After a few vinyl EP‘s of his own and several remixes for other artists, Berlin based keyboarder and producer Volker Meitz finally steps out to deliver his debut album. Entitled "Vertikal", it takes you on an eclectic journey through a wide range of styles - from Soul, House and Funk via Brazil, Afro, Latin and Fusion to 2-Step, Drum’n’Bass and Broken Beats, yet all coming together under the Jazz banner. With vocals in different languages (Portuguese, Xosa, Zulu & English), both up-and downtempo tunes, some atmospheric, some going straight to your feet, the album in it’s versatility appeals to everyone between home listener and DJ.
"Vertikal" can’t deny reminiscensces to the electronic club scene and yet sounds very live and organic at the same time. This comes as no surprise since the album features a lot of excellent vocalists and instrumental players who are involved far more than just being "sampled". Plus, Meitz is an experienced live keyboarder. Nevertheless, the whole album was produced electronically, where Meitz also proves to be an amazing drum and percussion programmer. Even professional drummers thought that some of the tunes had real drums to them...
The soaring ballad "My Love" is the only tune Meitz sings himself. Otherwise he relies on the contributions of five other vocalists with different nationalities: Originally from Capetown/South Africa, Vido Jelashe performs on four tunes - amongst them the new Single "Zwakalani" and "(Mayibuye I) Africa", the title track of Meitz‘ first (and meanwhile sought-after) EP. U.S.-Jazz singer Twana Rhodes, Soul singer Esther Cowens of Californian origin, Berlin based Daniel Mattar and writer/Spoken Word artist Kent Evans from New York City complete the list.
Too numerous to mention are all the instrumentalists - to name but a few: Seeed’s trombone player Jérôme Bugnon and Micatone’s bass player Paul Kleber of Sonar Kollektiv fame.
"I seek to close another gap in the ever-growing web between club and non-club, electronic and live music", says Meitz. "Especially the use of harmonies is mostly still treated with neglect, although there is another whole world to explore". Tunes like "My Love" and the ambient-jazzy "Aprilwetter" indeed illustrate that colorful approach. But also rhythmically "Vertikal" has a lot more to offer than just straight feels in 4/4 - most obviously the three stage brazil track "Passo Em Frente", "Get On Up" with it’s metric modulation in the epilogue, and "Africa", where the meter breaks down from 4/4 to 7/4, 6/4 and 5/4 in the end (which used to scare off some DJ’s... whereas you can still dance to it =o)
And if all this weren’t enough, you might be interested to know that Meitz‘ musical approach has been compared to heroes like Herbie Hancock, George Duke or Stevie Wonder.