Circa 1993 there was one album that no fashion show, elegant soirée, discerning music head, chill out lounge from Brighton to Ibiza wouldn’t beg, borrow or steal from — the legendary K&D Sessions by Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister. This double disc “tome” of an album contained remixes of songs by Bone Thugs ‘n” Harmony through to Lamb and it achieved that Holy Grail of music by producing versions that were arguably equal to and that sometimes surpassed the originals. I own two copies, having worn the first one out . They sit next to other 90s gems such as DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing and Aim’s Cold Water Music. The K&D Sessions put paid to the idea that trip-hop/ lounge music/ chill out was nothing but muzak for the chi-chi dinner parties of the middle-aged middle class. This was as refined and absolute as music got. Nearly 20 years on and it still sounds as fresh as it did back then.
Don’t you just love record shops? Disque Records on Chapel Market in Islington, London (sadly closed down like a hundred other indies.) Browsing the racks and coming across something you’ve always wanted but never got round to buying. Or that rare/ out of circulation album you’d been trying to get your stinky paws on. Or just something unexpected that takes your fancy… Last year I was in a similar store in Italy, similarly now closed, browsing the racks, making a selection as was my tradition whenever I was in that neck of the woods. It was then that I came across this_
WHOA!!! If I’d been sitting down I would have fallen off my chair! Knees turned to jelly, mouth dried out, eyelashes flicked overdrive. G-Stone MASTER SERIES No 1: Peter Kruder Private Collection. I’d already mentally reached for my credit card, rushed back to my hotel room and popped this bad boy into my MacBook before even picking up said disc. That unwavering is my trust for the Kruder /Dorfmeister/ Huber ability to deliver first class every time. [Together Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber form TOSCA, another genius sonic partnership.]
The disc promised to be a selection of tracks that Peter Kruder would play you if you were a guest in his home. I mean, how sexy does that sound? This was going to be an esoteric, eccentric melange of sounds. A treat! And indeed it was. From the opening track, Talk Talk’s The Rainbow, to the vocal masterpiece by Rokia Traore that closes the compilation it was a slightly strange but nevertheless engaging experience. There’s that phrase when a designer shows a collection so directional that it “changes your eye”, as The New York Times’ Cathy Horyn is so fond of saying. Well this album “changes your ear”.
Other than being a wonderful collection of songs that defy easy categorisation, it comes beautifully presented in a box. Each track has its accompanying square postcard with a note about why it was chosen and an image shot by Peter Kruder himself. Jammy bastard, he’s also a great photographer as well_
images by Peter Kruder.
Kruder’s other half, Richard Dorfmeister, fights back with his own selection of music for the second in the G-Stone Master Series. I’ve already seen the playlist on their website. This is GONNA BE GOOD. Opening track, Vladimir Cosma’s Promenade Sentimentale from the soundtrack to Jean-Jaques Beineix’s 1981 film, Diva, is a Satie-esque riff of dreamy, loopy piano notes. You can read my piece on the film by clicking >> HERE.
The album’s out on the 31st of March and you can download it then on SOUL SEDUCTION or hunt down the disc version. Or both, like I’ll be doing. Absolutely worth every centime, nickel or dime.