Quotes: Pure funk vibrations. Strutting like a Shaft for the year 2000, this is smoother than mayonnaise dripping down your hand. Echoes / The lead track here could come straight off some old Michael Caine movie. Muzik
Info: Les Gammas are Jochen Helfert, harmonic supervisor, and Marc Frank, rhythm addict, both living in Augsburg, Bavaria. Their first tune “Servus Mr. Bond”, which was released in February 1999, was actually recorded in December 1997, and marked the beginning of their musical alliance. As Jochen listened to one of Marc’s DJ-sets, he decided that this must be the way. As Marc heard Jochen play Fender Rhodes, it was clear that their vision of soulful and percussive jazz music in the 90’s could only be realised with each other’s musical passions. Suddenly, as Les Gammas, they found odd metres and counterpointed, shiny string arrangements are no antagonists of the jazz-influenced electronically produced dance music in the 90’s. This is something they always wanted to appear in one song, but never could imagine how harmonic, yet exciting and uplifting it could be. When you listen to Les Gammas’ tracks you will often find samples from different eras harmonising with the electronic and self-produced acoustic sounds, and the result is seldom predictable: “So many musical pieces Bossa Nova, spy-movie soundtracks, swing vocals, jazzy basslines and well-set synth-solos are ironically layered, and yet they naturally create three seamless and exciting club tunes”. Neither predictable as one single track is the whole production of the eclectic duo. They do not fear any existing style, whether disco, free jazz, folk jazz or fusion, merely to extend the song in other spheres or intensities. The visitor of the Gammas’ “Solinarium Studios” is often amazed by the instruments used here: different e-pianos, only one sampler and lots of underrated vintage gear specify the sound of the recordings. Les Gammas love to experiment with so-called “limited” stuff, but in their opinion “that’s where you must be creative, and finally you’ll get the reward. Sometimes we think e.g. ŒOh, doesn’t that sound like techno, but looked at with a certain distance, it actually sounds like techno could have sounded in the early seventies. Each time we listen to a mastered track, we wonder where all this emerges from. Obviously, it could have been neither this studio nor these brains. Since December 1998 Les Gammas have been co-operating with brother-in-mind (but father-in-age) free jazz veteran and Laswell-fellow Karl “Dr. B.” Berger, who played inspiringly thrilling vibraharp solos and also submitted one song for the forthcoming Les Gammas-album. Hopefully his schedule will permit live-gigs with Les Gammas, expected for summer/autumn 1999! Some of the Brazil-percussion tracks are recorded with percussion artist Rüdiger Maul, other instruments as guitars, double-bass, congas and female vocals are added by talented friends.