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cubest 019 by the cube orchestraIt's been almost a year since my last Cubest compilation and my folder of potential contenders numbers 38, is hopelessly out of date and doesn't even include some of the tracks featured here!

That said, when it came to selecting what would be on Cubest 019 it took no time at all to choose these five tracks. My only problem was what to keep and what to edit out of each tune. The result is three tracks clocking up around 10 minutes apiece bookended by two five-minute tracks, yet I feel there's not a dull moment in any of them. Sometimes the stage and sound is crowded, other times fewer players create more space to work in and I think this gives the album balance

All hail the return of Cubest and hark at the tunage ...

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


Where The Wild Things Are

2016 01 13 - Keef Chemistry: Vocals, Effects; Jon Shepherd: Bass; Ollie Owen: Guitar; Chema Gala: Sax, Vocals; Steve Radford: Alto Sax, Vocals; Alun Person: Percussion; Matt Mockford: Flute;

I wore my furry wolf hat for this tune, sparking the title and vibe, comprising mainly of drums and bass over which three of us howl, speak and sing with nice and sparse guitar work from Ollie. Jon is great at keeping up a good riff and I spent much of the tune watching him churn it out. The two sax players chop and change between vocal outbursts and sax interplay. Eventually I begin rapping something about the bass, shortly after which Jon treads on his lead and unplugs his guitar! It all threatens to collapse, save for a lone sax and myself yelling "Got no bass!". However, Jon plugs his guitar in and we all drop back into it like it was meant to be. Perhaps my favourite orchestra moment ...

Kontakion In The Plagal Of The Fourth Tone

2015 12 16 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Effects; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar; Ollie Owen: Guitar; Chema Gala: Sax; Dalila Rabih: Vocals; Rhodri Karim: Synth; Ghoufran Warlow: Percussion; Alexandra Corral: Acoustic Guitar; Will Hawkins: Bass; Laura Aish: Synthesizer; Isaac Teodoro: Classical Guitar; James Barlow: Samples;

This track may be my best title yet I can no longer remember where the inspiration for it came from. The tune, originally some 15 minutes long, develops very quickly and sets off on its journey driven by Ghoufran's excellent and inventive drumming. The guitars work together creating a base for everyone else to work on. There's some wicked keyboards throughout giving it a futuristic edge. Chema sets up a melodic phrase while I throw in accents on my melodica. About three minutes in the tempo slows and morphs, just as Dalila enters the fray on vocals and the tune takes on a new shape. I love Dalila's vocals. The tune takes its time winding down and you can even hear a little acoustic guitar here and there in the spaces. Right at the end the guitar motif returns rounding the whole piece off ...

Everything We Do Is Noted

2016 03 15 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Claves, Vocals, Effects; Jon Shepherd: Bass; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar; Ramon Sanchez: Vocals, Percussion; Alun Person: Percussion; Spudd Connor: Saw;

This tune emerged suddenly out of nowhere, fully formed over Jon's bass line. Alun avoids the obvious 6/8 timing, opting instead for a slower four-beat rhythm which fits perfectly. He's playing on his electronic drum kit and you can hear him changing its sounds throughout, while Ramon accompanies him on djembe. This is an exercise in spacial awareness, with Marcus and Jean-Michel working really well together and everyone else stepping back. In fact Marcus' playing is exemplary, setting the mood perfectly and displaying great interpretive skill, while Jean-Michel's slide work is first class. About eight minutes in there's a shift and everything drops out, save the beat and Spudd's saw. Then in comes Marcus with a lovely progression, Ramon sparks up on vocals and Jon joins in perfectly. My part in the whole affair is peripheral, providing little more than the stabs of the claves and occasional feedback through my iPad and pretty much the only editing I did was to remove one of my episodes of feedback that went out of control ...

Tu Ne Sais Pas

2015 10 28 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Effects; Ramon Sanchez: Percussion; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Ollie Owen: Guitar; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar; Ghoufran Warlow: Clarinet; Dalila Rabih: Vocals; Chema Gala: Sax; David Walsh: Guitar; Alexandra Corral: Percussion; Tim Robertson: Trumpet; Tom Ridley: Synthesizer; Laura Aish: Synthesizer; Tom Bonson: Guitar;

There were a lot of people on stage and the sound is much more crowded than the previous track, but I love this tune because it sounds like a single, albeit a 10-minute one, which something we rarely achieve. Tim's trumpet is wonderful throughout, though I especially like the intro. In no time at all Dalila begins singing in French while the orchestra back her up like some kind of mariachi band. Her words flow, suspending time, evocative and emotional. Occasionally you can hear snippets of acoustic guitar and other instruments, including some nice vocal work from some of the players. At times it sounds like an alcoholic author is bashing away at an old typewriter. Time has erased my memory of who was doing what, so forgive me if I got the credits wrong. There's a nice long ending as the emotion dissipates into the sea ...

Getting Hungry Again

2016 03 01 - Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar; Rhodri Karim: Bass; Alexandra Corral: Castanets; Matt Mockford: Flute; Alun Person: Percussion; Natasha Rosling: Vocals; Will Hawkins: Guitar;

I was in the Zone next to the stage filming a video when this track caught my attention. Harsh, edgy, sinister, it evolves like a prowling carnivore, building in suspense until it crashes into a powerful rock-out. It's Rhodri's bass and Alun's drums that set the scene, while the two guitars crank out their raw sounds. Natasha growls, while Matt scurries about like frightened prey, yet interpersed through all this aggression is the sound of castanets, perhaps a first in rock music! Halfway through Alun picks up the pace and the intensity builds with some interesting variations, until the screeching guitars and growling bass are brought to an abrupt halt by Alun, by which time I was on the stage wishing I'd been a part of it all ...

As always, this latest incarnation of Cube Orchestra greats has instantly become my favourite to date. I hope this is true for you too ...
- keef chemistry

Download the zip file here (5 tracks @ 320kbps = 89mb):
http://www.keefchemistry.com/cubeorchestra/zipanddownload.php?f=cubest019
(The files need to be zipped before download. This may take a while, so please be patient ...)

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Last edited June 21, 2016 11:15 pm by Keefchemistry (diff)
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