If you know anything about the drum & bass world, you’ll know that Austrian duo Camo & Krooked are almost always at the forefront of pushing the genre’s boundaries. From their groundbreaking 2017 mega album Mosaik on RAM Recordings (WMG) which changed every producer and fan’s idea of what D&B could sound like, this duo have been pushing the envelope ever since. Camo & Krooked are always thinking outside the modulator box, and the results are always stunning.
Drum & bass artists have worked quite a bit with classical musicians in the past, from recruiting string players to add depth to their tracks like to performing with classical accompaniment to, famously, D&B legend Goldie directing The Heritage Orchestra and London Philharmonic Choir perform a “classicalized” version of his seminal double album Timeless. The groundbreaking bit on Camo & Krooked’s Redbull Symphonic on Hospital Records, however, was that each track was re-worked and re-composed along with renowned classical composer and conductor Christian Kolonovits.
Redbull Symphonic is ostensibly a remix album, but remixed with an entire symphony. Camo & Krooked and Kolonovits re-worked such classic C&K tracks as “Atlas,” “Ember” and “Mandala” so that they could be performed live at a special event sponsored by Redbull with the legendary Max Steriner Orchestra. This wasn’t just someone conducting orchestral scores to the original tracks, mind you. Camo & Krooked were right up there in the middle with all of their equipment, creating the beats and electronic elements of the remixes in real time along with the orchestra. The effect was breathtaking, and fans who weren’t able to get tickets to the once-in-a-lifetime event at the Vienna Konzerthaus can now watch the first ten minutes of the show Redbull’s website, along with a documentary about how the album was made and some select performed tracks. There’s also a playlist on YouTube featuring the whole live performance, including the videos that were released.
Hosiptal Records picked up the album so that it’s available for purchase on multiple platforms like Beatport and Amazon but the real kicker came when the coronavirus hit. Camo & Krooked, Kolonovits and members of the Max Steinberg orchestra got together to coordinate a live performance of the reworked tracks “Climax” and “Kallisto” on Instagram, with the battle cry “music can never be stopped!” If it’s possible, this at home, separate-but-together performance was even more awe-inspiring than the live Konzerthaus performance as it showed the unifying power of music across genres, across distance and across airwaves. It’s a must-watch:
While Camo & Krooked say that Redbull Symphonic is the pinnacle of their careers and it may indeed be a seminal moment for them, with talent and vision like they have it will only be a matter of time before this duo will be creating even more beautiful, genre-straddling music and taking over the world with it. As they say themselves and have now proven many times over, “music can never be stopped!”