The Cinematic Orchestra

In Motion #1

Ninja Tune

Aug 02, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The Cinematic Orchestra's Jason Swinscoe is taking the idea behind his artist persona's name to its ultimate realization. On the latest from Swinscoe, In Motion #1, he enlists Dorian Concept & Tom Chant, Austin Peralta, and Grey Reverend to join him in creating music for visually compelling films. Swinscoe uses this opportunity to show off his obscure film knowledge: among the pre-chosen short films are Austrian Peter Tscherkassky's Outer Space (2000) and Dream Work (2002), James Whitney's animated Lapis (1966), Mannus Franken's and Joris Ivens' Dutch documentary, Regen (1929), Standish Lawder's Necrology (1971), Rene Clair's Entr'acte (1924), and the documentary Manhatta (1921). The musicians let their imaginations run free, aided by a string quartet that sounds more like a full orchestra's worth of strings. The results are emotive and aurally illustrative.

Each composition features the artists' particular flavor, such as Peralta's piano on "Lapis," Concept's and Chant's abstract leanings on "Outer Space," Reverend's plucked guitars on "Regen," and Swinscoe's own surreal auditory imagery on the well-matched "Entr-acte" and his flair for the dramatic on the sound showers of "Manhatta." While the pieces of music are beautiful in that grand sweeping way of ensembles, there is little in the way of new ideas. These are fleshed out soundtracks in the most classic definition of the word. Giving themselves no limit on the length of their compositions, in some cases it feels as if the music is as long as the film it is scoring. This makes In Motion #1 play like the realization of these musicians' sound design dreams. (

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August 21st 2012


It’s precisely that which I think makes this their strongest release for some time.

There is a substance to these pieces which I don’t feel was present on The Crimson Wing, whilst perhaps Ma Fleur was too ethereal and Everyday felt (to me at least compromised).

A genuine and in places exquisite return to form.