Electronic allstars Basment Jaxx are slated to release a new record featuring orchestral versions of their back catalog, enlisting Metropole Orketst, a 60-piece orchestra and 20-piece choir. Entitled Basement Jaxx Vs. Metropole Orkest, the album is set for arrival on July 11th on the duo's own record label, Atlantic Jaxx Recordings. Three tracks have been released via the Atlantic Jaxx Recodings' Soundcloud page.
This isn't the first time an electronic group has done orchestral work.
Aphex Twin collaborated with Philip Glass on an orchestral version of "Icct Hedral," which was featured on the Donkey Rhubarb EP.
The original version:
The orchestral version:
Portishead also did this, famously working with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for their album and accompanying video, Roseland NYC live.
And an enthused high school band teacher once taught his percussion ensemble a DJ Shadow song.
As you can see, the two go together beautifully. It would be ridiculous for these types of collaborations not to continue. There are a multitude of bands that would do well to get in on this. Examples of great projects would include:
Salem doing "King Night":
This song has every element of a perfect translation to orchestra. The already melancholy tone of the song would be intensified with a full string section, tympani, choir, and a huge, grim pipe organ.
Massive Attack doing "Teardrop":
This offering from Massive Attack is laden with the trappings of symphony. Envision a more stripped-down take, using only a harpsichord, a piano, and a single violin.
Fever Ray doing "If I Had a Heart":
Minimal, concise, and downtrodden. The consistent tempo of this song over Karin Dreijer's spectral singing would sound great backed by a string quartet.
Mogwai doing "Take Me Somewhere Nice":
This song from Mogwai would need very little changes. Perhaps one day listeners will be blessed by a live performance backed by the Scottish Philharmonic.
The Chemical Brothers doing "The Sunshine Underground":
An already over-the-top monster of a song. Picture the layers of this overlapping and piling up in a greasy heap of repeated chords. Full strings, sitar, flute, full percussion, and brass. Steve Reich would wet himself.
Holy Fuck doing "Stay Lit":
This song begs to be reworked with it's feverishly dramatic chord progression and percussion.
And of course local electronic juggernaut Sumsun doing "Ants":
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These milky synths over the steady beat would meet a new level of transcedence when coupled with orchestra, creating more flavors than any beachside ice cream parlor, which is perfect for your super spacey sunburnt summer.
The list goes on and on. Do you have any suggestions for orchestral pairings? Let your voice be heard in the comments section!