THE BROKEN ORCHESTRA have been on loop in the back of Groovement’s mind now for a good couple of months, so it’s nice to finally make the conversation two sided. Their first release, on the player below, is due for release on A Bridge Too Far Recordings in early December 2010.
Pre-order the first vinyl release and/or download here.
Hello, The Broken Orchestra, and welcome to Groovement.
Thanks, nice to be here!
You seem to have come out of nowhere, can you fill us in a little on your origin and who you are?
The Broken Orchestra, simply put, are a production team headed by two producers and backed up by a selection of musicians and talent. The project has mainly been based at Element Recording Studios in Hull.
The initial idea on forming was to create music for film, advertising and soundtrack. It was about working on and developing production techniques and creating unique ideas. Naturally though, more solid songs and track ideas started to form and the temptation of releasing material was too great. We have a basic ethos, simplicity mixed with no rules/no boundaries. We start simple with quick ideas, and it develops into what ever it grows into. Then a final quality control check puts it forward as a potential to release. We work with a team of musicians who all bring a little something different to the table.
Does ‘Broken’ refer to that work aesthetic then?
Broken refers to every element of what we do. Firstly it refers to the way we produce our music, our techniques and our style. We produce in pieces, everything is segmented, chopped and built in loops to be layered and then structured into a full track. Broken also refers to the musical collective, all the musicians work independently from each other so it is extremely rare that we will have more than one musician working together on one night, everything that we record is taken away, arranged and sequenced ready for the next musician to work to.
How did you come to work with Natalie Gardiner?
Its just as simple as looking through my record collection one day and playing her first album again. We had a template of a really basic idea, and it just really seemed perfect to marry the two together. It desperately needed a specific vocalist and the right sort of lyrics, it feels now that we cant imagine anyone else on that track. The challenge was if she would be interested in working with us but from the moment we contacted her she seemed on board with what we had created and we were under way. I really feel that she is massively under rated as a singer and an artist and I look forward to any future collaborations.
Your music seems very Northern to me. Is that just my interpretation or is there truth in that?
I’ve never really thought about it but that’s quite an interesting interpretation. Personally I’m not quite sure. Maybe you can elaborate further on what you think Northern music sounds like?
Well, I’m from Sheffield myself so I wouldn’t say there’s one sound I’m thinking of. I guess I mean that your music throws images in my head of rurality rather than city life… soundscapes for landscapes, if you will.
That’s a nice way of describing it. If it is displayed in our music then it is certainly not intentional on our part.
Your single’s out on vinyl in December. Was a physical vinyl release an important statement for you?
I wouldn’t call it a statement really. It could seems like we are jumping on the current band wagon of vinyl releases but it was more about a personal choice. Both of us come from backgrounds where vinyl is the medium of choice and once the decision was made about doing a limited release we felt that real musos would appreciate the collection and box set idea. We are just old school in our thoughts of physically holding a record in your hands and appreciating the aesthetics such as artwork.
What have you found to be the most useful online routes to promoting your music?
Everything. There seems to be some value in most avenues of online promotion. I think the major plus with the internet is that there are so many ways for your music to get heard, your name to be seen and your product to reach people in far reaching areas of the world. Social networking sites are obviously a very cost effective way of reaching fans across the world as are blogs. Often music blogs are run by complete music fanatics who live, sleep and breathe music so generally they are just really excited to hear and promote new music!
Is there a live incarnation planned for the future?
Well, it’s possible in the future. Everything we record would lend itself well to a live performance. Its something to consider as given the opportunity I feel we would do a pretty good job of it. There is no doubting though that we are a studio based unit and our first priority is what happens within the four walls of the studio but maybe if the demand is there we can step that up a gear.
Can we look forward to a full album at some point?
Our main aim at the moment is to continue to release singles on 7inch vinyl. That way we keep material and ideas ticking over and do not have the constraints of an album release. We spent a lot of time making sure the artwork was interesting and worthy of a collection and once this box set does build up, there will be more then an albums worth of material. However an album is a very natural way to go and if a body of work or ideas is worth it then we would consider an album release in the future.
Who’s the brains behind the artwork and image of the Broken Orchestra?
The amazing artwork is done by an artist from Japan called Nolita: http://www.myspace.com/nolitart.
It is someone I have been in contact with for a while and she is really great at those styles of drawings. We decided we wanted to work with her on this project when we looked at doing a collection of singles. We felt the artwork had to stand out and follow a similar theme with every release.
A special mention must also go to Ben who puts all of the raw images into a form that can be used and printed amongst other things!
And finally, can we expect any remixes of your work and if so, do you have anyone in mind?
Remixes have certainly been talked about and discussed with various parties but we cannot say too much yet! Just stay tuned to our websites for more news!
Thanks a lot and keep us in touch with proceedings!