BeatPick album of the week: “Arrivals and Departures” by Minimalist Orchestra

The Mind behind Minimalist Orchestra is Scooter Vineburgh. Having started his musical experience as a percussionist, Scooter eventually found his songwriting dimension in the use of Roland‘s original Handsonic, the HPD-15. The songs written this way gave birth to the exciting band that can be heard on “Arrivals and Departures”, one of the best albums of the last months.


Joining the founder are Kerry Schneider, Ed Guild and Misha Rutman, plus occasional collaborators Dr.Nigel and Brian Knoth: the band actually works by adding their parts on files sent to each other via-internet, demonstrating once more the exceptional advantages new technology is bringing to musicians. The result is an entrancing mixture of Dub, Dream-Pop and Trip Hop, that, while paying necessary tributes to the genres’ milestones (Portishead and Massive Attack above all), finds personal ways of interpreting such sounds for the 21st century public.

The hyper-Brixton post-dub of “Roots”, the vaguely Sinead O’Connor (pre-reggae transformation) reflection on weather “DifferentHue” and the aquatic electronic soul-DnB in “Flicker” are just some of the highlights on an album that deserves full attention from all those who love their Electronica to be soul-tinged and emotionally involving.

No wonder that the band recently won the Microsoft Crossfader prize as “Next Top Artist”. Just the beginning of an excalation to well deserved public affirmation?


In his recent interview on the official Roland website, Vineburgh stated the following: ” (…) there’s definitely a whole new room for an ‘artistic middle class’ that didn’t used to exist. It used to be that if you didn’t have a major label deal, you didn’t have anything. But now there’s a lot of room for people who have day jobs or families to be involved in the arts, and it is changing the landscape and affording people with different lifestyles the opportunity to make music.” Precisely what we believe in, where new technology is a key for building, not a demon to be fought off in an absurd attempt to maintain an obsolete state of affairs dominated by a musical oligarchy.

Listen to “Arrivals and Departures” at, and enjoy!

This entry was posted in Album Review. Bookmark the permalink.