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Higher Octave


1. Intro
2. Anika (feat. Luna)
3. Angelic Voices 
4. Demasiado
5. Love (feat. Luna)
6. Misterio
 - interlude -
7. Wisdom & Courage (feat. Luna)
8. Ode to Dolores del Rio
9. Mi Alma Espanol
10. Luna Llena (feat. Luna)
11. I Libera Me'!

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  5 album cover hi-res download (click here)

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The German born studio mastermind behind the fascinating, wildly popular flamenco guitar based chill-out music of B-Tribe calls himself “The Brave” for several reasons. First and foremost, he wants the listener’s focus to be on the music, a seductive mélange of dramatic guitar riffs and melodies, easy grooving, electronically based ambiences and moody wordless vocals designed to trigger the spiritual imagination. “Plus, I like to keep a little mystery in the mix,” he says, “so that people will want to explore. Also, shifting from a lucrative career in pop music to making exotic chill music is a very brave thing to do!”

In the 80’s, The Brave became something of a pop and dance music sensation, writing and producing songs for well known American icons like Chaka Khan as well as several million-selling European artists. Bored with the lack of creative challenges, he moved to the secluded island of Ibiza off the Spanish coast and promptly (and quite unexpectedly) fell madly in love with the rich melodic and romantic possibilities of the flamenco guitar.

He traveled throughout the Mediterranean region to experience and record performances by some of the greatest flamenco artists in the world, then synthesized these with fresh grooves and atmospheric ideas. The compelling result was B-Tribe, whose first recording Fiesta Fatal! (1994) spawned an unexpected #1 dance hit in Europe. The legend grew and sales catapulted into the hundreds of thousands over the course of three more universally acclaimed releases—Suave Suave (1995), Sensual Sensual (1998) and B-Tribe’s 2001 Higher Octave Music debut Spiritual Spiritual.

The title of B-Tribe’s new project is a simple reminder (perhaps for those new to the experience) that this is album number 5. The Brave’s foundational concept on these beautifully flowing eleven tracks is the same as on all previous releases—to encourage an hour of cool relaxation with sounds from a place in the universe dear to The Brave’s musical heart. There are several notable guest artists textured into The Brave’s unique synthesis of sound, including the inimitable, sensuous flamenco guitarist Paco Fernandez, the magic chamber cello of Frankfort Radio Orchestra member Eric Plummetaz and the songwriting and vocal contributions of African supermodel Luna Mohamed

“It’s simply flamenco meets chill-out, ambience and beats that will bring to mind lovely sunshine-filled beaches that can either be on the Spanish coast or Malibu,” he says. “Paco is legendary in flamenco circles and lives on Ibiza, and is the real deal who lives the lifestyle in addition to playing wonderful guitar. The starting point for all B-Tribe projects is also the most intriguing aspect, and that is the lines and melodies he brings to me from his studio. Those are the themes that hold the track together.”

“I never direct the artist,” The Brave continues. “I simply tell him to create what feels natural, and then wonder how I can fuse this with a sound that hasn’t been heard before. I let the guitar inspire the rest of it. As much as I love the flamenco guitar, I believe it is best experienced in small, exciting doses. People who may not even know they like it may start to get into it because of the way I present it. I’m always looking for something different. It’s been a natural progression that leads to the music of 5.”

5 begins in the spirit of previous B-Tribe recordings, with a several minute “Intro” which sets the tone of the session. We hear crickets, other nature soundscaping and then the pluck of the flamenco and dramatic percussion, which leads into a moment of expansive ambience and a wailing male vocal chant. The easy grooving “Anika” combines the guitar with a gentle symphonic flavor and introduces us to the songwriting and vocal talents of Luna. That symphonic vibe blends with an easy throbbing trance groove on the mystical, classically tinged “Angelic Voices,” which moves effortlessly into the sweeping strings that drive the mystical, melancholy “Demasiado.”

“Love” features Luna’s exotic voice against a cool backdrop of Fernandez’s stark strings, brooding techno textures and a beautiful flute passage. Flute is also a prominent feature on the mystical soul textures offering “Wisdom and Courage” for the journey. On the moody and mysterious “ode to Dolores del Rio,” Fernandez briefly plays the flamenco in a distorted rock fashion, adding edge and mystery. The title and dramatic string flair of “Mi Alma Espanol” gets to the heart of the musical matter for The Brave before Luna’s gentle voice caresses another bed of ambient throbbing and swirling guitars. Eric Plummetaz’s magic chamber cello adds a wistful sweetness to the closing track “Libera Me!”

Even if his parents hoped he would follow a more conventional career path, The Brave—who began playing piano at age seven--enjoys recalling his earliest musical memories growing up the scion of a prominent Heidleberg family: “The first money I earned was by playing trumpet at funerals. I was a 12 year old kid and made a fortune playing chorales at funeral services.”

Her pursued academia for a while before moving to London to launch into his writing and production career in the 80s. “Even after all that success, I wasn’t creatively satisfied,” he recalls. “But when I moved to Ibiza in 1989, I found something new and fresh that offered me the opportunity for a new musical approach. People go into pop music to make money, but the music I create as B-Tribe is an art form that needs to be done. It helps people relax, heal and get in touch with their spiritual lives. Some called the first album a mix between The Gipsy Kings and Enigma, but over time, it has taken on a life of its own.”

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