Iconic French conductor Francois-Xavier Roth is at the helm of the symphony whilst InFine mainstay Francesco Tristano supports on piano. From an initial recording in 2010, the project evolved into a full album that has been tweaked further in the studio by Craig himself. The re-works reveal the timelessness of At Les' and Darkness' through tense yet fragile new arrangements, along with two original compositions by Tristano - 'Barcelona Trist' and 'The Melody'. Versus first took form as a captivating live concert on May 18th, 2008 at Paris' Cite de la Musique, featuring this very same line-up. The hedonism of club culture made a rare incursion into the hallowed grounds of more serious traditional music, merging the vocabularies and syntaxes of two genres that seem to be from their own faraway galaxies, but actually turned out to be more porous than expected as they collided into one another.
A bemused Carl Craig recalls that the "audience stopped just short of snapping their fingers to the rhythm. Everyone was literally on the verge of dancing, and Francois-Xavier was getting his first taste of that thrill that DJs get when they are playing for a room. We were like two kids rummaging through a candy shop - I toured him through my universe and he showed me his."
The Versus universe is thus one that is predicated on transforming, remixing and reinterpreting, on creating of new forms of expression, but also on breaking down hierarchies to confront genres and worlds that seem further apart than they really are. An optimistic, if not idealistic project, with a title that was perfectly chosen to echo Carl's mantra: "the point is to change the audience's perceptions, to surprise people, but also blow the dust off the conventional wisdom about music, its place in the world, and its audience - without demagoguery and with fresh and new arguments."
- At Les
- Barceloneta Trist
- The Melody
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