Having played together countless times and knowing France’s premiere mashup DJ for well over a decade, DJ Zebra is finally part of Orchestra of Samples! DJ Zebra is singer-songwriter and musician Antoine Minnie. He’s most famous for being France’s leading mashup artist and one of the pillars of the bootleg / mashup scene worldwide – alongside DJs like Partyben, DJ Earworm and Addictive TV’s own Mark Vidler aka Go Home Productions.

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October 2017 and we were asked to play at computer game Dota2’s All Star Weekend in Manila, The Philippines, at the huge Mall of Asia Arena. Alongside gamers competing with each other and artists from rapper Travie McCoy to New York dance act Kinjaz, we performed to the crowd, cutting-up Dota2 and at one point were joined by Travie McCoy himself who scratched on our Dota2 remix with us!

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It’s October 2017 and we’re working on an amazing project with blind sitar master Baluji Shrivastav, funded by Unlimited – the arts body who support projects by disabled artists.  Baluji also heads the UK’s only blind ensemble of musicians, the Inner Vision Orchestra, some members of which who’ve also taken part in our Orchestra of Samples project, including Baluji himself.

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As Midge Ure from Ultravox once famously sang “ohhhhh Vienna”… well, what a beautiful city. We hadn’t been for quite a few years, but last week we were in Vienna, performing Orchestra of Samples at the Playground Festival there, we were joined on stage by percussionist Simon Neuwirth, who really knew how to get rhythms out of his djembe!

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An Orchestra of Samples recording session with a difference! We spent a long and facinating day recording 80’s icons Wang Chung and their musical inventor friend and Bjork collaborator Henry Dagg and his Sharpsichord! It was the 1980’s and UK band Wang Chung had their massive hit Dance Hall Days, but outside the UK the band had even greater success in the USA with a string of Top 40 hits. Interestingly, their name means “yellow bell” in Chinese and is the first note in the Chinese classical music scale.

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The Beatbox Collective – are a group of top UK beatbox talent, many of them award winners in their respective styles, who all came together to form one high impact and energetic collective! Originally formed in 2011 when they were commissioned by the Shambala Festival to create an exclusive main stage performance, they’ve since gained members, doing the rounds at UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Bestival and Lovebox to name a few. With the group, never are two shows the same and often the line-up of beatboxers is different. For this recording session we had to pleasure of filming four of them…

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After filming musicians in more than 25 countries, we’re now recording sessions on home turf! So headed to Islington in London to spend the day with some of the amazing Inner Vision Orchestra, whose members are all blind! The brain child of blind Indian maestro Baluji Shrivastav, he’s brought together musicians from around the world, with the aim of proving that music really does have the power to transform lives – especially for people without sight, as sound is their way of interacting with the world. The orchestra play everything from Western classical to Indian and world music, some members even played at the London 2012 Paralympic Closing Ceremony.

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June 2014, and while performing Orchestra of Samples at the Timitar music festival in Agadir, Morocco, the festival organised a recording session for us at the local Jazzawiya studios, where many international artists have rehearsed – including, at one time, the legend Bob Marley himself! Guitarist Oussama Belmamoune, from the band Mehdi Nassouli, who were headlining that night at the festival, introduced us to a number of his amazing musician friends who we recorded for the project – including himself, who we recorded first.

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Le Hangar, the excellent venue in the Ivry suburbs of Paris, recently began their first ever artists-in-residence programme and we had the wonderful pleasure of being their very first, with Orchestra of Samples.  The residency allowed us to work with young musicians from both Le Hangar’s music school and the Music Conservatoire of Ivry.

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