BBC Radio 4 Today programme feature - April 30 2009 7.46 am (4.05 mins)

PROMOTERS - 300 dpi photographs

"Earthy-ethereal electro-jazz combo" Time out

"[Pandora's Box] is a fine piece of cinema and some challenge to the dynamic duo to make a soundtrack that actually enhanced the watching of it. But by all accounts they've succeeded admirably, making an experience that is truly greater than the sum of its excellent parts "
Venue Magazine

"Cipher's music to Pandora's Box is truly excellent........ as well as lending a greater continuity to the film, the wonderfully sensual score provided an aural counterpoint to Louise Brook's stunning performance as Lulu......... By providing a suitably nuanced score to this drama, Cipher pay tribute to a great actress and a great film."
BBC Website

"This is a tricky thing to review because the film - Pabst's pre-noir shadow play, dominated by the iconic Louise Brookes' haircut - is a big distraction, and didn't Brian Eno used to say that ambient music should be invisible, anyway? In this respect, Cipher succeed, because for long stretches I have to remind myself to listen. The mix of bass lines, samples and soprano sax seem inextricable from the flickering images and mostly they don't try to make the sound fit so much as complement the mood. Listening to their excellent CD 'One Who Whispers' it's easier to appreciate the architecture of what they do, but here they vanish - and that's the enigmatic triumph, I suppose, of the ambient idea. "
Venue Magazine

"The music on this release by the English group Cipher can best be described as cosmic. There is a galaxial, otherworldly feel about it, with the almost supernatural aura that it creates. "
All Music Guide (USA)

"a shifting, pulsing musical collage in which the both the common ground and the contrasts between pure electronica and more conventional instruments, notably Travis's plaintive-yet-full-of-conviction saxophone lines, are explored to the full, with excellent results. File between your old System 7 albums and Jan Garbarek--then wonder why there has never been anything to put there before. "

"The ambient -based music of this set draws both on ECM's more ethereal releases and on Brian Eno's work, and while many listeners will dispute its jazz credentials, a spirit of improvisation and creativity infuses every piece. Leader Travis has strong jazz credentials, sounding here like a John Surman devotee, most notably on A Far Cry............ a music of evocative electronic soundwashes, subtle acoustic jazz explorations, and considerable emotional resonance. For those who distrust electronic and ambient music, you might be surprised by this set. "
Jazz Journal (UK)

Cipher at Sheffield Showroom

Tonight the showroom plays host to only the second ever performance by Cipher of their new score to the silent classic Phantom of the Opera, which was originally released in 1925. The film itself should need no introduction, so shame on you if you don’t know that it’s a masterpiece of horror that shocked cinema audiences for decades and still has genuinely startling scenes, even when viewed today. Lon Chaney is the iconic, facially disfigured ‘Phantom’, whose self applied make-up was kept a studio secret until the film’s premier. Cipher, consisting of Dave Sturt and Theo Travis, have been developing film scores for over 10 years. They use a baffling array of digital sound processing equipment, along side more traditional instruments, such as flutes, clarinets and electric fretless bass guitar. All this is performed live to accompany the film and often you forget their presence, as images and sounds seamlessly become one. Ambient jazz is a phrase often used to describe their sound and it does have an element of free-form and improvisation, but often has a darker edge to it and when needed manages to conjure up some very menacing moods. Sometimes it is an electronic sound wash with percussive counterpoints, at other times flutes and bass create an ambient groove which draws you in and adds to the film’s relentless pace and sense of drama. Separating their musical contribution from the film is impossible and would be pointless. The two must be experienced together and live for it to mean anything. Fortunately for anyone who missed it, there are opportunities still to see them when they play cinemas in Leeds and Nottingham in May. A truly unique evening and one which fans of live music should not miss.
Vivian Bonzo