Madvillain, Vol. 1

A 9 track jazz rap/hip-hop album (39m 22s) — released November 2nd 2018 on ATA Records

Released on the2nd of Novemberon Leeds Jazz & Soul labelATA Records, "Madvillain Vol. 1" is the eagerly anticipated new LP fromAbstract Orchestra. "Madvillain vol 1" takes the blueprint laid out on their debut LP "Dilla" and applies it to the work of producer Madlib and M.C. Doom's Madvillain project. Radio support anticipated from BBC6's Gilles Peterson who has been an advocate for Abstract Orchestra on both his BBC6 and Worldwide FM shows, as well as Huey Morgan (BBC 6), Shawn Lee (Soho) and Dom Servini (Wah Wah 45s).

Led by Saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra have been a consistent presence on the u.k. music scene, touring constantly in promotion of their debut LP "Dilla" and follow up 45 "New Day feat. Illa J", steadily building a loyal and supportive fanbase.Inspired by the legendary live performances of The Roots with Jay-Z and the 40 piece orchestral arrangements by Miguel-Atwood Ferguson of the work of J Dilla, classic arranging techniques underpin modern loop-based structures, breathing new life into familiar material.

The band itself is based on the classic jazz big band instrumentation of saxes, trumpets and trombones and features the cream of the north of England's jazz scene who collectively have played with Jamiroquai, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mark Ronson, Martha Reeves, John Legend & the Roots, Roots Manuva and Amy Winehouse.

"Madvillain Vol. 1" takes the template of their debut LP "Dilla" and applies the same approach to the collaboration ofMF DoomandMadlib, akaMADVILLAINand their albumsMADVILLAINYandMADVILLAIN 2. Sampling the likes of Sun Ra, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, George Duke, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder gave the albums a jazz oriented feel and ethos which in turn lend themselves perfectly to the deconstruction and re-imagining of Abstract Orchestra. As with their debut, all the tracks were recorded live in the studio with very few overdubs.

Abstract Orchestra'sMADVILLAIN Vol 1. explores the jazz, TV soundtrack and film score aspect of the original work, combining it with classic big band writing and a focus on improvisation. There is a strong influence ofQuincy Jones, Lalo SchifrinandDavid Shire(Composer of the soundtrack toThe Taking of Pelham 123) on the album, and the arranger Rob Mitchell crafts his own sound that inhabits the space between Madlib's production and Quincy Jones' writing. Bandleader and arranger Rob Mitchell says of the record: "'MADVILLAINY' is a jazz album as much as it is a hip-hop album and I wanted to explore this reciprocal territory there has always been between jazz and hip-hop. 70's cop show soundtracks have always captured my interest and imagination, and I discovered so much amazing music through TV themes, Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin in particular. They explored sounds that were menacing, angular, dissonant, frantic and yet captivating. They were also able to write music that was the flip side of all that dark chaos, and write lush and beautiful music. Arranging and scoring up MADVILLAIN Vol 1. Has allowed me to explore these sounds that I've always loved, yet keeping a strong hip-hop identity as the core of its sound."

The album opens with "Accordion" with the reeds of the saxophones and the harmon mute of The Haggis Horn's Malcolm Strachan emulating and mirroring the original Deadalus sample. "Curls" follows, with the tropical guitar and marimba of the original replaced with brass and flutes and George Coopers Clavinet rounding out the 70s soundtrack feel. This sound is developed further on "ALL CAPS" as arranger Rob Mitchell explores the rich palette of the soundtracks ofStreets Of San FranciscoandIronside. Flitting between heavy piano riffs and delicate flute lines and underpinned with Joost Hendrickx tough drumming it changes gear halfway through into a heavy 6/8 groove that features big brass and Kev Holbrough solo trombone. "Bistro" takes the original sample of'Second to None' By Atlantic Starrand reworks it for the big band, upping the tempo and adding echoing flutes and keyboards. The first track to feature vocalist Anna Uhuru, "Fancy Clown" underpins her voice with thumping baritone sax and trombones alongside Chris Hargreaves hypnotic bass. Bill Evan's piano line from the Miles Davis classic "Nardis" is faithfully recreated by George Cooper on "Raid" who features extensively throughout, including some electric piano playing that gives a hefty nod to the live work of Donny Hathaway. The B side opens with "MADMIX 1" a medley which explores some of Madlib's remixes from the 2nd MADVILLAINY album. The medley moves through various disjointed loops that intensify with each cycle and from loop to loop, culminating in a upbeat rendition of 'We Can Make it if we Try' by the Sylvers. This is followed by "Great day" which is based around the extensive improvisation of George Cooper, broken up by groups of saxophones and culminating in a trumpet section finale laid on top of Hendrickx ferocious drumming. The album ends with the second medley of the album "MADMIX 2", which covers some of the less obscure and more upbeat tracks such as 'Space Ho's Coast to Coast' and '3.214'. 'Heat Niner' (again from the Madlib remix album) makes an appearance at the end, which concludes the album with a healthy helping of darkness in the form of a heavy sax riff and Avant-garde solo from Tenor sax man Simon Kaylor, here channeling Steve Grossman, David Liebman and John Coltrane.

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