Beauty and the Beatbox

£12.00

The Swingle Singers, Featuring Shlomo & The Vocal Orchestra 


With a stunning selection of brand new arrangements, the Swingles’ return to disc promises some of their best and most memorable performances to date on this studio album.

The warm, beautiful tone and precision of the groups voices are combined with a modern edge; with vocal percussion and beatboxing featuring guest performances from Shlomo, the world renowned beatboxer, and the Vocal Orchestra.

…make it funky now

SKU: SIGCD104

What people are saying

“But cut to a riff on Chick Corea’s take on the Rodrigo Aranjuez theme and we’re into clever improvisation with multiple variations … intrigued by a citrus twist on Dido’s Lament … beatboxer Shlomo earns his rent in a Bach finale and the whole sounds edgy and almost cool”

London Evening Standard

“Their precision is awesome, their technique impeccable”

Classic FM Magazine

“This is a work of genius from conception to delivery … The current incarnation are certainly making it funky now and are bringing it right into the 21st century”

The Hit Sheet

“Added to the mix this time is vocal percussion where all the sounds come from the voice or parts of the body – it’s extraordinary”

Choir and Organ

The Swingle Singers

Release date:1st Sep 2007
Order code:SIGCD104
Barcode: 635212010426

London Evening Standard, 13th August 2007, ****
CD of the Week

The Swingles are back. Those laid-back Parisians who redid Bach in Barbershop style and challenged The Beatles in the 1960s pop charts have a brand new line-up and mouthy beatboxer to boot.

The singers are less cohesive than Ward Swingle’s original octet of Edith Piaf backers and the vocalisations are more verbal, but the mood is just about right. Beethoven’s 5th at the head of the album is one of the weaker attempts at giving classical street cred. But cut to a riff on Chick Corea’s take on the Rodrigo Arajuez theme and we’re into clever improvisation with multiple variatons.

Expecting to be repulsed, I was intrigued by a citrus twist on Dido’s Lament and found myself listening to Albinoni’s Adagio with something approaching tolerance – which never happens in Giazotto’s original version. I’m not sure what the Starsky and Hutch TV theme is doing in a classical mix but the beatboxer Schlomo earns his rent in a Bach finale and the whole sounds edgy and almost cool.

Norman Lebrecht

Classic FM Magazine, October 2007

A close-harmony choral version of Beethoven’s Fifth slides into ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees, all over vocal drum’n’bass… yes, it could have been awful, but the Swingle Singers and Shlomo (‘the human beatbox’) get away with it with fabulous panache. On this amusing disc they present funked-up arrangements of Dido’s Lament, Albinoni’s Adagio and inter alia, the theme from Starsky and Hutch. Their precision is awesome, their technique impeccable. If one or two of the pleasant, vibrato-less voices sound a bit thin occasionally, it doesn’t prevent this amusing and witty disc from being a little gem.

Warwick Thompson

The Hit Sheet, November 2007

In our quest to bring you something different we think we have excelled ourselves. In our opinion this is a work of genius from conception to delivery. For those purists who say that if Beethoven were alive today he would be turning in his grave, we say mock ye not and get with the times, Daddy-o!

This track features Shlomo, considered to be one of the finest beatboxers around, and is taken from the Beauty and the Beatbox album which features performances from other vocal percussionists. For those who like their Swingle ‘unwrapped’ there is the Xmas album …unwrapped.

The groundbreaking debut album of the vocal harmony group was released 44 years ago. Since then there have been many imitators but only one group who have followed on from founder Ward Swingle’s original style. The current incarnation are certainly making it funky now and are bringing it right into the 21st century. They are at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in New Year’s Eve for a cultural gala concert.

Paul Kramer

Choir and Organ, January/ February 2008
***

Always recognisable, the Swingle Singers have appeared in various line-ups over the years. Added to the mix this time is vocal percussion where all the sounds come from the voice or parts of the body – it’s extraordinary. Beethoven, Purcell, Albinoni, Ravel, Mozart and the inevitable Bach are given the Swingle beat. I’ve never had any objection to this kind of treatment of the classics, but in spite of amazing feats of vocal dexterity continued listening becomes monotonous. Fun in small doses.

Shirley Ratcliffe

The Singer, August/ September 2008

Beauty and the Beatbox by the Swingle Singers featuring Schlomo and the Vocal Orchestra (Signum Records SIGCD104) is a stunning achievement in vocal discipline, cohesion and precision in itself, but beyond that, the beatbox arrangements simply take your breath away. We are hit right between the eyes with a vocal arrangement of Beethoven’s Fifth à la Bee Gees that knocks your socks off too. More traditional fare, such as Dido’s Lament and Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor, don’t escape, however, and one simply waits in wonder for the beatboxing to make its entry into the already perfect harmonies. Like the Beethoven, tracks like Ravel’s Bolero have the added smile factor – and the final ‘Backbeat’ track is simply astounding.

Antonia Couling

  1. A Fifth of Beethoven (feat. Shlomo) – Ludwig van Beethoven / Walter Murphy arr. Tobias Hugg, human beatbox: Shlomo – [3.09]
  2. Spain (I can recall) – Joaquin Rodrigo /Chick Corea /Al Jareau /Artie Maren, arr. Scott Struman, solos: Tom, Kineret, vocal percussion: Jeremy – [6.24]
  3. Dido’s Lament – Henry Purcell, arr. Tom Bullard, lead: Johanna, human beatbox: Tobias – [4.20]
  4. It’s Sand, Man! – Ed Lewis /Jon Hendricks / Dave Lambert, arr. Ward Swingle, lead: Kineret, vocal percussion: Jeremy – [2.32]
  5. Adagio in G minor – Albinoni /Remo Giazotto, arr. Tom Bullard, leads: Julie, Kineret, Johanna, human beatbox: Jeremy – [5.48]
  6. Bolero – Maurice Ravel, arr. Tom Bullard, solos: Julie, Johanna, Richard, Tobias, vocal percussion: Jeremy – [8.28]
  7. Cielito Lindo (Mexican Traditional) – Quirino Mendoza y Cortes, arr. Itay Aramovitz, leads: Kineret, Tom, vocal percussion: everyone! – [4.49]
  8. Straighten Up and Fly Right – Nat King Cole/ Irving Mills, arr. Bertrand Groeger, lead: Tobias, vocal percussion: Tom – [5.02]
  9. Piano Concerto No. 21, 2nd mvt – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, arr. Jonathan Rathbone, leads Johanna, Julie, vocal percussion: Jeremy – [3.38]
  10. Gotcha (Theme from “Starsky & Hutch”) – Tom Scott, arr. Adam Riley, solos: Kineret, Johanna, vocal percussion: Jeremy – [4.01]
  11. Bachbeat – (feat. Shlomo, MC Zani, Bellatrix, Spitf’ya and jestar) Written by Schlomo and the Vocal Orchestra with the Swingle Singers (based on Badinerie by J.S.Bach, arr. Ward Swingle, lead vocals: Johanna – [2.36]

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