For part one of the two DRUMLESSON albums, that CHRISTIAN PROMMER will produce this year, he recorded 10 of his favorite dance classics as Jazz interpretations. Taking his favorite dance tracks of the last two decades and transforming the energy and magic of the originals into a performance of a jazz quartet ( piano, drums, perc. and bass) was quite an interesting journey for the composer/producer.
All started with the idea to record an acoustic version of the DERRICK MAY classic Strings of Life to warm up for the production of his first solo album. He recorded the basic idea some time ago in his new studio on the country side near Munich. Upright piano played by ROBERTO DI GIOIA and drums by WOLFGANG HAFFNER. Thought of as a “one-off” track for the fun of it, it sat on the shelf for a long time until ALEX BARK of the JAZZANOVA crew, came by and heard the track. Alex an 12″ with this track. Released in May 2007 it was a fast spreading phenomenon. DJs and music fans from all sides of the spectrum got into this track. DERRICK MAY also gave CHRISTIAN PROMMER his thumbs up. Nice.
The idea of rerecording dance classics did not leave CHRISTIAN PROMMER’s head while he was preparing his debut album for Sonar Kollektiv. Feeling at home in the world between Jazz and Detroit Techno he decided to do an album project that had two parts.
Vol. 1 reinterprets the dance classics in a jazzy fashion. Arranging and producing the record in an old school way. Using a band to perform.
Vol. 2, which will be released in 2008, will be an album that takes the lesson to the next level and delivers original compositions in a wider range featuring collaborations with vocalists, the DRUMLESSON players, string ensembles, more musicians and CHRISTIAN PROMMER playing many instruments himself.
On vol.1 the track listing features tunes that CHRISTIAN PROMMER played in his dj-set at one point in his more than ten year long DJ journey.
The Tracks and their creators:
– Can You Feel It – MR FINGERS AKA LARRY HEARD
– Rej – ÂME
– Plastic Dreams– JAY DEE
– Trans Europa Express – KRAFTWERK
– Elle – DJ GREGORY
– Claire – PATRICK PULSINGER
– Higher State of Consciousness – JOSH WINK
– Strings Of Life – DERRICK MAY
– Beau Mot Plage ( Freeform Five remix) – ISOLEE
– Nervous Track – MASTERS AT WORK/ NYORIKAN SOUL
CHRISTIAN PROMMER did all the arrangements for the session and the DRUMLESSON band recorded the whole album in one day. All musicians played together in the studio at the same time. An amazing and magic session. Its true when they say : “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”.
A recording like this totally depends on the choice of the players. CHRISTIAN PROMMER had a special band in the studio to perform. All being busy solo artist in their own right and first call session players, it was great to bring them together for a project like this.
ROBERTO DI GIOIA was an integral part of the whole project. Being one of the most versatile piano players and multi instrumentalists around he helped CHRISTIAN PROMMER in getting the vision and the mood of the arrangements to come to life. The two already worked together on the VOOMVOOM and MARSMOBIL records and many other projects. ROBERTO DI GIOIA also is a big part of Drum Lesson Vol.2.
He played from the deep interpretation of DJ GREGORYS Elle to the RACHMANINOFF-like excursions on MAWs Nervous Track. Making the grand piano sound like a different instrument on every track. Also very inspired is his way to interpret the polyrhythmic melody of Rej as well as the prepared piano on Higher States Of Consciousness. Beautiful intro to MR. FINGERS’ Can You Feel It.
The key to the tracks on the album was to get the intense spirit of the original dance tracks. The drummer WOLGANG HAFFNER and the percussion player ERNST STRÖER got the vibe just right and did an amazing job. Glued together like twins. The two have been playing together in various projects over the last 20 years. Amazing playing in the latin firework of Trans Europa Express and Beau Mot Plage and also very deep and moody moments in Higher State of Consciousness and Nervous Track. PATRICK PULSINGERS Claire gets a variety of new sounds from the drum kit while still getting the drum arrangement of the original in places. Beautiful colours by Mr. STRÖER in DrumLesson I-IV. A master of new sounds. A drum lesson indeed is the 3/4 rhythm of Plastic Dreams including a killer drum solo by WOLFGANG HAFFNER.
DIETER ILG was the secret weapon to the session. Being a first call session player as well he was not a second short of being a genius in playing bass lines that imitate the 303 in PATRICK PULSINGERS Claire and MR FINGER’s Can You Feel It. Also he did a very deep bass workout with the Nervous Track. He was never short of ideas to surprise the crew with new sounds of his instrument.
Getting the right and special sound was a challenge. PROMMER made an effort to choose the right microphones and preamps for the session. He also used his vintage drums from the fifties and sixties, combined with the instruments the players brought, to get the sounds he was looking for. FLORIAN OESTEREICHER did a great job in capturing the session at his Realistic Sound studio.
After the music has been recorded Christian went to Vienna to mix the album with long time collaborator and friend PETER KRUDER at his studio. All analogue and vintage technology was used to create the sound of the album. Mr. KRUDER did an incredible job in mixing the tracks into a great sounding record. The mix session also took only one magic day. It looks like a concept. Maybe it was…..
The whole project fell into place just right. Everybody who was involved in it gave way more than 150%. A spirit that you can hear every second.
After all the excitement of the recording, CHRISTIAN PROMMER decided to take the whole project on the road. He will be performing the tracks of this incredible album with all contributing musicians. Its going to be an amazing collaboration on stage melting electronics with the genius of the players. First stops include Berlin, London and Tokyo.