Jason Swinscoe, the mastermind behind the Cinematic Orchestra, is obsessed with the confluence of music, the movies, and real life. The band’s earlier productions — often intended to play like imaginary film soundtracks — include one actual score, commissioned in late 1999, for Russian director Dziga Vertov’s groundbreaking 1929 silent documentary Man with a Movie Camera. The Cinematic Orchestra’s latest album, Ma Fleur (out tomorrow), was also commissioned for a film — an original production that remains unmade. Luckily for us, Swinscoe has managed to release the soundtrack anyway.
Ma Fleur matches the band’s bravura performance for Movie Camera, and works perfectly as a fully realized, stand-alone album. Delicate electronics, orchestral scoring, and occasional vocals build a mood of fragile beauty that turns sublime with the emotional wallop of the closing track, “To Build a Home.”
Dazzling book jackets without novels inside; awesome stage sets on which actors never set foot; kick-ass magazine covers with no accompanying articles . . . we love the myriad possibilities of this new cart-before-the-horse genre.
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