SIGNAL TO NOISE
Imagine someone is standing in the centre of an imaginary musical big bang. All components one would be able to compose something from and from which most people would later say: "now that is music", fly all around him, passing him by. So a never ending stream of acoustic information - we`ll keep it simple- blows away in time and space and tries to become as loud and big as possible. This is where we speak of din, racket, the white whoosh, noise!
Imagine this man is a composer. He is fast and dynamic, but he also possesses a clear mind and he is balanced, rushing to grasp every piece of information he can get. He arranges the sounds three dimensionally, organically and playfully, but transparent and with a sturdy precision. Yes, it is rather arranging the elements, a technical drawing, than painting. The mans name is Kabuki and he challenges the noise, he sets the signals and selects he information, as an opponent to entropy, the striving for the biggest possible chaos. The process is called Signal to noise, the actual album. The power of the big bang maintains.
"When I am producing for Kabuki-the-solo-artist, I compose drum&bass tunes especially for my record case. I don`t really feel to play dirty amens, but I also dislike to play intellectually abstract. That is why I always look for the pieces that mediate the deepness I want to have on my set."
That was four years ago, when Kabuki decided to produce solo drum&bass tracks to fill up the gaps in his sets, beside his successful projects Makai and Megashira. Indeed, Kabuki tracks are very melodious, without neglecting to rock the dance floor. Kabukis` partner Mainframe is the engineer in all projects Jan Henning is a part of. Mainframe takes care of the warm and clear sound that still is so pressing you can`t separate a slower track from a 170 bpm.
These off beat tracks, with which Kabuki has created himself another compositional freedom, have made him to one of the hottest and most futuristic artists offside drum&bass.
"I have a strong affinity with smooth tracks that still take off. It is my goal to combine a raw Detroit/garage sound with drum&bass."
Especially the Detroit parts in his to house/techno speed kind of tracks, made free-style sets a must, because they always bear in mind the dance floor and functionality. DeBug described Kabuki as a "cinematic minimalist", a very poignant description when it comes to the work and ambivalence of his music: big cinema with lots of ingredients, but very sharp and precisely set, with minimal shifts reaching the biggest possible effects. There always seems to be a lot of room between the chords, the beats and the basses, despite the denseness of the music. The synths Kabuki uses to make melodious sinuses or to refer to Detroit, are timeless and cannot be placed in one special epoch (please note, no 80s!). They don`t have a passed-by-date and the signals don`t belong to one particular genre. Don`t limit his music on a superficial basis.
Kabuki always allows the sun to come in with his music, despite the spirit that rules. In doing this, he unites two worlds: the high speed intensity for the dance floor, following the dance diction but at the same time the warmth and compulsory nature of pop and soul. It is the bridge between technology and the organic. It is lonely at this mountain top for Kabuki. He doesn`t like to exaggerate and if it has to be rock, than only with a funk that likes to be just that, with a playful monotony nobody has been able to copy until now. Layer after layer the pieces build up, without ever being full or overloaded. A master of reduction and variety at the same time. It is Kabukis` gift to be able to give every sound and every moment in his music an inalienable place. To compare Kabuki tracks with anything alike, would mean to roam around the world: it will be difficult to find. Kabuki music is elegant and perfectly edited, like songs from "Steely Dan". It is also glamorous and funky like John Tejada`s techno. This, just to explain the wide range of Kabukis` music and to name two artists from entirely different worlds that Kabuki unites on this album - as it seems only on the sideline - the classical pop song and the classical functional dance floor track. Because of songs like "After The Fire" (feat. Cleveland Watkiss), "Sexdrive" (feat. Vikter Duplaix) or "Lizard" (feat. Fat Jon) he absolutely strikes a pose as a serious artist in the global pop circus, born in the classical music world and raised in the intensity hell of the parallel drum&bass universe. Pop music in his own language, obliging enough to find docking possibilities for anyone who is addicted to any kind of club music.
During the past 4 years, 35 compositions and remixes emerged that were released on labels like "Precision", "Spectrum Works", "Sonar Kollektiv", "Best Seven" and "Head To Toe", to name a few. The decision to compile older and more recent tracks to a new album didn`t take us long, as all these tracks only appeared on vinyl at the time and were therefore only accessible to a small group of experts and deejays. The album also is a time document: an album against forgetfulness, a compilation for those who drown in the format flooding. The format of the future is the single. Not as an actual real sound carrier, but as a downloadable option.
That is why in this transitory phase, in which all formats cd, vinyl or MP3 are or can be used equally, the decision to release an album that collects singles and remixes of one artist is a logical step to take.
Signal to noise also means: the filtering and choosing of the best information: the most beautiful tracks and best songs on the classical expression format of a music artist: the album.
Combination being the label for his solo album was a logical decision, for us, but also for Kabuki. He wanted to publish on a label that on the in- and outside doesn`t tie itself down on one particular genre, but is somewhere in the middle: the label he already joined with two of his tracks:
on the compilations TRAFFIC and TRAFFIC II.