Herzog Records
Soulfood / Believe
901063 HER

Heart Beat & Soul


Herzog Booking

Rüdiger Herzog

- Vierhändig

Even the opening piece "Scales And Rivers" may begin as a virtuoso masterpiece of modern classical music, as if the American world star Keith Jarrett were sitting at the piano, not the Hessian music teacher Florian Wäldele. Florian Dreßler's harmonies flow merrily out of the speakers like Smetana's Moldau with a pinch of Debussy, accompanied by minimalist accompaniment. But then the drums weight their analog driving beat under the piano, which simultaneously colors the timbre on bass and turns the melodic classic into what the OhOhOhs have been characterized by since 2005: exuberant analog techno - only more opulent, even more filigree, even more enchanting.

And this is how most of the twelve tracks continue. In the following "Cha Cha", for example, guest musicians Juan Bauste Granda, Philipp Wildenhues and Salar Baygan lay Afro-Cuban rhythms from Nigerian Batá drums or Brazilian Caxixi rattles over Florian Wäldele's heated grand piano and turn it into a kind of club sound with a tribal touch. The upscale feuilleton is just as likely to win him over as the dance floors of electronic festivals in the countryside. After all, Wäldele's own compositions are predominantly in the spirit of great masters. Reminiscences and respect, however, meet so devotionally playfully with interpretation and stubbornness that it goes from the brain via the heart directly into the legs.

"Floating Schubert", for example, varies the early romantic harmony of the great composer with Cajon, Bongos and cymbals to a polyphonic rhythm in which the Broken Beats & Drums seem to speak. Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is reduced again to piano and percussion of the two Flos, but is multiplied by a sampling pad as if an electronic orchestra were at work. And when, in the only digitally produced "Partita Tech", an artificial house carpet is woven underneath a live, partly almost baroque piano at the end, the boundary between E and U, old and new, becomes almost completely blurred.

It is above all Florian Dreßler who takes Florian Wäldeles keys out of musical customs in dark minor tones and makes them connectable for younger generations. Whenever the piano seems to slide too much into the civilized ambience for elderly people in evening dress, percussion and effect devices pull out the hoodie so to speak and turn the tried and tested approach into not just pop, but pop-affine sound theatre for musical aesthetes with a need for partying. Administered live, this is already an experience to which you wouldn't wish a seated auditorium; the debut album of perhaps the smallest orchestra in the world with such a large sound volume proves that it also works as a can - recorded in the jazz-experienced Frankfurt Art-of-June studio (recording director: Heinz Hess).

Video: The Oh!chestra - Partita Tech