Artist: Lars Bartkuhn

Album: Passion Dance Orchestra

Release Date: 2014-09-23

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about the album



"The Brazilian orchestra tells already some deeper meaning of the recording since the basic idea for the album was to create something like a "Chamber Folk Symphony". Folk music is a term that got really important for me. For instance my second home is Brazil and I am deeply inspired by their folk culture and music. As a jazz guitarist, all American culture is of joyful and historical interest to me as well. And as a German composer I feel like J.S. Bach and all the other great composers are the deepest part of my "folklore". Important to me though is to mention that my artistic look on all this culture is not a glance of pure nostalgia. Much more do I strive to create new perspectives and tunnel these traditions into something strong and new - my personal kind of "Folk music". My deep interest and experience in electronic (dance) music is a true help in thinking about innovation and tradition in a natural way.

The first idea for the album was to create an entire world of its own. What attracts me the most in developing music is to establish a storytelling kind of flow. Both in composing as in improvising this is a quality that I am missing a lot in todays music. After having produced lots of albums and 12"s already I felt that I wanted to go even further in this direction than ever before; so where I usually played and programmed everything myself I instructed myself with the mission to write for an actual orchestral ensemble and to setup a new high-class band- The PASSION DANCE ORCHESTRA. Although there are many different elements to be found on the album the core of it is rooted in Jazz: The feel and time of my musicians, the harmonic vocabulary, the improvising... Not thinking about genre very much the stylistic diversity happens almost automatically to me. Although the sonic journey travels from contemporary Jazz to Neo-folk to almost romantically orchestrated- then Minimal Music passages to highly syncopated and tight group playing, meditational solo pieces and much more - Everything is connected by a homogenic band feel, a deep compositional concept and a continuous storyline.

The album‘s large dimension in time and diversity might be pretty challenging - On the other hand I consider this music highly accessible since I strongly believe in its melodic, harmonic and foremost rhythmic power. It‘s a work of all passion that's inside of me and this very passion led me to a path of uncompromised and pure joy. Have I mentioned that I produced and paid for this whole journey myself? Maybe that gives a little insight into how serious and demanding the project is... The band sessions were recorded in different studios in Berlin and for the orchestral parts I went to Brazil where I have my second home." - Lars Bartkuhn

about the artist

A passionate music lover from earliest childhood Lars started out writing his first pieces of music with a synthesizer and sequencer, which his parents bought him when realizing how obsessed their son was by music. Playing guitar as a teenager Lars deeply fell in love with the music of Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett and John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery, etc... but also with countless other styles beyond jazz such as soul, funk, rock, Brazilian sounds, classical music, contemporary, minimal, etc... In the following years Lars worked as a session musician, playing in countless Jazz bands, Funk crews, Brazil ensembles and Fusion combos - always searching for new vibes and styles in the world of music. In the mid-90s Lars became fascinated with the deep and soulful side of House music. He realized he shared a common vibe with his older brother Marek Bartkuhn as well as DJ Yannick and together they formed Lamaya Productions and their label NEEDS where they put out almost only their own productions. Since then NEEDS has become a synonym for soulful high quality music. Even though routed in the field of House and other electronic uptempo branches it has been Lars’ effort as the musical mind of the trio to open their music for countless other influences and to allow textures and arrangements to happen in their productions that are not necessarily fitting into the close-minded world of common dance music at their time. Lars Bartkuhn and his crew also gained worldwide recognition as remixers with works under their belt for Francois K, Jazztronik, Ennio Morricone, Atjazz, Ian Pooley, Russ Gabriel, Franck Roger, Playin' 4 The City and labels such as Palm Pictures, Compost, Especial, Infracom, Clairaudience, Wave and Groove Attack to name a few.