Sonar Kollektiv News

Sonar Kollektiv Kurier

issue 354-363  §  Page 1  §  Sonar Kollektiv estb. 1998  §  circulation 60,000  §  free

@ Thu 30 Jul 2015 09:11:25 AM CEST

05 Friday, June 5th 2015
ComixXx released debut album "The Great Escape"
The album here now at hand has been in work for more than a year. Just enough time for Sebastian Damerius aka ComixXx to bring in fourteen tracks which complete in its build up his long-awaited solo album. For this cause he invited several guests to his Berlin based studio. Maybe first and foremost Alex Barck, who has been backing him up throughout all of the production process with his enormous experience and his beyond any doubt reliable sense of style. It has been Barck, too, how discovered the 15-year old singer Mirna in the school choir of his daughter and brought her to ComixXx' studio to record her self-penned “Can U Feel?”. That's also already the album's first hit; having been released already last year as a teaser with a wide response.

More than just a brief feature on the album enjoys Knixx. The long lasting friendship between the Berlin based singer and ComixXx resulted already in several mutual productions over the last few years. This time half of all the songs on “The Great Escape” are contributed by Dominik “Knixx” Wirth. For instance the ballad “Love Is Overrated”, the sinister, badass beats-driven “Up In The Shell”, the Berlin homage “BLN” and of course the title track “The Great Escape”. All of them perfect shaped pop gems which should, no, have to get airplay on every decent radio station in this world. Also “Miss You” with its Spoken Words by Babet Mader the album's guiding theme comes into effect: “The Great Escape” tells the story of the melancholic farewell of a great love, the emergence into a new stage of life and the confidence in the things to come.

“Spread Your Love” is a comforter in this field: Peter Folk's marvellous voice smoothens across the bone-dry polyrhythmic drum programming until the track uprises to stunning heights with its acid-like synth chords. A further sure-shot off this album. The very same Peter Folk can also be heard on the closing track of the album, “Rock Bottom Riser”, a brilliant cover version off Bill Callahan's 2005 album “A River Ain't Too Much To Love”. The two instrumentals “Dark Spring Break” and “Short Memories” act as short intermezzos between all these guest appearances without being less thrilling or even being shy of getting accused of acting as mere fillers. Quite the contrary so. ComixXx' gift for restrained, beatific, atrabilious productions are displayed on these two tracks to the fullest. The best example for his craft though is “Broken Connection” with British singer and Sonar Kollektiv associate Pete Josef. His fragile voice baths in a sea full of tears, fights pitifully against memories and let-downs to eventually put a new complexion on all future aspects yet again. This is plainly and simply just masterfully designed and narrated. This is pop music of 2015. This is one of the albums of the year.

[1] iTunes
[2] Webshop

top of page 07 Thursday, May 7th 2015
Already charted on #3 of the German Club Charts!
The Australian DJ, producer and musician Jad Lee likes to have several irons in the fire all at the same time. For instance he's a member of Mitzi (along Charles Murdoch and Dominiqe Bird), one half of the pan-pacific Indiepop duo Twiggy Lashes and a solo artist known as Jad & The Ladyboy. Under this moniker he releases music which can be described as soulful house with plenty of disco influences. For “Never Come Back Down” Jad had singer Mark Borgazzi in his studio to cut a precious, groovy two-stepper into a genuine pop diamond. In order not to get only radio airplay, but also to be played out in gloomy underground clubs with extra fat subwoofers Yannick provides his homicidal Sexfactmix. With its untamed bassline and a milling-machine like synthesizer this feels like an unchecked punch to the gut. There will be blood on the dancefloor!

It dovetails nicely that the second track of this 12inch is called “Sometimes Feelings Hurt” and that for a second time round Mark Borgazzi carries us off to the wonderland of the good groove. Again a song that sounds as good in the club as at home. A quality feature Sonar Kollektiv strikes a blow for for fairly long time.

[1] 12inch
[2] iTunes

top of page 14 Tuesday, April 14th 2015
New reissue label.
Yes, the rumors are correct. We started a new reissue label, called "Notes On A Journey".

For more than 25 years now, next to various activities (as a band, as DJs and as curators) the Jazzanova crew distinguished itself as a bunch of passionate record collectors. And that’s why it really had to come to that: the cumulative load of knowledge, the almost manic urge to consistently dig deeper and deeper in music’s history vault and thereby the increased quality standards regarding these findings is made accessible to public now since spring 2015. With Notes On A Journey (NOAJ) the two Jazzanova members Stefan Leisering and Jürgen von Knoblauch together with Sonar Kollektiv labelmanager Oliver Glage brought a label into being which will exclusively take care of re-issues of lost, forgotten, overlooked and never before released music.

The first release is already on presale: Spinning Motion - Confidence In The Future (limited edition of 500 copies).

[1] Notes On A Journey
[2] presale
[3] Spinning Motion - Confidence In The Future

top of page 20 Friday, March 20th 2015
Kasar releases improvisation album
Kasar about his improvisation album:
„Two years ago, when I pressed the record button and played these short piano improvisations, I really didn't expect that the music I played would bring me such a close and intimate connection to myself and to my home. I had once again begun to play on the piano I used to have as a child. There was something about this piano that had always bothered me in my childhood, or rather, stopped my ideas from developing how I wanted them to. It lacked a bass frequency here, a resonance there, or had something else I couldn't figure out. Now as an experienced musician and sound engineer I know what was going on: the sound chamber of the piano was too small and the room it was sitting in - the living room of my parents house with wooden walls, heavy carpet and bookshelves full of books - swallowed up the overtones and created a dull, expressionless sound. Maybe this is getting too specific, but it really bothered me in my youth! But, when I started that "Devil's Kitchen" recording session two years ago I found myself hugely inspired by the very same set of circumstances. The piano has a "practice" pedal, which when pressed, puts a felt cloth between the strings and hammers, and as a result makes it sound particularly poignant and quiet - like being under a warm blanket, close and intimate. So I recorded it exactly like this and consequently I found myself playing more carefully and with more delicately. After a couple of days I had the framework for a whole album. Eighteen months later it was released as "WALK ON" after elaborating on these piano recordings with additional electronics and vocals from my studio in Berlin.

When you've found a room, a sanctuary, which inspires creativity and inspiration in such a strong way, you shouldn't change it. Never change a working system! From now on it will be: head south for piano recording. The work emerges unique with the rediscovery of old places, the old home - as I've now been living in Berlin for twenty years - and memorable times with family and old friends. I see these old places now in a new light and they have a much deeper meaning to me now: Ödland, Jungholz, Krai Waag Gumpe, Engelschwandt - and Devil's Kitchen. Places I've known since I was a child and now experience differently. I even called my studio 'Devil's Kitchen' after the beautiful secret waterfall hidden away in a Black Forest valley.

Improvisation is always the base. From there songs grow and everything else blossoms.

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Sometimes the improvisation is the finished piece. I've been improvising for as long as I could play piano, in my own systems and patterns, but always 'in harmony'. When I moved to Berlin and started producing electronic music, the piano fell out of the central creative role and almost completely fell out of view. But the piano was always there in the background and has now pushed itself back as the focus of my work. These improvisations are very important part of my work. Sometimes they seem like the left over remains of a chemical reaction, but they're far too precious to simply throw away and have become very dear to me. So I have compiled a few of them for my album "INSIDE DEVILS KITCHEN". I don't think I've ever sounded as authentic and direct as on these recordings because they're all improvised out of nothing, created in the place where I grew up. From here the road could lead in many directions. New songs, maybe new sounds on another piano, but this is the foundation. Purity and tranquility. I went back to the beginning so that I could keep going forwards.“

[1] iTunes

top of page 27 Friday, February 27th 2015
The third 12inch round of the Daniel Grau remix orgy.
This time Ray Mang, Soul Clap, Debonair and Trujillo together with Miguel Molina are in on it.
The Venezuelan six-piece combo Los Amigos Invisibles did re-record „ El León Bailarín” off
Grau's album by the same title from 1980 and the UK disco king Ray Mang hand-crafted a bass driven, dubfunky slammer out of it. That's the music the most beautiful girls in town want to wiggle their hips to.

Sitting still will also be no option hearing the extra funked-up remix of “To Night” by US duo Soul Clap together with Bosq. This is, by the way, a brand new track by Daniel Grau (after a 30 years enduring creative sabbatical) and is up to now only available on „The Magic Sound Of Daniel Grau – compiled by Jazzanova & Trujillo” (SK281CD / LP).

The Australian Debonair comes in with his remix for „Atlantis“ (off Grau's 1979 released album „Disco Fantasy“) not less lascivious at all and pyramids the synth chords with added delays in a fashion you start to feel like somebody is pulling the rug out from under your feet. That was probably his initial intention and he succeeds brilliantly.

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On the digital release you get another remix of „Delirio En Fa Menor” as a bonus track. On Reworks Vol. 2 (SK289) there was already an adaption by Berlin based Max Graef and Delfonic. But while their remix could be assigned to the new school of beatmaking, the remix by Trujillo and Miguel Molina belongs explicitly in the crate labelled „Nu Disco“, right before the „Cosmic“ shelf.

This is the sexy sound of Venezuela today!

[1] Webshop
[2] iTunes

top of page 20 Friday, February 20th 2015
"Daniel Grau - Reworks Vol.3" #Soul Clap #Bosq #Ray Mang
And here we already are, in the next, the third 12inch round of the Sonar Kollektiv/Daniel Grau remix orgy. This time Ray Mang, Soul Clap, Debonair and Trujillo together with Miguel Molina are in on it.

12inch see light of day 27/02.

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[1] Soundcloud

top of page 12 Thursday, February 12nd 2015
Neve Naive releases new EP
It's been already about two years since their last album "The Innerpeace Of Cat & Bird". Since then, Neve Naive spent quite some time again in their studio and recorded a good deal of new material, so we get the 4-track EP at hand, “Thin Air”.

The opener “Thin Air” is a breezy ballad suddenly picking up pace in the second part unexpectedly. Accompanied by a piano, guitars and unobtrusive but all the more ingenious beats Neve is saying good bye to a bygone love. Equally mature the EP proceeds with “Through The Glass”. An instruction for more courage and adventure. And Neve Naive seem to have followed this directive as well.
“The Sleeper” suprises with twisted guitar sounds and a rather compelling arrangement over which Neve's vocals hover sinuously.

Till we hear from her and Ulrich again, which will be, as promised, very soon. “Thin Air” whets the appetite for more properly.

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[1] Soundcloud
[2] iTunes

top of page 18 Thursday, December 18th 2014
Pitto - Fly Like A Bird (Remixes)
With "Fly Like A Bird", multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and libertine Pitto from Utrecht, Netherlands, demonstrates once more his remarkable skill to package strong feelings of happiness into a both melodious and melancholic dance composition.

"The idea of flying like a bird feels incredibly romantic to me — it was the inspiration for this song," Pitto remembers. At the same time, however, there is this longing to be found by somebody very special. The longing for love and bonding. "Many of my songs have to do with love and all of its facets. At first sight, they are impulsive and full of energy, but deep inside there is some melancholic and sad quality to them. I believe in the power of opposites."

Beatport exclusive!

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[1] Soundcloud
[2] Beatport

top of page 27 Monday, October 27th 2014
Reunion Remixed - T-Shirt & WAV Bundle
Almost to the day, a year ago the brilliant solo debut album by Alex Barck, „Reunion“, was released and caused quite a stir amongst the fans of sophisticated and boundaries-exploring dance music. A buzz lasting to this day, only considering all the different remixes that came out over the last twelve months. You can find them now, fourteen in number, nicely assembled in this digital release package. The ten reworks already officially released are joined by another four exclusive remixes, which haven't been available so far.

First of all we'd like to put a spotlight on the extraordinaire works by Ada (for “Doubter”), Kalabrese (for “We Get High”) and ComixXx (“Like A Drug”). Three remixes operating at the intersections of house, pop and leftfield you can't classify, and therefore influencing the sound of 2014. Even a lick more unorthodox come in the remixes by VECT, Full Crate and Mao. This is refreshing club music, somewhere between deep house and the sinister reincarnation of RnB.

But now let's shift the attention to the four remixes, which you don't know yet: Ronni Vindahl from Copenhagen goes one step further and turns „Move Slowly“ into a proper Soul-Funk track, including horns and guitars. This is as cheerful as it ever can be!
The two Berlin based producers Chopstick & Johnjon have a go at „Spinning Around“ and club the arrangement straight to the peak time of the (imaginary) best dance floor in the world. Captivating as well with the current sound of Berlin, one half of Âme, Frank Wiedemann does a mesmerizing job in remixing „Oh Africa“. Two times absolute world class and highest warranty for dance floor frenzy. London's Alex Patchwork, on the other hand, dismantles „Doubter“ in a fashion that only Jonatan Bäckelie's voice remains to be the single fundamental element floating on a fascinating, sentimental sea of futuristic sounds. Music for the morning after.

„Reunion Remixed“ is not just paying tribute to the infinite talent of Alex Barck, but is also a chronicle of all the prevailing trends and tendencies of current club music – be it in Berlin's underground clubs or on your headphones.

[1] T-Shirt Bundle
[2] Digital Release

top of page 19 Friday, September 19th 2014
The Magic Sound Of Daniel Grau - Compiled by Jazzanova & Trujillo
Daniel Grau has recorded nine legendary LPs between 1974 and 1983; all of them never available outside of Venezuela though. Born 1950 in Caracas the thoroughbred musician first and foremost was one of the most sought-after studio engineers in his country. Almost any respectable artist in Venezuela (Vytas Brenner, Aldemaro Romero, Aditus, La Misma Gente etc.) was at least once in the Studio taking advantage of Daniel Grau's mastery.
Just for the fun of it Grau asked some of the musicians who frequented the studio on a regular basis to use the free studio time to record some own songs and compositions under the name of “La Orquestra De Daniel Grau”. The fist two albums from 1974 and 1976, released under this moniker, already display perfectly what an adept composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass and keyboards) Grau was and still is. The influences and references, which characterize his entire, short and Venezuela-only career, are unmistakeable: North American Fusion Jazz, orchestral Bossa Nova and Latin American funk in the sense of Eumir Deodato and Sérgio Mendes.

Daniel Grau's variety of musical styles doesn't end here though. At the end of the 1970's he moved more and more towards disco music and incorporated what we today all call Cosmic Disco. And it's exactly this scene, which started to become a worldwide movement about ten years ago, which embraces now the forgotten work by Grau and numbers his nine albums among the “holy grails” of this genre. Jazzanova member Claas Brieler was aware of this when he visited Caracas in 2012 as part of the cultural exchange programme by the prestigious Goethe Institute. Together with befriended Venezuelan DJ Trujillo all the stops were pulled to make Daniel Grau's music accessible to a worldwide audience.

In close dialogue with the by-now 64-years-old Daniel Grau the show case compilation at hand was compiled. As a CD release it encompasses 27 of the best tracks out of Grau's archive. The vinyl edition confines itself over two LPs to the 15 tracks that are the most danceable. On both formats you find a new composition (“To Night”). More than thirty years after his last official release Daniel Grau returns with “To Night” and looks ahead confidently.

"I like it all. A wonderful and weird trip into a musical world of its very own that was hidden from the world for too long. Impressive!" - Gerd Janson

"It's an honour and a deep pleasure to be remixing the Venezuelan disco godfather Daniel Grau, I've been a fan for many years. So glad his music now has a chance to reach the masses instead of the lucky few that owned the precious original gems." - Danny McLewin, Psychemagik

"Two Wonderfully enchanting versions from the camp of Daniel and Jules taken from the exceptional retrospective of the works the Venezuelan master 'The Magic Sound Of Daniel Grau" Essential!!" - Ray Mang

"Spacey , like it a lot, Daniel Wang & Jules reworks are cup of tea...full support." - Michael Reinboth, Compost Recordings

"Whole album full of surprises, always on the edge to "cheesy" but then again pure niceness!." - Michael Rütten, Soul Patrol

" Great find and splendid mixes by Daniel Wang & Jules Etienne. Will play these."
- Peter Kruder

"Love the remix of "Robot Magico"... very playable. Originals versions are nice as well. quality package, looking forward to hearing more." - Francois K

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[1] iTunes
[2] Webshop
[3] Youtube

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