Jazzanova do like their vinyl

 http://www.smh.com.au/news/gig-reviews/the-berlin-sessions/2008/06/19/1213770811467.html

 

The Berlin Sessions

Peter Vincent
June 19, 2008

Berlin nu-jazz collective jazzanova move slowly but stick together.

The Berlin Sessions

The Berlin Sessions

Dance music aficionados will be licking their lips at the prospect of hearing German nu-jazz innovators Jazzanova play on the Berlin Sessions bill in the Civic Hotel on Saturday night. But what their DJ is most excited about is hitting Sydney's record stores.

"I have read that Australia has the biggest quantity of vinyl records per person in the world," says Jurgen von Knoblauch.

"Next to Japan it's the most interesting country to buy vinyl. One thing I will be doing for sure is getting out to many second-hand record shops."

Jazzanova last played here at the Sydney Festival in 2005. This time they are headlining the Berlin Sessions, in which German and Australian DJs will take over three floors of the Civic tomorrow from 9pm. Quarion and Heiko Laux are the other German DJs brought out for the three-date series.

But Jazzanova, who have gained international attention for their eclectic range of chilled beats inspired by sounds as diverse as house, reggae and '70s soul, are the stars of the show. They are a six-member collective comprising DJs von Knoblauch and Alexander Barck, plus four producers – Axel Reinemer, Claas Brieler, Roskow Kretschmann and Stefan Leisering.

As well as their own jazz-house compositions, Jazzanova are known for their creative remixes of dozens of electronica artists – from New York house producers Masters At Work to Kiwi soul band Fat Freddy's Drop. But Australian music will find its way into von Knoblauch's kitbag tomorrow, including tunes by Marcia Hines and Kate Ceberano.

Jazzanova compose together but only one DJ plays at a time. For the Berlin Sessions tour, organised by Jazzanova's Australian label and promoter, Future Classic, von Knoblauch is out front.

One might think von Knoblauch could be a bit full of himself: he is frontman for one of the coolest electro acts in the world, in a genre of music renowned for its "look-at-me" personalities. On top of that, Jazzanova hail from Berlin, the Euro capital of cultural cool.

Yet on the phone from Shanghai, he is refreshingly humble. His role, he says, is to bring ideas to the group and, at gigs, to mix the group's compositions with the music of other artists. Live, he plays "about 10 per cent our music and about 90 per cent other people's" songs. "I am really more of a selector of tunes."

"And I also make the coffee," von Knoblauch says.

Perhaps his humility stems from "our system", as he calls it: the creative and production processes of Jazzanova.

"Everyone knows their position in our system," he says, doing little to dilute the legend of meticulous German design.

"We communicate a lot and everybody respects each others' tastes, which can really slow down the productivity. For instance, we have only produced one album so far. But I think it works quite well."

It's hard to argue with that.

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