Various Artists

Nonclassical Remixes and Originals, Vol. 1

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Gabriel Prokofiev, the British composer, DJ, and producer (as well as the grandson of Sergey), founded the label Nonclassical Recordings and began establishing Nonclassical nightclubs in 2004 because of his conviction that "contemporary classical music can have the same presence and appeal as other genres of music and should not be restricted to concert events alone." Prokofiev brings a background in dance music and electronica as well as classical to the project and the results should be of interest to fans of the genres, particularly of cutting-edge new classical music. Many of the nine albums Nonclassical released before Remixes and Originals, Vol. 1, in 2011 have a strong electronic element, and most of them have at least a few tracks of remixes. This album of tracks from the nine releases includes one CD of movements from the original pieces and one CD of remixes. The music is ample proof that the integration of the latest trends in rock and classical offers almost limitless possibilities and cannot be pigeonholed into a single genre. Hip-hop converges with classical in Prokofiev's propulsive and witty Concerto for turntables and orchestra, performed by DJ Yoda and Heritage Orchestra, and it practically sounds like a remix itself. Consortium5, a recorder quintet, produces timbres and pyrotechnics unlike quite any music the instruments are usually associated with. Percussionist Joby Burgess delivers a dazzling virtuosic performance of Import/Export, made up entirely of sounds produced by "junk" -- soda bottles, oil drums, plastic bags, and wooden pallets -- and their electronic permutations, a multimedia political work that addresses the ecological consequences of industrial waste as well as delighting the ear. Nonclassical's house policy for remixes is to use only the sounds of the original compositions, with no imported samples or rhythm tracks. The remixes don't suffer from this restriction and they all demonstrate the edgy inventiveness of their creators. The album should whet listeners' appetites to seek out the albums these tracks were taken from and explore the richness of Nonclassical's ambitious vision.

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