MJ Cole releases first album in 17 years, MJ Cole Presents Madrugada

MJ Cole has shifted direction with a new classical record, MJ Cole Presents Madrugada, out now on Decca Records.

Titled after the Spanish word for the early hours before sunrise, the album was recorded on the UK artist’s upright Yamaha piano. Across 12 tracks, London violinist and string arranger Tobie Tripp feature on the record, as well as a 14-piece orchestra recorded at RAK studios. The LP comes with a short film directed by Henry Dean, capturing what the press release describes as the “isolation, integration and rebellion” of madrugada.

The remix EP, MJ Cole Represents Madrugada Remixes is also out, including appearances from Shanti Celeste, Max Cooper, Model Man and Cole himself.

On his shift away from dance music MJ Cole says, “I’ve made hundreds of records and had albums out before, but this record has always been brewing in the background. It’s been gestating my whole life—but the execution of it has been very quick.”

He continues: “I really feel like a new artist. This isn’t just me sitting down at the piano and writing something nice and ambient, I’m coming at it as a hardcore manipulator of sounds. You can hear my breath, you can hear the pedal, you can hear the piano as a living instrument.”

MJ Cole is best known for his contributions to the UK garage scene. His last album, Cut To The Chase was put out in 2003.

Watch the short film, MJ Cole Presents Madrugada.

Listen to MJ Cole Presents Madrugada.

01. A Visit To Lolita

02. Far Closer

03. Cathedral

04. Knocking

05. Sonoran

06. 90 Miles

07. Solo Waltzer

08. Strings For Jodie

09. Reimagination

10. Psalm 892

11. Dizzy New Heights

12. Resolution

MJ Cole Presents Madrugada is out now on Decca Records.