The room’s reaction was rapid and confident. “This is the new Bonobo, right?”
No, but close.
Other guesses included “this must be Jazzanova” and “sounds like Cinematic Orchestra to me”.
I was happy to explain that it was Submotion Orchestra we listening to that evening. Those earlier guesses were easily forgiven: This fusion of bass-driven electronica, jazz, and soul is championed by some notable others.
But the veteran 7-piece band from Leeds has deftly used these common threads to deliver Alium, a solid follow-up to 2012’s Fragments. Soul music with big bass and garage-tempo rhythms. Classic ‘90s R&B with acid jazz and dubstep characteristics. There are moments of epic bass music and then, suddenly, I’m nostalgic for my favorite R&B songs.
Alium is out now on Counter (I am loving this label right now). I hope they tour for the album and make it to Chicago. I would love to hear “Time Will Wait” live.