MIMIKA ORCHESTRA is an original alternative jazz & world music orchestra, founded in London in 2010 by the Croatian composer and saxophonist Mak Murtic. The orchestra has been dubbed as one of London’s most creative, trans-idiomatic orchestras, taking audiences on an adventurous journey to where jazz collides with other musical genres and art forms, telling anthropological, cultural and mythological stories of the future and the past.
One of the biggest influencers in the world of music Gilles Peterson featured the track "Forgiveness Day" on his Worldwide International mix confirming the importance of this release. MIMIKA played at the London Jazz Festival 2012/14/15, Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2014 (Winners of the Jazz FM Discovery Competition), Latitude Festival, Olympic & Paralympic Festivals, and renowned London venues such as The Vortex Jazz Club, RichMix, Bussey Building, The Forge, Union Chapel, Courtyard Theatre, and was hosting a monthly residency at the Spice of Life in Soho for 2 years. The Orchestra has been featured on BBC Radio, Jazz FM, All About Jazz, major European Radio Stations via the European Broadcasting Union.
MIMIKA just released their 3rd studio album, DIVINITIES OF THE EARTH AND THE WATERS- recorded in the Fish Factory Studios (London), released for PDV Records on May 25h 2018, on double Vinyl, CD and digitally.
MIMIKA performs tracks from this album, which tells of a psychedelic folk festival and ceremony, placed in a middle world between archaic and the modern. The plot follows a life of an individual from cradle to grave, and is soaked into old-Slavic mythology and Balkan folklore.
MIMIKA is an orchestra with live electronics, ethnic instruments and modular synthesizers, clearly influenced by progressive rock, free jazz, contemporary jazz, Croatian and British underground and world music. It is an album full of orchestral twists, complex arrangements, lyrics in the old Kajkavian dialect, uneven measures, heavy grooves, solo and collective improvisations.
1. "Divinities of the Earth and the Waters" (13:32) 2. "Colonnade Beneath the World" (06:18) 3. "She Sow Wheat" (10:32) 4. "Pantheon" (10:31) 5. "Song of Sorrow" (Ft. Thodoris Ziarkas) (15:36) 6. "Child" (Ft. Filip Novosel) (04:04) 7. "Forgiveness Day" (10:10) + Bonus Track: "Enter the Yadhe" (11:46)
Live Review by musicdeli, music and arts review blog – Mimika – Divinities of the Earth and The Waters, Courtyard Theatre, London, 25th June 2016 “Mimika is a rare beast. An 18-piece jazz big band. Even rarer, a big band playing original progressive music and songs with Balkan roots. They’ve set themselves quite a target. I’m not sure who’s going to book them for a local jazz club show as the economics of it mean that for sure last night’s gig at the Courtyard Theatre London was played for love not money. But they deserve to be booked by festivals across Europe, and maybe their new show “Divinities of the Earth and The Waters“, despite or maybe because of its esoteric sounding title, will help them get some interest. Because what Mimika are doing is really unique, really cool. And yes it’s a beast. The band is led by young Croatian saxophonist Mak Murtic who composes the music and directed the show slightly off centre stage, sometimes leaving the musicians to do their stuff, sometimes turning to involve the audience or taking a sip from his pint. Although the jam-packed stage of the tiny venue was a visual treat, it’s the music that stands out. As this was the first full outing of this show, there were elements that clearly could polish up a bit. But the youthful energy was palpable, and the compositions hang together, so that the audience know a tale is being spun, even if the words of the two theatrical female singers who sometimes wailed, sometimes went all ederlezi lyrical, are not understood. The work leans toward the dark side, but with those assymetric Balkan rhythms, wall of brass from the huge wind section, two percussionists, and at one point a stand up rock guitar solo, the show is utterly engaging and appealing even to those who are not obvious jazzers. It is important to recognise the work as that of a substantial composer and band-leader, whose future output will be well-worth following. The ghosts of Stravinsky and Bartok seem to hang around in the shadows alongside Bregovic, for want of a better-known Balkan music reference and someone who has also put bravura into Balkan. It reminds strongly of the curious 1960s liturgical work Hear O Israel which involved Herbie Hancock. It exudes a 60s creative vibe. Though the subtle electronics that came to the fore to glue the work together between pieces and sometimes to live mix some of the instrument located us firmly in the present, as did the European mood. The concert was opened by Thodoris Ziarkas from Rhodes playing solo on double bass with reverb and lyra fiddle in a great contrasting combination. After the show he admitted that it was his first solo gig. That was not apparent. The brilliant sound mix meant we felt every vibration of his strings. He held the audience captive with a reflective, possibly angry, mood. More please. The concert followed 2 evenings after the seismic Brexit referendum. Greek and Croatian artists have made their creative home in London. If they and we are lucky, they get to stay, and the public might even fund their art from UK taxpayers’ money. But terrible to think of the creative people we will not now have coming to the UK and the missed opportunities. Let’s hope that this kind of artistic encounter is not even more of a rare beast in a couple of years’ time.”