Thursday, 27 October 2011

Premier + Nas + Berklee School of Music Orchestra = Amazing track

As part a groundbreaking project called RE:Generation which takes producers outside of the genre to work with artists from other genres has brought in DJ Premier to produce a classical track with Nas and the Berklee School of Music Orchestra. In addition to DJ Premier, the project, co-produced by the Grammys and directed by Amir Bar Lev (The Pat Tillman Story, My Child Can Paint That), brought in Pretty Lights, who did a country song with Leann Rimes and Ralph Stanley; the Crystal Method, who headed to Detroit to spend two days recording a R&B tune with Martha Reeves; and Mark Ronson, who teamed with Erykah Badu, members of the Dap Kings and Trombone Shorty for a jazz cut in New Orleans. DJ Premier was given Classical and began his immersion into the genre with Bruce Adolphe, a former classical music professor at Juilliard. They met at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music not far from DJ Premier’s home in NY. After learning about classical music theory, the inspirations of some of the genre’s most profound composers and how traditional pieces are structured, DJ Premier went out and bought tons of classical symphonies on vinyl to remix his own creation. We then took that track and orchestrated it for sheet music. In the first step of the actual recording process, DJ Premier partnered with Stephen Webber, a professor and conductor at the Berklee College of Music. Steven taught Premier how to conduct and helped him in studio with the 58-piece Berklee Symphony Orchestra you hear on the track. Of all the takes, the one you hear is the “wild” version (which means they recorded it without the metronome in their headphones) DJ Premier conducted himself. Then DJ Premier brought that instrumental track back home to NY and Nas laid down his rhyme on top of it.
The outcome is an amazing track which has Premier's style running right through the center of the track like a stick of rock with Nas dropping a pitch perfect flow alongside beautifully orchestrated strings and horns. premier even puts some nice scratches towards the end of the track. Hopefully we can get Premier and Nas back together for that long overdue reunion project. The project should premiere early in 2012 and will be a big part of Grammy Week next year, with the artists involved doing “Remix Labs,” as well an event at the Grammy Museum and screening that week. Click here to download the track.