Matilda

Stateless
Matilda

ZEN157

Released 21/02/2011

It’s easy to talk about the "epic" quality of this or that record, its "cinematic” feel. And how many artists have you heard say, as Chris James, lead singer of Stateless does, that “I wanted the record to be like a journey”? But sometimes it’s true. Sometimes it just is true. Sometimes you have to hold up your hands and admit it.

Welcome to 'Matilda', then, an eleven track, fifty minute follow-up to 2007’s eponymous debut, which takes all of those easy words and makes something concrete out of them. Working with Bjork producer/programmer Damian Taylor, 'Matilda' ties together classic songwriting with rhythmic drive, slatherings of sub-bass and enough electronic interference to satisfy the most anal of glitch-nerds. The results are spectacular. From the atmospheric opening of 'Curtain Call' you know you’re in for something special. The driving bass of first single 'Ariel' is followed by the sinuous melody and building atmospherics of 'Miles To Go'. 'Visions' features lead vocals from bass player Justin Percival. “As a vocalist he really is something else,” says James. "I think more and more Stateless will become a twin vocal band. Well, it is already!"

'Red Ocean' functions as an ambient-folk interlude to clear the palate before 'I’m On Fire', a duet with Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, recorded in her Brooklyn front room over a bottle of wine. 'Ballad of NGB' almost has the feel of contemporary r&b, if contemporary r&b producers were bugging out to Bartok’s Hungarian folk songs and working with the remarkable Balanescu Quartet. This world-renowned string group comes into its own on 'Song For The Outsider' when, in addition to a superb string arrangement, violinist Alex Balanescu finishes things off with a vicious solo: “At the end of the take the control room was just speechless,” James remembers. “Everyone’s jaws just hit the floor, completely astounded. It was mindblowing.” 'Junior' aches with longing and throbs with out-of-focus electronica. 'I Shall Not Complain' finishes the album back somewhere in Eastern Europe, piano combining with one of the most beautiful melodies on the record to take us out on a melancholy, uplifting high.

“I wanted you to enter a world,” expalains James, “and travel through that world, meeting different characters, and having different experiences along the way. Matilda, is obviously one of the main characters, but there are other characters too, in order of appearance, you've got Maria, Ariel, The Devil, The Assassins, NGB, The Outsider, Junior, and more, and all of these characters have a role to play in the bigger picture...” He pauses for a moment to consider the enormity of what he hopes he has achieved. “It’s like a strange and beautiful dreamscape,” he says. “It's dark, surreal, mysterious, full of weird and wonderful characters. It's a big piece of work. I hope that people get that, when they hear it. I think it's gonna take quite a few listens before it really sinks in. It's a proper album, it works as a whole. I want people to do the Pink Floyd thing, and listen to it from start to finish really loud on good headphones.”

Stateless Releases

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I'm On Fire

Stateless

Ninja Tune XX Rarities

Various Artists

Ariel

Stateless

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Ninja Tune Releases

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Joined Ends

Dorian Concept

Exit

The Bug

Buy Tracks

Disc 1
1.
Curtain Call
MP3 ¥111 More
2.
Ariel
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3.
Miles To Go
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4.
Visions
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5.
Assassinations
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6.
Red Sea
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7.
I'm On Fire feat. Shara Worden (feat. Shara Worden)
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8.
Ballad Of NGB
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9.
Song For The Outsider
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10.
Junior
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11.
I Shall Not Complain
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Disc 2
1.
Curtain Call (Instrumental Version)
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2.
Ariel (Instrumental Version)
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3.
Miles To Go (Instrumental Version)
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4.
Visions (Instrumental Version)
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5.
Assassinations (Instrumental Version)
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6.
I'm On Fire (Instrumental Version)
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7.
Ballad Of NGB (Instrumental Version)
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8.
Song For The Outsider (Instrumental Version)
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9.
Junior (Instrumental Version)
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10.
I Shall Not Complain (Instrumental Version)
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21 Tracks

Play all

1.
Curtain Call
MP3 ¥111 More
2.
Ariel
MP3 ¥111 More
3.
Miles To Go
MP3 ¥111 More
4.
Visions
MP3 ¥111 More
5.
Assassinations
MP3 ¥111 More
6.
Red Sea
MP3 ¥111 More
7.
I'm On Fire feat. Shara Worden (feat. Shara Worden)
MP3 ¥111 More
8.
Ballad Of NGB
MP3 ¥111 More
9.
Song For The Outsider
MP3 ¥111 More
10.
Junior
MP3 ¥111 More
11.
I Shall Not Complain
MP3 ¥111 More

11 Tracks

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1.
Curtain Call
MP3 ¥111 More
2.
Ariel
MP3 ¥111 More
3.
Miles To Go
MP3 ¥111 More
4.
Visions
MP3 ¥111 More
5.
Assassinations
MP3 ¥111 More
6.
Red Sea
MP3 ¥111 More
7.
I'm On Fire feat. Shara Worden (feat. Shara Worden)
MP3 ¥111 More
8.
Ballad Of NGB
MP3 ¥111 More
9.
Song For The Outsider
MP3 ¥111 More
10.
Junior
MP3 ¥111 More
11.
I Shall Not Complain
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12.
Matilda (Bonus Track)
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13.
Curtain Call (Instrumental Version)
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14.
Ariel (Instrumental Version)
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15.
Miles To Go (Instrumental Version)
MP3 ¥111 More
16.
Visions (Instrumental Version)
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17.
Assassinations (Instrumental Version)
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18.
I'm On Fire (Instrumental Version)
MP3 ¥111 More
19.
Ballad Of NGB (Instrumental Version)
MP3 ¥111 More
20.
Song For The Outsider (Instrumental Version)
MP3 ¥111 More
21.
Junior (Instrumental Version)
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22.
I Shall Not Complain (Instrumental Version)
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22 Tracks

Play all

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