On August 15th
1977, Elvis collapsed at his home and never regained consciousness.
It was literally, many say the death of rock and roll. Two weeks later, many thousands of kilometres from Memphis, Bruno Schmitt alias
Zorg - was born. Simple coincidence you might say. And you'd be
right. Nevertheless, music was never the same again, and many
years later, Zorg was to play his part.
To be precise, Zorg's (private) life started on 28th August 1977 in Strasbourg in eastern France. |
into a family of winegrowers, young Zorg delights in the calm
of the countryside, finds a passion for history, and doesn't listen
to music at all. Not a very inspiring start for a musical genius,
especially as he does finally take an interest in, um, heavy metal.
Who would have guessed that this introverted young man would go
on to make sensitive, delicate downtempo? The real revolution
starts when Zorg hits 17. Warmest thanks got to his best friend
Alex whose love of electronic music was soon to rub off on Zorg,
big time. Listening to "The Milky Way", an early track on F Com, and trance 12"s
from Eye Q, Zorg and Alex decided they they'd quite like to try
their hand at that too. Pooling the little money they had, they
bought a sampler and a Groovebox and started frenetic knob-twiddling
that was more exploration than creation. And so it continued for
a couple of years.
rise of French Touch stars Etienne de Crecy and Daft Punk showed
Zorg that gasp you could be French and make good
music for everyone to hear, and yet he wasn't inspired. He still
hadn't got to grips with the sampler, pal Alex had it for half
the week╔ things were going nowhere fast, you might say.
And yet the revelation wasn't far away; praise be to DJ Shadow, patron saint of smoked out hip-hop flavoured grooves, bursting with originality, obscure samples and late-night sensuality. Zorg had finally found his muse, now it was time to tame the beast. Alex and Zorg decided that it would take more than a silly sampler to stop them making great music, so they locked themselves in a room with a large pile of sandwiches, the
stubborn machine and its manual, vowing not to leave until they knew exactly how to get it to do what they wanted it to do. 12 hours later they emerged, sweaty sampling-masters of the universe. Time to make that music. Their early demos were based on loops, an ingenious collage using the sampler and the Groovebox for a result that was modest but correct.
Zorg was kinda happy with the melancholic grooves, but his friends were way more emphatic; Bob Sinclar was playing in Strasbourg that night, and they pushed Zorg into giving him a CD to get his reaction. Amazingly, Bob rang back the next day╔ to ask exactly how depressed Zorg was! Apparently, it wasn't quite up Monsieur Sinclar's street. After waiting so long to get started, Zorg wasn't going to be stopped so easily. He bought a Mac, cleaned things up and sent a demo to France's electronic music magazine Trax. The mention of Zorg's soaring orchestral strings and blunted grooves caught the eye of the formally UCMG France boss Bruno Girard, who asked to hear it and quickly realised that Zorg was an essential addition to the label's growing roster of nu-jazz and downtempo artists. The tracks showed immense promise but still needed work.
hooked the eager young man up with Flush, an engineer who could
cut through the technical bumpf leaving Zorg free to compose,
create and generally chill. And chill they did, for about a year,
before seriously getting down to work during the summer of 2001. "It was a magical time,' says Zorg. "I finally had the feeling that things were moving forward".
Rather reserved in general, Zorg became great friends with Flush,
bouncing ideas back and forth. Flush's technical wizardry was
the perfect complement to Zorg's creative inspiration.Magical
indeed. Their complicity brought a special force to the tracks,
a natural spontaneity in both focus and feeling. Zorg's troubles
with his girlfriend proved to be further inspiration. Subtly crafted,
tinged with melancholy but resolutely optimistic, the album was
going well. Seven weeks of work and seven tracks. Summer was over,
and Zorg had to go to back to college. Flush moved to Paris. The
demands of studying and the physical distance between the two
made extended recorded sessions impossible. As both were happy
with what the results, Zorg and Flush decided that the collaboration
had reached a natural end.