6

Slowly Rolling Camera: Slowly Rolling Camera

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Slowly Rolling Camera: Slowly Rolling Camera A band name—and album title—like Slowly Rolling Camera gives little if anything away about the nature of the music to be experienced on this, the debut album from the UK-based quartet. Good—for surprises can be fun. Once the music becomes familiar—the beautiful, imaginative and ambitious compositions become firmly fixed in the mind—the surprise is revealed to be lots of fun.

Two other UK bands, the Cinematic Orchestra and Portishead, are Slowly Rolling Camera's own points of reference for its sound. There's also something of Massive Attack's laid-back confidence—unsurprisingly, as producer Andy Allan has worked with both Portishead and Massive Attack. At its most soulful, on "Protagonist" and "Dream A Life," Slowly Rolling Camera seems to have its roots just as firmly in the sound of Soul II Soul.

The core quartet that forms Slowly Rolling Camera—vocalist Dionne Bennett, keyboard player Dave Stapleton, Deri Roberts on electronics and drummer Elliott Bennett —are augmented by guest musicians including saxophonist Mark Lockheart, bassist Jasper Hoiby and trumpeter Neil Yates. Electronics, keyboards and synths are central to the music but the guest players make emphatic contributions, the acoustic instruments in particular adding a warmth to the sound that the electronics—with the exception of Stapleton's Fender Rhodes—seldom match.

Lockheart's tenor solo on "Rain That Falls" is lyrical, his soprano on "Slowly Rolling Camera" is vibrant and emotive. Høiby's tough, assertive bass gives "Protagonist" real punch and contrasts well with Dionne Bennett's vocal. On "Dream A Life" he combines with Elliot Bennett's drums and Dionne Bennett's vocal at the core of the album's most striking number. Both of these songs, incidentally, highlight the connection with Soul II Soul.

"River Runs Free" is a lovely slice of ambient calm. "Rolling Clouds" is more up-tempo, with Chris Montague's electric guitar, Lockheart's soprano saxophone and Elliot Bennett's drums adding a note of urgency. The Portishead influence is most apparent on songs such as the moody "Fragile Ground" and "Two Roads" and the gorgeous "Bridge"—although Dionne Bennett's voice is more gospel-tinged than Beth Gibbons.'

Slowly Rolling Camera is available as a CD and, courtesy of Edition Records' collaboration with Gearbox Records, as a vinyl album (with download code). The comparisons being bandied about (including the ones in this review) offer a hint at Slowly Rolling Camera's heritage, but an intimate knowledge of the Portishead or Soul II Soul back catalog is far from necessary for enjoyment of the music. Once Slowly Rolling Camera infiltrates the mind with its gorgeous compositions it becomes clear—this album heralds the arrival of a new and distinctive ensemble.


Track Listing: Protagonist; Dream A Life; Rain That Falls; Bridge; Slowly Rolling Camera; Outside; Fragile Ground; Two Roads; River Runs Free; Rolling Clouds; Color.

Personnel: Dionne Bennett: vocals; Dave Stapleton: Fender Rhodes, piano, Hammond organ; Deri Roberts: electronics, trombone, saxophone; Elliot Bennett: drums, drum programming; Neil Yates: trumpet; Mark Lockheart: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Chris Montague: guitar; Jasper Høiby: double bass; Jon Visanji: violin; Catrin Win Morgan: violin; Victoria Stapleton: violin; Katy Rowe: violin; Ilona Bondar: viola; Rebekah Frost: viola; Alice Hoskins: cello; Sarah Stevens: cello.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Edition Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974" CD/LP/Track Review Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Southern Lights" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Lights
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 26, 2016
Read "Bright Side" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Side
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Solo Plus" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Plus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!