Feb 11, 2002
There are few producers who can be said to have had as much of an impact on current electronic music as Richard Dorfmeister. Kruder and Dorfmeister introduced the world at large to the delights of downtempo listening, and although they obviously didnít invent the idea of relaxing to music, their K+D Sessions album took the art of the remix to new heights. It found a place on the nationís CD shelves, charming the pants off everyone, from hip hoppers to jazz heads, from hard house weekend warriors to your mum, and pre-empted the current taste for all things chilled, long before Zero 7 were a glint in anyoneís eye,
With Kruder and Dorfmeister dormant for some time now (when will they make an album proper?) the self-styled ĎDr.í Richard Dorfmeister is concentrating on their label G Stone, and his Tosca project with old school friend Rupert Huber, whose latest release Different Tastes Of Honey is out this month. Spaced had a little electronic tete a tete with the Doctor about Tosca, bathrobes, and rudey videos.
Remaining fond of the remix concept, Toscaís latest release is a collection of mixes of Honey from their last LP Suzuki, and, as you might expect from Viennese style mongers G Stone, no expense has been spared.Opera and Suzuki albums itís good fun to bring friends in to do mixes of the tracks. The Honey dubs project was another step in the Tosca history - we invested a lot of work into the cover artwork; it was definitely the most expensive vinyl release ever. But its great, with every thing we put out I learn something new, either on the music or on the graphic side of things. The K+D trademark is known all over the world, and after the success of the ĎK+D Sessionsí release we decided to bring it down to a relaxed level again, and it was good to work on new projects like Tosca or Peace Orchestra to achieve this. The easiest thing to do would have been to release loads of K+D records, but for us the simple way is not always the one we choose."
Neither do they pick the obvious route either. For an artist with the status of Richard Dorfmeister, he has released relatively few records over the years. Despite the fact that he has numerous remixes and production work for other artists, I wonder whether, for his own records, a less is more approach applies. "We could do much more", he says. "Over the years we got so many offers from record companies for album contracts and stuff, but weíre happy that we are still completely independent and able to decide what we want to work on or what to release. Its all for the music. The idea is to release sounds that last longer than 3 weeks - to create classics. This idea sometimes makes life hard, because your quality level is extremely high and you have to reach it, and that is only possible by staying very critical about your work. But the less is more approach is definitely the right one, just avoiding unnecessary things and concentrating only on the essentials."
And thereís no doubting the level of quality throughout the thirteen Different Tastes Of Honey remixes. Dr. Richard has drafted in his friends to rework the original into some really delicious variations on theme. From well known producers like Faze Action, Funky Lowlives, and Only Child, to lesser known members of Dr, Richardís European jazz massive like Kieser Velten, Markus Kienzl, and Supatone, Honey is in turns manipulated into spacey dub passages, shimmering Latino pressure, and the kind of all enveloping, warm, sonic hammock that you associate with K+Dís own productions. Despite the fact that you occasionally wish for someone to totally subvert the K+D mood that pervades all the mixes, itís immaculately done, and irresistibly warm and sensual.
Everything Richard touches oozes care, musical nous, and attention to detail. The lovingly crafted sounds of K+D, Tosca, Peace Orchestra, and superb recent remixes for Koop, Zero 7, and Fila Brazilia all carry that different but distinctive trademark. How essential Tosca bathrobes and a video featuring half naked ladies smearing themselves with honey is another question altogether. Still, if youíre Richard Dorfmeister I guess they are pretty important.
"The Honey video has a fairly simple plot", he says. "Four young ladies are dancing and while they are getting more and more undressed, their bodies are getting full of honey - that`s it. Its the first time that we invested in a proper production set up, and the whole idea seemed so mad that it had to be done. Most of the time a good joke is the best reason for senseless things like the Tosca bathrobe, the G-stone puzzle, the G-stone lighters or the G-stone book. In the beginning itís just a joke, but in the production process it takes hard work to get it done properly."
And believe me, that video is done properly. Despite the fact that Richard must be fed up with people asking him about a K+D album, itís impossible to avoid. It seems though that this is the last thing on his mind. "Itís going to be another busy year full of music", he says happily. "At the moment we are preparing the first album of Stereotyp and its going to be massive. I hope we get it out by May - then some 12" s should come with the album release. Later in the year we"re also going to release an album by DJ DSL, probably the best and most underrated hip hop DJ around, and a collection of mixes of the Peace Orchestra album, with some murderous versions by Zero dB, Gotan Project and others - strong stuff! As for the Tosca project, there"ll definitely be a new album by early 2003 - we have already done ten new tracks that need some additional production, but it"s already looking like a fine collection of moments. Maybe some more absurd merchandising this year. Surprises to come!"
And err, what about K+D then?
"If there will be a K&D; release", says Richard tantalisingly, "it will be the bomb......"