Submotion Orchestra make some of the most interesting and exciting music from the UK today: A kaleidoscope of electronic bass music, entrancing vocals, ambient, jazz and dub that sits somewhere on an axis between Bonobo and London Grammar. Their unique music is at once delicate and heavy, spacious and dense, highly atmospheric but firmly rooted. Earth-shaking bass and drums combine with lush keyboard and trumpet textures to create the perfect backdrop for the fragile beauty of Ruby Wood’s vocals, and the celestial effects of producer Ruckspin.
Formed in Leeds in 2009, the band quickly made a splash on the wider scene. Their live gigs left audiences open- mouthed, and their debut EP on Ranking Records drew a rave reaction from Gilles Peterson. Their now-legendary weekly residency at the tiny Hukaz Bar in Leeds gave fans the unique opportunity to see the band create new material up-close and personal.
Submotion went on to release their first full-length album, Finest Hour. The record became an instant classic, receiving critical acclaim from around the world, and strong support from DJs such as 6 Music’s Mista Jam and Trevor Nelson, who personally invited the band to record a live Radio 2 session. Sell out tours followed across Europe, and the band were quickly booked for some of Europe’s biggest festivals, including Glastonbury, Bestival, The Big Chill, Pohoda and Outlook.
The band’s second album Fragments followed in 2012, receiving heated enthusiasm from fans and critics alike for the variety of its sound. Radio support came from such diverse presenters as Pete Tong, Huey, Lauren Laverne and Don Letts, demonstrating Submotion’s unique cross-genre appeal. Fragments spent a week at number 1 in the iTunes charts, and the supporting tour climaxed with a sold out show at London’s legendary venue Koko.
Demand for the band had never been greater, as their reputation for staging one of the most exciting shows around grew with each appearance they made. 2013 saw them release the ‘1968’ EP on Circus Records, which saw their champions grow to include I-D, Noisey, and Clash. The band also performed for international fans in France, Poland, Germany, Turkey, Croatia, and the Netherlands, as well as in the UK. Somehow – perhaps inspired by the whirlwind of energy around them – they found time to write their third album.
Alium, is a dazzlingly eclectic record that showcases every aspect of the band’s myriad talents. Thanks to producer Ruckspin’s deft touch, it also remains a satisfyingly coherent artist statement. Counter Records leapt at the chance to release it, signing the band in summer 2014.
With a busy summer schedule that will see the band play over a dozen festivals in 7 different countries (including Lovebox, Parklife, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness and Outlook,) before embarking on a full European tour in the Autumn, Alium looks set to cap a triumphant year for the band, as they continue to push the boundaries of what ‘electronica’ can and should be.
Fresh from an outstanding sold-out live show at the Barbican for EFG London Jazz Festival, British electronic collective Submotion Orchestra will release their fourth album Colour Theory on 19th February 2016 via Counter Records and will tour their stunning live show in March and April across the UK and Europe, including a landmark gig at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire (11/03).
Colour Theory is a new benchmark for Submo – an expansion of their cinematic, highly textured electronica to shape a record of immense poise and epic scope. Drawing on a stellar cast of collaborators including Andrew Ashong (Sound Signature / Which Way), Royce Wood Jr, Catching Flies and, of course, the amazing Ruby Wood, the album embodies a new confidence and dynamism exemplified by ‘Kimono’ (streaming now via CLASH) – a truly stirring, shimmering four-to-the-floor groove reminiscent of John Talabot.
SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA – KIMONO
SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA FEAT. ANDREW ASHONG – NEEDS
SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA – Jazz Mixtape – EFG London Jazz Festival – Barbican special