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Hello Christian, ﬁrst of all thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today! You have been composing and producing music for the last two decades, how did you start and what drives you to keep writing?
I started playing the drums at the age of 12 and also started to listen/collect records at that same time. This led to making my own music in bands and, when the computers and drum machines made it possible, on my own. There is so much that inspires me every day to write music. It's like breathing or eating. I just need to do it. There is so much I have not tried yet, thats the strongest drive for me; curiosity. I am very interested in the "decontextualisation" of things in music. Taking ideas from one place to a different one. My main method of doing that is through sampling or recording in different locations.
During this time you have worked with a wide range of diverse artists from Carl Craig to Incognito, when you collaborate how does the writing process work?
One of the ﬁrst things you need to ﬁnd is the voice of the project. The best way to ﬁnd that is to jam and play with no rules. Listen to the other person. I really love to work this way. I try to keep it fresh and interesting by jamming and playing around with unusual ideas as much as I can.
Is there anyone you would like to work with and why?
There are some great musicians out there that inspire me and that would be great to work with from old masters to newcomers. Really hard to pick one. My next project is with Alex Barck from Jazzanova and a new one with singer Thomas Hien who features on the new album on a track called Wonders Of The World.
What I love about your music is the fusion of styles. I guess the main example of this would be the Drum Lesson LP where you combined Jazz and Techno, how did this come about and what was the reaction from Josh Wink and Derrick May?
I felt that the energy I get from jazz and Detroit techno are very similar. I played around with the piano chords from Strings Of Life for some time until I had the ﬁrst version. With the help of great musicians like Roberto Di Gioia and Wolfgang Haffner we recorded the ﬁrst track. I played it for a while in my DJ Sets and when it got released it really worked well. Derrick May called me up and thanked me... that was a great moment of course. Same with Patrick Pulsinger and Masters At Work. Josh Wink liked it, but was not so crazy about the idea of a jazz version at the beginning.
Will there be more Drum Lessons?
Yes. I am starting on the third one this summer. I am pretty excited about this already.Tell us a bit about your new album Ubermood.
This album is the result of the last year making music and traveling. All my music projects so far have been collaborations so I took some ÜberMood and the result is my ﬁrst solo album. I still collaborated with a variety of musicians and singers but I went to a lot of different places for inspiration. Classical, Jazz, Folk, Soul and Club sounds. The record came together very spontaneously at the beginning without a big masterplan. Michael Reinboth of Compost Records got involved early on, that was a great push. We have been working on music projects together for almost 20 years.
When I ﬁrst played the LP the ﬁrst thing that struck me was how rich and crisp it sounded, dynamically and sonically it is amazing, how did you record it?
I recorded it in many different locations including some really great studios in London, Berlin and Munich but also in kitchens, beaches and train stations. I only used my laptop, Logic, Ableton Live and a good microphone. Ableton Live is the best composition tool for me. I never stop playing and improvising with it. I mixed it all inside the box as we call it, when you do it in the computer. For a long time in my career I have used big studios and a lot of gear but for this record I wanted to limit myself to my laptop.
Our stand out track from the album is undoubtably Aturo. When it came on I was instantly captivated by how you fused techno with jazz, classical and Phillip Glass style minimalism.
What's the story behind that track?
Happy that you mention this tune. This was my blueprint or benchmark track for the album. Its based on a chord sequence from a Claude Debussy composition. I replayed the piano and Kelvin Sholar played some great piano overdubs on it that gave the track this great live feel. We even recreated the hiss from that old recording and used it as a musical part. The tune stayed with me for a whole year. Always changing and, hopefully, improving. I played this live with my Drumlesson band as well as in my DJ sets and whenever you hear it in a fresh location, you hear something new in the track or feel a different direction.
What's next on the horizon for you?
I will play a lot of concerts and DJ shows starting in Milano next week and then going to Thailand, China, South Korea and back to Germany. I am also working on remixes for club releases and a few one off tracks for different labels. As always, collecting music and ideas.
Where can people ﬁnd out more about you?
Best in a club or concert venue when I play live. Thats the direct way. See you there...
View upcoming shows on Christians website: christianprommer.com