By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
A feeding frenzy ensued in the wake of "Useless," with Kruder & Dorfmeister whipping out mixes for the likes of Roni Size, Alex Reece and hip-hoppers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. (They turned down opportunities to do the same for U2 and Elvis Costello in an effort to guard their underground cachet.) In the process, they further blurred the lines between remixing and songwriting. Since the only part of the source material that appears in most of their mixes is the vocal, they are able to distribute their dub-happy bliss to record buyers around the globe using their famous friends as messengers.
The K&D Sessions, also on Studio K7, displays the duo's versatility over the course of a generous double CD in which remixes (many of them previously unreleased) appear alongside "Boogie Woogie" and "Lexicon," two intriguing original compositions. "Speechless," a drum-and-bass reworking of a tune by Austria's Count Basic, is typical: It's a percolating melange of echoed vocals, rhythmic bursts and eerie horn undercurrents that resonates with the unsettling ambience that has become their trademark.
This technique is apt to get an even bigger boost from the boys' remix of "Nothing Really Matters," the newly available fourth single from Ray of Light, Madonna's critical and commercial hit from last year. The project was a natural: "Million Town," a highlight of Sessions, began its life as a song by Strange Cargo, a group assembled by Ray of Light producer William Orbit. "William liked our production," Dorfmeister says, "and the people at Maverick [Madonna's label] enjoyed our work as well, so they asked us to do it. We were very pleased to do this, and we think people will be pleased with our remix. It's wonderful doing a remix for Madonna, because we have much respect both for her music and for Madonna herself. We really liked the whole Ray of Light album.
"I can't really see the point of view of some who think she just moved over into dance music, because she has always been there," he goes on. "She's been doing dance music for years. I don't know about in America, but here in Europe, she's done a lot for it over the years. She always works with interesting artists for the remixes of her singles, and she has always had elements of house music on her tracks. She has been in the clubs from the very first day."
The same can be said of Kruder & Dorfmeister --but it's been a while since they were admitted on the basis of songs they conceived independently of anyone else. However, Dorfmeister hints that the long-awaited followup to G-Stoned may arrive in the not-too-distant future. "It's just a matter of time," he insists. "We are working on tracks for a full-length album, probably to be released early next year, even though it is a lot of work to accomplish such a task."
Kruder understands the truth of this comment all too well: Even as he and Dorfmeister were working on the album, he was putting the finishing touches on a disc he plans to put out soon under the P Orchestra moniker. Fanatics shouldn't interpret this as an indication that the turntable jockeys are about to go their separate ways, though. As Dorfmeister tells it, he and Kruder keep their relationship healthy by refusing to allow it to become co-dependent. "We each have our own studios, G-Stone 1 and G-Stone 2," he points out. "We work both separately and together, so I can have my own ideas, which I can then take over to his place." He acknowledges that "we sometimes have disagreements of an artistic nature, but we always rise above that to a common level. Such things can be fruitful for us, and it allows one or the other of us to see a sound in a new light."
Their journeys to America have provided them with fresh perspectives, too. "We did some video shooting when we traveled to Las Vegas, where we discovered some very nice areas in the desert," Dorfmeister says. "We're not sure what form we are going to use the film in or how long it is going to be. Maybe it will be some kind of video clip. We're not sure."
In the meantime, Kruder & Dorfmeister are embarking on their most extensive tour of the States yet--and you can bet that anyone waltzing to their music will be in the minority.
Kruder & Dorfmeister. 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, Soma, 1915 Broadway, Boulder, $10 in advance/$15 day of show, 303-938-8600.