MJ Cole's First Album in 17 Years is Well Worth the Wait
Madrugada finds the UK garage producer in a contemplative mood
Legendary UK producer MJ Cole returns with his first full-length album in almost two decades, on Friday 3 April, when MJ Cole presents Madrugada drops on the Decca label. ‘Madrugada’ is a Spanish word that translates roughly as “the early hours just before dawn” and the album beautifully soundtracks this magical part of the day.
Across 12 tracks, the album finds the much loved garage artist explore a more contemplative home-listening sound. Tracks draw on classical music, ambiance and plaintive piano playing to serve as a cathartic and escapist soundtrack.
“I didn't want it to sound like I’d just sat down at the piano and done some nice ambient thing,” he points out. “I’m coming at it as a hardcore manipulator of sounds. It’s all about expression. When I play the piano I go into a meditative state, other thoughts don't come into my head. I'll lose hours and not really know what I've been up to.”
“I've never felt worried about what people would think of Madrugada because it is a very sincere record, and that's what the original Sincere was too. I made it when I was still living with my parents and there was no pressure. I just sat in my bedroom, got some samples together and the record popped out. It feels the same now. I made them with no preconceptions.”
“I’ve made hundreds of records and had albums out before, but this record has always been brewing in the background,” said Cole. “It’s been gestating my whole life – but the execution of it has been very quick. I really feel like a new artist.”
Cole has put together a new live orchestral show to promote the album. Fans who were looking forward to the show at EartH Hackney, in London, on Wednesday 29 April, will have to hold on a bit longer. The show been rescheduled for Wednesday 7 October, but we reckon it'll be well worth the wait. “For the past 15 years I have been DJing around the world and had some incredible experiences but this has always been the ambition,” said Cole. “I cannot wait to once again perform my own music to you with a group of musicians.”
In the meantime, you can check out the stunning Cathedral track from the album below.