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Henrik Schwarz - Instruments / Audiophile Audition review

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In an unusual twist, Henrik Schwarz has pursued a career in German deep house music, while exploring classical and jazz formats. His skill at remixing music for clubs (including songs by James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Boy George) has brought him eminence as a DJ. Additionally, he has produced with Mary J. Blige and Coldplay. Schwarz became a pioneer in the live laptop performance scene. His music embraces minimalist format, but he collaborates with orchestras for his own compositions, some of which are commissioned.

For his latest album, Instruments, Schwarz has taken a classical large chamber approach to interpreting his electronic dance music. With the Tokio Secret Orchestra (conducted by Emi Akiyama) providing violins, violas, cellos, double basses, woodwinds, bass clarinets and percussion, the sessions were recorded at Tsukiji Hongahji Temple. Arranged by Johannes Brecht, seven tracks are interpreted in an organic, "kick drum free" frameworks. The opening track, "Walk Music Four" (a reworking of "club" material) begins with a vibraphone/string counterpoint that builds a repeat refrain. At the 2:00 mark a rhythmic shift transition with bass clarinet and concise 4/4 percussion sets against accented strings. In the third part (or movement), the atmospheric dynamics return with the expanded instrumentation of the previous segment. "Marvin Two", comprised of bass, flute, viola and cello surround a single note with syncopated accents. This mood is interrupted (for a long second) with a gong. There appear to be transitions from theatrical festiveness and whimsy to dramatic accent. At nearly ten-and-a-half minutes, it is the longest track on Instruments.  READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW