Liebert’s newest release is nouveaumatic, which completes the first trilogy recorded and released for his new SSRI record label. As its predecessor Euphoria in 1995, nouveaumatic is a collection of versions done by various DJs and remixers, including Liebert himself. While Euphoria re-worked songs from the 1993 album The Hours between Night + Day, this newest release contains new versions of songs from Liebert’s two preceding CDs, In the Arms of Love and The Santa Fe Sessions.
“From Planet Flamenco, Ottmar Liebert once again sets the standard for instrumental electronic dream pop.” - from a culturecourt.com review of nouveaumatic.
The tracks on nouveaumatic include a nearly nine minute version of the song “In the Arms of Love”, which contains a long sample from a recording Liebert made in Boston in 1982. “In 1982 I recorded this long segment of guitar looping, using an electric guitar, and a couple of open reel-to-reel tape decks in the style of Brian Eno’s Frippertronics. I recently re-discovered this recording on a cassette and since it fit the tonality of “In the Arms of Love” I transferred it straight from the cassette and incorporated it into the mix.”
There are two more versions of songs from the lullaby album In the Arms of Love: the slow and heavy “Twilight Rain” and Canton Becker’s moody version of “Quiet Dawn.” Canton Becker, who performs in Ottmar Liebert’s current Luna Negra Quartet, also contributed new versions of “Snakecharmer” and the bossa makeover “Sâo Paulo”, which features a new funky bass.
Other tracks include an upbeat dance version of “2 The Night”, a reggae-fied “Heart Still/Beating”, a funky version of “Morning Arrival in Goa”, a R&B rendition of “Barcelona Nights”, complete with flamenco singing and 70’s style slap bass and a tabla-driven version of “Turkish Night”.
Liebert’s incredible global success on a musical level often seems like a simple outgrowth of his cultural background and powerful wanderlust in his formative years. Born in Cologne, Germany to a Chinese-German father and Hungarian mother, he began playing guitar at 11, and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia intent on fully absorbing each musical tradition he encountered. After pursuing his Rock and Roll dreams first in his native Germany and then in Boston, he abandoned the frustrations of the East coast and settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
By 1989, he had founded the first incarnation of his new band Luna Negra. Nouveau Flamenco began life as a self-produced local release called Marita: Shadows and Storms, copies of which local Indian artist Frank Howell distributed in his art galleries. When the record found its way to radio stations and began generating a buzz among programmers and an unprecedented response among listeners, Higher Octave Music picked it up and released a re-mastered version.
“I was honestly happy playing this music in hotels and restaurants in Santa Fe. In one year, going from doing that to opening for Miles Davis was a pretty intense jump,” he recalls. “Most shocking for me was to realize how many different people from so many diverse cultures embraced it. I still get letters from fans in Europe, South-America, Australia, and Asia...it’s been a really gratifying experience. I’ve had the opportunity to play in a wide variety of cultural settings with musicians from around the world, and that has been a great experience, too.”
Liebert has since become one of the most successful instrumental artists of the past decade, thrilling audiences throughout the world and releasing a catalog of classic recordings, including the remix collection Euphoria (1995), the live album Viva! (1995), the double CD Opium (1996) and the classical-oriented orchestral album Leaning into the Night (1997). He wrapped up his decade with Epic in 2001 with the release of Little Wing and founded his own label SSRI that same year. For two albums SSRI chose distribution and marketing through Higher Octave Music, releasing a lush album of lullabies called In the Arms of Love in June of 2002 and The Santa Fe Sessions in February of 2003. In the Arms of Love reflects the solo side of Liebert, which he is intent on exploring further, even as he continues to record acoustic based band projects with Luna Negra. The Santa Fe Sessions, the latest Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra CD, is an extraordinary studio recording which reflects the new, expansive, live in concert character of ten classic tracks—including fresh guitar, percussion and horn parts. Liebert also blazes a trail into the future with two brand new compositions, the mystical, Brazilian flavored “Sao Paulo” and a Cuban spiced “Song for Pablo.”
With the first trilogy of albums on his own SSRI label completed, the extremely prolific Liebert is looking forward to a brand new Luna Negra recording slated for a Spring 2004 release.
“We are already performing 3 new songs in our live show which I’ve written for the next album and I have prepared a palette of sounds for the new recording which we hope to get started on in November, right after our return from touring,” concluded Liebert.
PS: 1. The name SSRI
SSRI stands for Spiral Subwave Records International
Spiral: circular motion...slowly moving upwards...a symbol of growth
Subwave: low frequencies...physical experience of sound...feeling the music
In the medical field the same abbreviation means: Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitor, which is Prozac and other psychoactive drugs. Liebert says:
“Music has always helped me balancing my emotional roller coaster.”
2. DistributionStarting with the limited edition 3 is 4 good luck mini-CD and now nouveaumatic, the new releases by Ottmar Liebert on SSRI will be exclusively available at his concerts or from his official web site: http://www.lunanegra.com