Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Intersection: Christian Prommer's Drumlesson — Zwei

The Intersection is an occasional feature on JazzWrap that looks at artists that blend jazz with electronica (a tradition pioneered by none other than Miles Davis on such classic recordings as On The Corner).

This week's focus is Christian Prommer's Drumlesson — Zwei (K7 Records)

In 2008, the Munich-based drummer, DJ and producer Christian Prommer released Drumlesson Vol. One, which features acoustic instrumental jazz versions of techno and electronica classics, such as Derrick May's "Strings of Life" and Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express." If your interest just peaked get ready for more.

Prommer just released Drumlesson Zwei (which is German for 2, of course), and it's even better. This time, Prommer expanded his sound palette to include electronic instruments, such as Moogs. Prommer, who plays drums, piano and percussion, is joined by guitarist Uwe Karpa, keyboard player Roberto Di Gioia, percussionist Ernst Stroer, bass player Christian Diener and drummer Matteo Scrimali. Prommer's production work is notably more electronic sounding than on the first volume, but there are still plenty of moments when the organic performances shine through the slick beats.

This time Prommer covers such artists as Carl Craig, Laurent Garnier, Jean-Michel Jarre and Underground Resistance, and he makes it all sound true to his aesthetic vision. While there are elements of improvisation, it would be a misnomer to sell this record on the merits of the musicians' chops. Soloing really isn't the point here, but the idea of playing with jazz feeling is real enough and the results show considerable stylistic range. "Groove La Chord" pulses with samba fury, "Jaguar" calls to mind the Krautrock grooves of Can and Neu, and "Sleepy Hollow" wouldn't sound out of place in David Holmes' groovy Ocean's Eleven soundtrack.

Speaking of movie music, there is a strong cinematic vibe on Zwei that wasn't nearly so palpable on Vol. One. The moody morose tension of "Acid Eiffel" and the gloomy intrigue of "Oxygene" will transfix your imagination with letterbox notions of underworld drama and romance.

Christian Prommer is someone to watch, and Drumlesson Zwei is something to hear.

No comments:

Post a Comment