A whopping 17-years since his last full length record, seminal UK-garage producer MJ Cole has returned with a brand new, 12-track album that is unlike anything he’s done before. Taking a step back from the heavily specific section of the industry that he has dominated for more than two decades, Cole delivers an outside-the-box blend of delicate piano keys, vibrant string harmonies and ambient soundscapes. The project includes works from London violinist Tobie Tripp, a 14-piece orchestra that
was recorded at RAK Studios, a remix pack that includes edits from Shanti Celeste, Max Cooper, Model Man and MJ himself and a short film directed by Henry Dean which explores the concept of Madrugada, that time in the early hours of the morning before the sunrise. Speaking on the album, Cole mentioned “This isn’t just me sitting down at the piano and writing something nice and ambient, I’m coming at it as a hardcore manipulator of sounds. You can hear my breath, you can hear the pedal, you can hear the piano as a living instrument. It’s all about expression. When I play the piano I go into a meditative state, other thoughts don’t come into my head.” Madrugada will hopefully bring us to a reality where feature films are requesting the services of MJ Cole on their next official soundtrack, and one where we won’t have to wait another 17 years for more music from one of Britains most talented artists.
Where to start:
‘A Visit To Lolita’ – Uplifting melodies float across a bed of ambience
‘Cathedral’ – Superb string arrangements deliver an awe-inspiring climax
’90 Miles’ – Soundtrack-esque strings combined with deeply rooted guitar bass
Previous from MJ Cole:
Sincere LP (2000, Talkin’ Loud)
Cut To The Chase LP (2003, Talkin’ Loud)
If you like this then check out:
Max Cooper – Yearning For The Infinite (2019, Mesh)
Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest (2013, Warp)
MJ Cole present Madrugada is out now on Decca Records / Universal Music.