ElectroString - feat. DJ Xavier
With four massively successful albums, and a more recent DVD that captured the best of CH2 in full flight with the University of Pretoria’s symphony orchestra, Corneille Hutten-Burger and Leon Gropp have now taken everything we know and love about their six-string genius, and spun in an element that’s about to introduce fans to their true x-factor.
Electro String is the name of the album, and its 13 tracks will quite simply knock your socks off, and most likely lead you straight to your nearest dance floor. Remixed by Frenchman DJ Xavier Herment, the first ten tracks that make up this entirely original interpretation of CH2’s last two SAMA winning albums (2011’s Ping and 2012’s Live With The UP Symphony Orchestra) are inspired. With three more original tracks, one of which potentially hints at where these two technically sound raconteurs will end up next, Electro String is unrivalled.
Since 2001 CH2 has wowed audiences across the country with their classical training and gifted guitar skills. Their debut Pap & Paella album was topped only by 2008’s It’s About Time and 2009’s The Orange Guitar. 2011 produced the critically acclaimed Ping, and after the 2012 release of the pair’s symphonic melange of rich and textured classics, Corneille and Leon decided to mix things up a little.
And that’s exactly what their fifth fantastic album, Electro String is, and some! After a chance meeting with DJ Xavier, during a trip to the Seychelles, the three hit it off so well that soon thereafter the Frenchman began to skilfully deconstruct some of CH2’s greatest hits. “Before we even agreed to attempt this project, Xavier delivered three amazing mixes,” Corneille recalls. “Leon and I had spoken about doing this for a while, but finding the right person to interpret what we had in mind came from fate intervening. Xavier, like many of the people we partner with, offers insight and adds chemistry, all of which elevates everything we do.”
Spanish flavour, coupled with French flair is what Electro String delivers, along with a marriage of electronica and classic standards merged. Opening with the Carnival Remix of “Ping”, into “Brazilia” which gets a Brokenzabeat Remix, and the “Madiba Jive” a little African Fever Remix. “Journey” (featuring Nianell) then launches into the stratosphere to deliver its very own Space Remix.
The University of Pretoria’s Symphony Orchestra’s additions, the Bossa De La Nova Remix of Sting’s “Fragile” and the Paradise Remix of “Sunchild”, both, like each of the albums first 10 reinventions, all stand tall and retain the essence of each intoxicating original.
Think free form, jazz teased, with just enough old-school sensibility to inject just the right dose of dance floor and club beat quality on the up tempo tracks. Then add the Adagio from Rodrigo’s “Aranjuez” in the form of a Lounge Remix, featuring virtuoso percussionist David Klassen, while the second Sting reinterpretation and BeatFreak Remix of “Shape Of My Heart” and all help steady the mood beautifully.
As the twosome wind down their mash up, Lloyd Cele steps up to support on “Keep Moving”, while their evergreen fan-favourite “Aranjuez” get’s a second reveal that ends off the album as it started, in fine Club Remix territory.
Electro String is not legacy CH2. It’s two guitar luminaries, with DJ Xavier in the driving seat. Strap yourself in and enjoy a ride filled with no less than 13 delicious, and equally delightful, twists and turns.