Electronic classic sauce – Culture / Next

In theory, the connection seems incongruous between a music composed mainly with machines and another entirely devoted to acoustic instruments. However, many bridges have been built between electronic and classical, both united by the force of instrumental music.


Trans-Siberian, Faroe Islands, Argentina… William Rezé scours the planet in search of electronic inspiration. Its last stage is less distant. A modest chalet in Switzerland, where the producer lived in confinement, with the only creative baggage a computer, a sound card and a keyboard. A way for him to return to the sources of composition, but also to look at his career, marked by studies at the conservatory. And what better than classical music as a great field of possibilities? Each named after a great composer, the titles of Timeless handle with elegance and dexterity the works of Satie, Debussy and Schubert, who see themselves growing electronic wings. A jaw-dropping exercise, from which the Angevin however comes out with flying colors, by focusing on the cinematic dimension of certain themes and by fleeing the vulgarity of the remix in electro sauce. A future classic.


Bach’s timeless genius has always attracted the most disheveled sound experiences, such as the Switched-On Bach (1968) by Wendy Carlos: more than a million records sold for these covers on the modular synthesizer Moog. In January, Frenchman Arandel delivered with InBach a stunning adaptation of the work of the cantor from Leipzig. An exciting maelstrom where, with the help of the Music Museum, he highlights old instruments, while challenging them with electronic artillery, but also an ingenious vocal cast (Ben Shemie, Areski or Barbara Carlotti). Sure Passacaglia or Hysope, he allows himself the audacity to attract Bach, the God-obsessed man, into the middle of a pagan dancefloor. A mass for the present in a way.


Open its venerable catalog to electronic musicians so that they can appropriate it… When the Deutsche Grammophon house launches into the project Recomposed in 2005, it is hard to imagine what could come of the good. Moreover, in the appalling first part of this series which will include six, the German producer Matthias Arfmann massacres Schubert or Mendelssohn. Then it is the twisted universe of the Finn Jimi Tenor which does not get along well with Boulez, Varèse or Satie. We must wait for the release in 2008 of the Recomposed by Carl Craig and Moritz von Oswald, supporters of a melodic techno for one, minimalist and tinged with dub for the other, so that the marriage is happier. In eight movements composed of extracts from Ravel and Mussorgsky, the two men manage to strike a balance between modernized classical and ambitious electronics.

Henrik Schwarz

Master of an organic and orgiastic house, the German producer also likes to take his music to new territories. We have seen him work for the Staatsballett Berlin or with a jazz trio. On his album Instruments (2015), he offers his compositions (some are dancefloor classics, like Walk Music) rearranged by Johannes Brecht, on brass, strings and percussion of the Tokyo Secret Orchestra. It’s easy to get carried away by the charm of this romantic yet epic saraband. Schwarz and his band endeavor to reproduce with acoustic instruments in chamber orchestra mode the aesthetic patterns of techno and house (the climbs, energy, dramaturgy). Above all, a playful style exercise, where the pillar of the Innervisions label is first of all fun. But lovers of experiences unlike any other should also have a good time. Boom, boom, boom.

Something à la mode

His fans remember that the priceless Kaiser of fashion, Karl Lagerfeld, was infatuated with this improbable Dijon duo to the point of giving voice on their only 2014 album, appearing in their music video and inviting them to perform at Chanel fashion shows. Lagerfeld, who loved music but could have confusing tastes, had probably discovered Something in fashion (what is that name?) In one of his music players filled with novelties by the tireless Michel Gaubert. Is it their filtered interpretation of Trio n°2 by Schubert or their rereading of Day of wrath who seduced him? In the programmatic single Rondo Parisano, the couturier affirms that this marriage of techno and baroque music is “Not Rondo Veneziano, that’s all”. Listening, however …

Alexis Bartier


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.