On October 19th 2007 INFRACom! is going to release „Live At Tonhalle“ the new album by the Duesseldorf based electronic duo Phoneheads performed live by the Duesseldorf Symphonic Orchestra, a band assembled exclusively for this event and singer Cleveland Watkiss from London. The CD will be released together with a DVD including a video of the complete concert, bonus material and videoclips.
Put classic and popular music in a box, shake it well and what do you get? Surprise! A term well underestimated in the popular music of these days. Normally, it is strict control and the principal of repeatability that rule, musicians, producers and the audience rarely ever want to be surprised. Nonetheless, stars are in a lucky constellation from time to time and change the rules. Even the better when there is a team of audio- and video-specialists around who record this event for posterity.
This is just what happened on the 14th of March at Tonhalle Duesseldorf. On the 10th anniversary of the electronic duo Phoneheads the venturous Duesseldorfer Symphonic Orchestra faced a band assembled by Philipp Maiburg and Michael Scheibenreiter consisting of Kante-drummer Sebastian Vogel, piano player Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka, bassist Frank Schwiklewski and the exceptional London based singer Cleveland Watkiss, who has done performances with Stevie Wonder, Pete Twonsend, Goldie and many others. Neither the classical part of this project embodied in the impressive Duesseldorf Symphonic Orchestra nor the popular electronic part alias the Phoneheads knew whether the experiment they had planned would work out. However, the bold pioneering spirit of the gentlemen from the Rhine was not the least mentionable reason for them to have become a steady and important factor in the world-wide electronic and drum'n'bass sphere throughout the last decade. International clubs and festivals courted for them, their unconventional video clips won several awards and their remixes almost became a currency of their own in the studios and clubs featuring upscale dancing culture.
A smart transmission was needed in order to avoid the traps, which caught uncountable rock and pop bands before, who tried to overfeed or simply plaster their typical sound with classic sounds and who failed. Heike Beckmann, experienced wanderer in between different musical worlds, nut just enjoyed facing this task but also passed the test with flying colours. The piano player, composer and conductor adapted tracks of the last four Phoneheads albums released throughout the last ten years, did new compositions for the tracks originally recorded for the dancefloor and confronted them with new symphonic material. It was up to her to build the connection between the symphonic orchestra, the band and the computer - at first in theory on the music paper and later on live in the concert hall.
Noone involved knew where this unique journey to another musical language might take them. “Live at Tonhalle” documents an expedition guided by a reliable captain, Heike Beckamnn, but whose true attraction was someone who normally is missed out on: the music. The 45 musicians involved yielded to the spirits of the different musical styles, left most of their ego in the wings and were celebrated frenetically by everyone in the sold out Tonhalle. The audience grooved with them and the underestimated art of dancing in the seats came to perfection all over the Tonhalle. People of all ages were surrounded by sounds reminding them of Wagner or Sibelius and which added new glamour to Phoneheads tracks such as “Roll That Stone” or “Subject Beautiful”.
This sound has not only been recorded live for the new Phoneheads album but also for the bonus DVD coming with the album. The DVD includes the complete concert receorded on the 14th of March as well as a making-of of the event and a selection of Phoneheads video clips. If you have not been able to participate in this musical expedition, you can now do the complete trip on your own with this birthday gift from the Phoneheads to you. Who knows when will be the next chance for such a trip…
released October 19, 2007
Conducting and arranging: Heike Beckmann
Composing: Phoneheads & Heike Beckmann
The Düsseldorf Symphonic Orchestra:
Alan Lee Kirkendall
Phoneheads & Band:
Live arranging and programming:
Turntables and Fx:
Bass, Guitar and Fx:
Soundmixing: Michael Buchholz (DGT)
Live Mix Orchestra: Hans Schlosser
Live Recording: Cedric Hopf
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