Confidential Collective
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Confidential Collective

Oxford, England, United Kingdom

Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Band EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Confidential Collective- The Garden Project E.P"

At school, I was always a bit of a swot. Integral calculus? Bring it on. Rat dissection? Fetch my scalpel, nurse. Mass bunk-off prior to A-level textual analysis of The Great Gatsby? Not a chance. Oh, but dancing class? MacKinnon ma. gone AWOL, headmaster.

God, I hated dancing. The feet don’t work, the girls look about ten feet tall with eyes that could open an oyster at twelve paces, the music is jaunty Teuchter heritage-bollocks…the horror, the horror. Even now, I never dance and have a granite-hewn aversion to most dance music. So why is Confidential Collective’s new EP, “guaranteeing the dance floor will be havin’ it large” according to the blurb, such an unexpected joy?

Of course, the answer is The Tunes. This marvellous undectet (the band’s a lot smoother than the word), which has supported such luminaries as Roni Size, weaves together drum and bass rhythms, soul-diva vocals, tasteful rapping and clever but disciplined jazz solos into a beautifully balanced whole, but what makes them stand out is their self-confessed “melody madness”. Ellie Pavao’s vocal lines lead the way, but the tunes coming in from the trumpet and saxophones are equally strong. And as an added bonus, they write decent lyrics.

Lead track, ‘Garden’ is a fresh, vernal joy. Pavao’s voice is bright, sassy and Sade-ish, reinforced by Melissa Jane’s understated harmonies, below which an industrious super-tight rhythm section paddles away vigorously, like swan’s feet. Appropriately enough, the theme is Spring, carried through the sung lyrics and the brief burst of rapping by female MC Wildfyah, who despite sounding rather grumpy, gives us a pretty, romantic picture of burgeoning love. The closing trumpet solo has been and gone before you know it and that sums up why I like this band so much. There are lots of traps this genre of music can fall into-meandering solos, raps that do a good idea to death, choruses that go round too often (I’m thinking of you, Jay-Z!), but there is a powerful sense of discipline about the Collective, and no-one is ever allowed to hog the limelight.

‘Free Spirit’ is heavier on the rap and the electronica, and its tough, unadorned groove sounds to rockers’ ears not unlike that of one of those excellent ‘Wonderland’-period Charlatans tracks, (‘Judas’, perhaps). ‘Chasing Dreams’ resumes the light, optimistic tone of ‘Garden’, returning to the group’s beloved drum and bass, and incorporates an easy Rhodes piano riff and ancient analogue synthesiser flourishes alongside the clucking, jaunty brass. The singing is delightful throughout.

This EP’s overarching mood is one of delight in the comradeship found in music-making, in finding room and space for everyone’s talents and in sublimating individual ego for the good of the whole. A politician recently described his plans for ‘The Big Society’. He could do worse than go to Confidential Collective for the blueprint. - Colin Mackinnon


EP01 - Draylon Dreadlock
EP02 - Mr. Big
EP03 - Waiting Game
EP04 - The Garden Project



Confidential are a 10-piece band that combine Electro, Drum&Bass, Jazz, Funk and Soul. At front of stage, MC Wildfire presents with sometimes deep, sometimes ferocious lyricism next to the melt in your ear harmonies of their two female singers. To their right stand a trio of horns, all accomplished jazz musicians. Behind the vocalists are the funk rhythm section with bass, guitar and live drums and to their right are Fluke&Infectious, two electro and drum and bass artists who add the heavy subs and synthetic sound that gets your body shaking. With so much input from so many passionate performers there is a lot to take from one of their gigs. Their songs range from tunes like 'Garden' with its deep and soulful lyrics and melody, to 'Vulture', bass heavy ghost-house drum and bass and dub-step. 'Free Spirit' is a hypnotic journey into driving electro and there's the crowd favourite, 'Jam' with its simple and effective jazz twist style that puts a smile on everyone's face as they bounce around. They've been playing up and down the country from close jazz venues to 1000-capacity night clubs alongside major artists and bands such as Roni Size, Grooverider, Adam Freeland, Bugz in the Attic etc. They all share an absolute love of performing together and pushing their originality in sound forward and it shows when you meet them either on the stage or behind it.