Phi Yaan-Zek, Lalle Larsson: Dance With The Anima interview and review

My new CD Dance With The Anima is part of Marco Minnemann's Normalizer 2 series of releases which also includes albums by Mike Keneally, Trey Gunn, Alex Machacek, Jason Sadites, John Czajkowski, Kerry Chicoine, Mario Brinkmann and Marco himself. Each album features the same unedited drum tracks but with totally different music composed and recorded over the top.

Marco invited me to be part of the project in 2007 and it’s taken three years of intense work to complete. I composed the bulk of the music pretty quickly just jamming to the drums with an acoustic guitar. I made a decision to go with my first inspirations and it was surprising that I didn't end up doing the musical equivalent of painting myself into a corner but compositionally it all seemed to flow quite easily. However the actual recording was another story, and it was a real performance challenge at times locking into Marco's intricate poly-metric rhythms, which being a live 51 minute uninterrupted drum solo was done without a click track. It took a long time for me to nail some of the timings, especially given the organic pacing of the drums. Thankfully Lalle Larsson's superb keyboard playing really helped to glue all the performances together so that the end result was akin to the early ‘70s production feel I was after. It was certainly worth the effort with the resulting music sitting very naturally with Marco's playing. You would think that Marco is playing to my music rather than the music being composed and performed to his drumming.