||“Together, we're playing and dancing to a song, a song that we don't know.”
(Sacha Winkler aka Kalabrese)
Kalabrese is a curious tastemaker and bold musical force that dares to tread the murky waters between indie and electronica, playfully emphasising vocals on song based productions and presenting an album that pushes the limits and portrays dance music in a peculiar and natural way. Inspired by blues, funk, and all those beautiful dancers and tragic heroes of the night, ‘Independent Dancer’ is laced with curiosity and fever inducing productions.
Six years on from his 2007 debut album ‘Rumpelzirkus’, a critically acclaimed project that was pursued by performances at infamous festivals like Sonar, Mutek in Montreal and Transmediale in Berlin as well as playing nearly every club basement in Europe with his live-project “Rumpelorchester”, Sascha Winkler AKA Kalabrese returns with a masterpiece.
Sounding like a soundtrack from James Murphy (in fact Kalabrese played back to back with the LCD Soundsystem lead man in 2012) and Nicolas Jaar, who featured his epic blues solo ‘Desperate Man’ on his own Resident-Advisor podcast, ‘Independent Dancer’ commences with an almost euphoric and certainly unpretentious spirit. ‘Purple Rose’ steps out downbeat with Sarah Palin, the newest Rumpel discovery, singing an astonishing duet with Kala, an almost country-like creation with ringing bells from the Alps and a hypnotic house beat crashing behind. Kalabrese recruits friend and mentor, A.C.
Kupper (who also designed the cover) to sing ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ taking his falsetto voice and overlaying chunky beats and a captivating synth-line, inspiring the urge to dance in only the most sincere way.‘Independent Dancer’ varies in tempo and rhythm throughout, from the wonderful airy ballad of ‘Stone On Your Back’ with its cello parts played by Dominik Löhrer and light bossanova rhythm, juxtaposed with ‘Wanzka’, an active, swinging afro-groove gem with mind-blowing, lyrical brass parts courtesy of Michael Flury and Benjamin Danech.
Guest singer Khan from Berlin, can be heard on the hypnotic Arabic inspired bonus track ‘Feeling Me’ and also on ‘Desperate Man’, which Rumpel-member Marton di Katz rocks a crazy groove bassline sensations. Towards the conclusion everything twists into cosiness once again as Kalabrese extols the Sihl Valley with ‘Sihltal’, a punchy disco tune spiked with melancholy and expressing a soft wish of togetherness.
At all times ‘Independent Dancer’ orbits the moment, encapsulating where the dancer unites with the music and forgets the rest of the world. Thus the whole album is a homage to clublife, a world which Kalabrese has been part of for more than 15 years, while alsoexpressing the rejection of constant output by the media and superficial virtual worlds and welcomes the experience of the physical force of nature.
His authentic way to accomplish things, his deep musical knowledge and potential to bridge gaps keeps enriching nightlife culture and the whole electronic music landscape.
‘Independent Dancer’ is the first release on Kalabrese’s own label, Rumpelmusig, a new sublabel of Compost Records that acts as a research station for unconventional dance music in the future. Retro Mugli and Valentino Tomasi mixed the album with earnest commitment in the legendary Powerplay Studio on an analog mixer to finalise the songs.
‘Independent Dance’ is the natural conclusion of Kalabrese’s path so far, avoiding pretence, it contains its own cosmos, where the rumbling between blues and bass becomes innate and every song brings home a message of the soft power of the dance.