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The Cinematic Orchestra
"Man With a Movie Camera"
by: Zero Sharp

The Ninja Tune roster is as mysterious as it is diverse. That being said, I've never heard anything on the label more sublime and majestic than The Cinematic Orchestra. This release, "Man With a Movie Camera" came from a commission four years ago to create a soundtrack for the 1929 Russian documentary of the same name. It was first performed live in 1999 alongside the movie, and there was a focus on improvisation to the point that each listen was a different experience. This release helps preserve that live feeling extremely well, and it's hard to tell which instruments are being played live and which aren't. Their blend of beats, samples, real instruments, and scratches is beautiful, and it is masterfully thought out. The downside is that , for the fans of TCO, many of these tracks have already been released. However, again, the versions here are all somewhat different. A few of the tracks originally had vocals to go with them, and they have been stripped in this version. However, this CD as a package stands well on its own. Initially, I didn't feel anything missing from the originally vocal songs, and the track "All Things To All Men" might even be better without them. This CD is a beautifully intricate and intellectual journey through soundscapes of chilled-out jazz and funk, and I would recommend it for those looking for a little more in their music.


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