Friday, 6 May 2016

Carl Craig & Moritz Von Oswald - ReComposed (2008)

Is this classical music? Is it techno?  That classic yellow banner/logo on the cover would suggest the former, but the two artists' names definitely point to the latter; a Detroit/Berlin clash of the titans.  As with the other releases in DG's ReComposed series, which ran from 2005-2012, the intention was (at least in the early releases) to meld some of the label's most famous recordings with 21st century electronica, with varying degrees of success.

After an ambient intro, the familiar rhythm of Ravel's Bolero creeps in as Movement 1 starts.  The obvious thing to expect next would be that long, winding melody, which in itself might have sounded great.  But in a masterstroke of less-is-more, the melody never comes.  Instead, we're introduced to little brass fragments, barely there at first, then a main loop that sounds distinctively off-key.  It soon makes sense, however, once intertwined with other similar loops.  The Bolero rhythm marches on, and by Movement 3 starts to morph fully into a techno track, which increasingly squeezes out all of the classical elements by Movement 4.

After a short interlude, where the beat gradually dissolves into another ambient haze, the rest of the album consists of two long movements that this time take Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition as the source material.  Again, only judicious sampling is done from the classical works, although these last two movements (where I gather Von Oswald is the one taking the lead) sound more lush and less overtly techno.  My favourite of these two is the final track on the album, where the orchestral sampling becomes more indistinct and distorted, as if Craig and Von Oswald were working from a crumbling cassette rather than the pristine masters on the album cover. The rhythm track here is less dancefloor-friendly and much more chillout room, winding down the album to a subtle finish.


1 comment:

  1. I thought I had this but I can't find it anywhere. So thanks for the opportunity to hear it again.