submotion orchestra – finest hour

Submotion Orchestra - Finest Hour coverThe need for comparison to explain artists to newcomers is understandable, but to compare the Submotion Orchestra to the Cinematic Orchestra doesn’t do both groups justice. True, they both create and perform hauntingly beautiful and extensive compositions, but I’d rather put Submotion up there with the likes of [re:jazz], Micatone and Breakestra.


As with the forementioned groups the Submotion Orchestra heavily incorporates elements of contemporary electronic dance music on their base of melancholic jazz. Where drumandbass and house were ideal mixing elements in early 2000 releases, dubstep rhythms and bass in general are the weapons of choice of 201x: Hence the name Submotion.


I love these kind of groups because they are the ideal stepping stone for listeners who are ‘stuck’ in a genre, to get acquainted with a wide variety of other styles. If it wasn’t for hip hop I’d probably wouldn’t be such a jazz/soul/funk freak right now. And if it wasn’t for the heavy sampling of hip hop a capella’s in dance music I wouldn’t have gotten back to hip hop. If you take a minute to think about it, you will probably find some of these connections in your own listening profile as well.


With the full length 2011 release called “Finest Hour”, the 7-piece British group delivers an album that pleases both the more conservative listener as well as the hip dance oriented folks. Fusing spaced out pads and moody piano chords with groovy percussion, steady live drumsequences and deep, deep basses, the ensemble has dropped a timeless classic. Because of this fusion there’s no doubt it will stand the test of time, and the sweet silk vocals of Ruby Wood make sure that critics won’t be able to use the “instrumental is inacessible for the normal listener” argument.


Songs like “Always”, “Pop & Lock” and “Secrets” show the groovy side of Submotion, bringing together nu-jazz and the 3rd beat snare/clap and soaring synths which have dominated the dance scene for more than 5 years now. This groove easily drips down on the slower tracks “Angel Eyes”, “Suffer Not”  and “Finest Hour”. Although utilized on every track, the quality of instrumentalism is portrayed best on the ultra loungy “Hymn For Him” and “Perfection”. On these tracks the tempo has been taken down just a lil’ bit more, and the emphasis is shifted from the drums to the keys, pads and brass.


There’s also a digital release with remixes available, featuring the likes of Synkro, Jack Sparrow and Phaeleh.


As always you can find 2 tracks from the outer sides of the album below. Info can be found on the website, more full length tracks are available on Soundcloud and you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter.