Schwarz is an influential innovator in underground electronic music. He has long been breaching borders of dance music and live performance, and has close ties to labels like Innervisions, Mule Musiq and Running Back. But the backdrop to all that has always been his passion for classical and acoustic music. It has given rise to live projects such as A Critical Mass (with Dixon and Ame), as well as solo LPs like 2015’s Instruments. Now fully indulging that side of his artistic endeavours, Between Buttons primarily switches his focus from synthesizers and drum-machines to a more unplugged sound.
But this is no half-baked ‘dance producer does classical’ experiment; instead, Schwarz will be bringing his tried and tested working methods to these new instruments and will very much make them his own. He will apply all the tricks and techniques he has learnt over the years and will take a sophisticated and technical approach to each new composition, that fits cohesively into his own musical world.
Mixing up old and new technologies, experimental and more classical approaches, the label will see Schwarz forge new paths in his own work, as well as curating material from the peers he has worked with over the last 15 years. Mainly made up of acoustic sounds, piano, string quartets, self-built instruments, percussion and intriguing classicist elements with a modern twist, there will be EPs from piano virtuoso Bugge Wesseltoft, as well as other electronic producers wanting to show themselves in a different, more ‘unplugged’ light.
“In these times of constant turbo mode, likes and thumbs-up, we need to go back to basics,” says Henrik. “We want to to move away from the idea that relentless hasty productivity is a must, and instead take time to create space, to let ideas mature and to focus the mind on subtler sounds.”
Works Piano will be a four track mini album that uses a Yamaha Disklavier as the starting point and reimagines it, reworks it and alters it with various digital and recording technologies. One track is a created with a reactive algorithm and one is composed purely from altered and processed piano sounds. The release will be available on Nils Frahm’s Piano Day, March 29th, which will also see Henrik Schwarz presents Between Buttons performed at Funkhaus Berlin.
Aphorisms – Between Button’s second release – comes from Berlin based Syrians and virtuoso musicians Khaled Kurbeh and Raman Khalaf. It mixes pianos, synths, traditional instruments, finger clicks and ad libbed vocals into absorbing organic pieces, that range from cosmic and spaced out to loose and jazzy. The band recently performed at the BBC Arabic Festival in London, and will also be performing tomorrow at Funkhaus Berlin for Piano Day.
This new partnership will also see releases on !K7 and 7K! in the near future. The first is a studio recording of Schwarz’ concert for orchestra Scripted Orchestra, which he performed with Metropol Orkest at the opening of ADE 2016, which will be released on 7K!.