah-wah guitar setting this on its way. Daniel comes in on flute, I get the drums going and Chema joins in, along with Marcus on organ. It's not technically stretching, but I like the way it lurches forward, drops out in the right place, then attempts to come in again. I don't think my drumming helped at all. Short and sweet

Jack Input

2015 07 15 - Casey Hale: Guitar; Daniel Linker: Melodica; Claire Nicholls: Piano; Daniel Souza: Flute, Melodica, Ney; Chema Gala: Sax, Percussion; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Percussion, iPad; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards;

Final track of the session. There are probably a few points where I could've gone in and edited out a bar or two, but I like the way it forms quickly and the variations using echo on the melodica lines, so I left it uncut. It's like a farewell ride into the sunset, perhaps on a donkey, perhaps on a train. The refrain in play on melodica is simple, but it seems I can find lots of ways to play the same thing. The plucked and muted guitars sound good, plus there's incidental slide guitar and organ. The space within the music really helps the structure. Bit by bit instruments plink and parp, the rhythm lurching around, while the melody is deconstructed with sax and piano stabs. It even has a recurring middle eight. It falls apart delightfully, seemingly unwilling to give in to time, fractured and funny. We all have a good laugh at the end

Mini-Album 2

Drop Me A Line

2015 07 22 - Emily Harmer: Flute, Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Bass, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Casey Hale: Cümbüş, Guitar, Percussion; Andrew Price: Bass; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals;

Nice Eastern sounds and clapping to start off the second session takes. When it kicks in there's instant structure, with those lovely vibes, bouncing bass lines (we have two bass guitars on the go, one in each speaker), cool cümbüş and flute melody. A minute and a half in one of the basses drops out, an accident but a happy one. It drops back in and the tune plays out to some gentle percussion, dropping out well at the end

This Ancient World

2015 07 22 - Emily Harmer: Flute, Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Bass, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Casey Hale: Cümbüş, Guitar, Percussion; Andrew Price: Bass; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals;

Orchestra Cube often wander around music, seeking out the spontaneous, here provided by Marcus on piano and his spoken narrative, with Daniel accompanying him ably on flute. Suddenly a bass line emerges and players take to the new direction. We have two basses on the go again, nice vibes from Marcus, lovely flute, twiddly guitar lines, all over that lilting drum beat. Nice. I can hear floor toms too. It sounds like a 50s film soundtrack. I opted for a long-ish fade

Victory

2015 07 22 - Emily Harmer: Flute, Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Bass, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Casey Hale: Cümbüş, Guitar, Percussion; Andrew Price: Bass; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals;

Jean-Michel starts things off with some wibbly guitar work and others plink around the tune, until a jazzy bass line emerges. Marcus is on vibes again. He emits his best Louis Armstrong impression. Jean-Michel and Marcus play off each other and we appear to be in the midst of a cool jazz track, except for that wicked, mischievous drum beat. You can tell everyone's having fun. Guitar and keyboard sound off, while the drums and bass guitars keep things on track. Funky, cheeky and cool as. Marcus injects a little craziness with his scales, creating a rising sense of insanity. I keep coming back to those drums. Wish I knew who it was, but I wasn't present at the session. Eventually a stabbing organ provides counterpoint to the rhythm, creating an exit strategy, which is taken with admirable pluck

Baby, Baby, Baby

2015 07 22 - Emily Harmer: Flute, Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Bass, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Casey Hale: Cümbüş, Guitar, Percussion; Andrew Price: Bass; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals;

We're taken straight from jelly jazz to the Blues and a riff Jimmy Page would be proud of, which I think is Jon on slide guitar. The floor toms and acoustic guitar provide a nice backing rhythm. Basses run around the scales, while the guitar cranks up the wah-wah. There're a couple of short but nice solos, then Marcus pipes in with some rock and roll lyrics. You can hear him walking around the Cube, his voice moving from speaker to speaker. Nice stereo effect. The vocals deteriorate, the tune deteriorates, someone thinks about throwing a tv out of the window. It's all very rock and roll

Wah The Funk?

2015 07 22 - Emily Harmer: Flute, Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Bass, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Casey Hale: Cümbüş, Guitar, Percussion; Andrew Price: Bass; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals;

Into funk now with this Santana-esque workout. It manages to sound pretty convincing, with enough variations on a theme and room for Marcus to be heard. He drops back, allowing Daniel space to contribute. The guitar's always there, but isn't in your face, it's the keyboard taking lead roll

All Good Things Must Come To An End

2015 07 22 - Emily Harmer: Flute, Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Bass, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Casey Hale: Cümbüş, Guitar, Percussion; Andrew Price: Bass; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals;

More Orchestra Cube larking around to music, like the soundtrack to a slightly scary silent movie. There's even a theramin sound emanating, I suspect, from Jean-Michel's mobile. Marcus provides a narrative to the soundscape, taking us through a succinct history of evolution. Suddenly we're off. You can really hear the two basses, one in each speaker. Sci-fi sounds drop in and out, a flute pipes up, then the drums roll in and it's all systems go. There's a great drop out and I'm not sure where the sounds are coming from, but it's sounding good as it crashes back in again. Then another drop out, more dramatic now, more percussion pipes up and each phrase presents a different arrangement. The finale is delivered on piano, with whining feedback. There's a sudden ending and Marcus christens the track

This Is Not A Library

2015 07 22 - Emily Harmer: Flute, Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Bass, Percussion; Chema Gala: Sax; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Bass, Percussion; Casey Hale: Cümbüş, Guitar, Percussion; Andrew Price: Bass; Marcus Valentine: Keyboards, Vocals;

Bit of lazy slap bass, evoking a smokey hotel lounge in the wee small hours. Great keyboards, slinky flute and zany guitar interweave. Then the acoustic guitar comes through for a cool, jerky solo, the keyboard, flute and zonked out electric guitar responding with each line. The guitar clacks and Marcus lets rip with a madcap piano solo, free and exhilarating. It's soothing and unsettling at the same time and a good note to end on

Cubest 018 presents two sides of the same coin with differing outcomes ...
- keef chemistry

Download the zip file here (13 tracks @ 320kbps = 102mb):
http://www.keefchemistry.com/cubeorchestra/zipanddownload.php?f=cubest018
(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 2:35 pm by Keefchemistry (diff)
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