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What are two excellent musicians doing when they meet again after a long time? They talk a bit, go to the studio, switch on a micro, and let the music speak for itself.
The American singer Dexter Porter and the German producer Hannes Bieger can already look back on some years of partnership in music. But not until they had this memorable studio session in spring 2004 did their vision of music take shape. It was the moment that the foundations for LLAVA«s album "High and Rising" were laid:

An album that is somewhere between Soul Jazz, Broken Beat, and Deep House, unique in its vibrating intensity - like a LLAVA stream of music.
As an amalgamation in many respects, LLAVA reconciles quite a few supposed contradictions under the same roof of music: America versus Europe, Soul Spirit versus Sequencer Groove, old Jazz vibes versus today´s urbane nervousness. What reads like a contradiction is being united tastefully in the LLAVA melting pot. Hannes Bieger calls this approach the "Bossa Nova philosophy": a catchy but ambitious structure of the song on the surface of the sound, below that, a tightly woven network of sound, a world of music in which there is a lot to discover. Complex beats are kicking without being too abstract. Earthy analogue sound meets highly detailed arrangements.
And in the middle of all this, there is the voice of Dexter Porter, expressive, strong, and versatile. It shows to advantage in intimate soul confessions as well as in opulent choir arrangements. Numerous live instruments - different wind players, rhodes, guitar, double-bass, and a grand piano - enrich "High and Rising" with complementary lines of music and tone colours that shine even more brightly against the extensively used (analogue) synthesizers.

LLAVA is not a producer´s project but a partnership of two extraordinary artists with equal rights, in whose personalities a creative fire burns. LLAVA draws its power from two clashing worlds of music. You can really feel the energy released on "High and Rising".

Dexter Porter, born as a black indian in Florida, had come a long way, with stations in New York and San Fransisco, until his path crossed the one of Hannes Bieger in Berlin. He had dedicated himself to Soul music not just because of his voice. As a song-writer and texter, his emotions are his life, and his music, trained by Stevie Nicks, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, D´Angelo, and Incognito speaks of Soul Jazz.
His counterpart Hannes Bieger - born in Hamburg and the second LLAVA song-writer - works as a producer. As an experienced musician, he convinces as guitarist as well as on the legendary Minimoog snythesizer. In his studio, that is equipped with an exquisite collection of analogue music instruments and vintage recording equipment, "High and Rising" was made. It was an atmosphere of constant tension between emotional first take and meticulously detailed sound technique work. The categories of style used are unimportant. What counts to Hannes Bieger in his production is deepness - in composition, arrangement, and sound. It is not surprising that he names influences like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Curtis Mayfield, Pharoah Saders, Portishead, and even Led Zeppelin in the same breath.

"High and Rising" is a recommendation for all that makes up good music: excellent song-writing, virtuosity of musicians, and an elaborate studio production, that stands out with a tightly woven and warm sound.

LLAVA´s vision of music will enspire everybody - the connoisseur of Jazz, the clubber, and the hunter for a touching song with a hookline that fills you with happiness.

LLAVA - a warm fusion of intense emotions!


High and Rising (mole061-2) CD, mp3
No Greater Love incl. Meitz und Christian Prommer Remix (mole044-6) 12", mp3