Kryptox @ XJazz Festival 2019, Berlin

On may 9th we have our 2nd showcase at XJazz Festival Berlin. Featuring 3 bands: RALPH HEIDEL // HOMO LUDENS. Presenting their just released debut album “Moments of Resonance”. With 4 strings, bass, sax, piano & electronics. 
Also: JJ WHITEFIELD and his new band. He plays music from his upcoming album “Brother All Alone”.
And as special guest from London: TENDERLONIUS!

JJ WHITEFIELD – 14/08 (Single)

“14/08” is the first pre-single of JJ Whitefield’s solo debut album “Brother All Alone”. On the new German Neo-Jazz label Kryptox / K7. Guitarist and producer JJ Whitefield is kind of a legend to many funk, hiphop and afro connoisseurs around the world. Before joining the Kryptox label he released albums on Ninja Tune, Stones Throw, Now Again and Daptone with his bands Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield and Rodinia.
He also was the band leader and co-produced the two comeback albums of Ebo Taylor for Strut Records. The German multitalent has been living in San Francisco many years before coming back to Germany and now recording “Brother All Alone” – a Jazz Funk album with some of the best young heads from the new Berlin Hipster Jazz scene. The album could make some waves as Whitefield has prominent fans all over the world: From L.A. guys like Madlib, DJ Shadow, Dan Auerbach or Kemasi to UK Jazz heads around Gilles Peterson scene. Many of the albums of his former bands are cult. So this next step in his carrier could get some attention too!

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RALPH HEIDEL / HOMO LUDENS – Moments of Resonance (Album)

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After the first wave of artists that have broken the ice with their way of combining contemporary symphonic music with electronica and jazz on the European side (Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Max Richter) – now there is a new generation of young musician breaking boundaries on a new level.

Especially in Germany there is a new wave of artists that bring the thing on a whole new level. These 20 – 25 year old people don’t just imitate what the bigger names in the scene (the fathers) have done but develop the style to a totally different level and add new ideas instead of just copying what the older guys did. This new wave of artists have a huge musical knowledge, have studied at the best music academies, learned to play „classical“ instruments and know how to improvise on a very high level. 

They have been raised in 2 different world: Studied the history of (contemporary) classical music and also been influenced by what’s happening in Electronica evolution of the last 25 years.

Ralph Heidel is one of these new kids in the German scene.

Coming from Munich, the 25 year old extremely talented musician studied saxophone and composition at the Munich academy of music (known for being the best music school in Germany. Think Julliard or Berklee). He graduated in 2018. 

Leering everything about the music of 20th century composers (Charles Ives, Alfred Schnittke, Giöyrgi Ligeti etc). At the same time he grow up with the music of electronic producers like Alvo Noto, Boards of Canada, Jon Hopkins, Jan Jelinek, Four Tet since early days. And: he comes from a Jazz musicians family and has grown up by listening to the jazz collection of his father. Studied saxophone since age of 12 with a big passion for the more advanced Jazz.

In his own music all this comes together.

Moments of Resonance“ are seven compositions full of brilliant little ideas, harmonic complexity, unheard music surprises, clever citations, dramatic evolutions, big explosive moments, meditative moments and euphoric high points.

This album is an extremely emotional work of art for strings, saxophone, drums, bass and electronics.

Ralph Heidel and his 7 piece ensemble Homo Ludens connect contemporary chamber music with Electronica, Ambient, Post rock and avant-garde Jazz. On a highest possible musical level – without getting too abstract and incomprehensible.

Everything is composed and improvised. Nothing is sampled. You find wild Punk-Jazz parts that recall John Zorn or Mahavishnu Orchestra and romantic passages that make you think about European impressionistic composers like Ravel or Debussy. But nothing is imitated, everything gets broken up through an expressive new way of using harmonization and melodic composing. Sometimes the band flies through an ambient and drone universe but one moment later the music evolves into an explosive, impossible to describe musical moment. One of Heidel’s biggest ability is to melt electronic and organic elements into a new unheard sound.

„Moments of Resonance“ never gets boring. You will discover new details also after listening 100 times. No matter if you listen to this while driving, lying in the nature or making love: this music stimulates deep emotions. Moments of joy and happiness but also heavy irritation. 

We seriously recommend to see a Live show of Heidel & Homo Ludens. It’s impossible to describe. Like a Punk band with strings and like a ambient show with real instruments these concerts leave nobody untouched and once seen cannot be forgotten.

Ralph Heidel is the perfect example of this new generation of musicians that are coming up in Germany. A new wave of multi-talented artists that are equally grown up and educated in 3 worlds: the history of German music, the electronica/drone/ ambient music of the last 3 decades and the history of experimental jazz.

His way to mix styles is ultra-edgy. Not just contemporary but highly futuristic. The opposite of retro.

And the way he composes his music non- linear with an extreme dramaturgy, musical evolutions and complex harmonic and melodic changes makes the big difference to a lot of music that gets released under the name of „neo-classical“. (A term that he doesn’t really like).

He is neither one of these techno guys adding some alibi strings to hide the banality of the music and he also is not one of the guys just taking one little musical ideas and stretching it for long minutes into an atmospheric carpet where nothing can irritate.. he is different.


22 year old german sax player and composer Ralph Heidel is part of a new generation of artists in Berlin that combine Neo Jazz, Electronica and modern chamber music. After people like Kemasi Washington, Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm have opened the ears of many listeners to new forms of jazz and contemporary classical music now these new kids go one step further. Heidel is one of these.

He writes music that leaves any boundaries behind. Music for classical string quartet, electronic instruments and jazz band. Creating intense cinematic sonic soundscapes. Music that can work in deep, sensual, romantic movies. Music that makes you think Johann Johannsonn could have be recording with Boards of Canada. Beautiful sounds that are complex without sounding complex. It’s a mind travel that adds a new view on the young and fresh Berlin musicians scene that comes after Techno.

The Flood is the second pre-release of Ralph Heidel’s debut album “Moments Of Resonance”. The album will be released on the new Berlin label Kryptox music end of march. Kryptox is a collaboration between K7! records & Gomma records.


RALPH HEIDEL / HOMO LUDENS – Sweet Dark Moves (Single)

Ralph Heidel is a young German composer, pianist and saxophonist. He is part of the new generation of musicians combining Chamber music with Electronica and atmospheric Jazz. The 25 year old Berlin based talent mixes string based Neo Classic, melancholic Jazz and Chill Out Electronica on the highest level.

His music fits perfect between artists like Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins, Rival Consoles, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Olafur Arnalds.

Heidel studied at Germany’s best university for classical music: The Munich based Musikhochschule. Besides being an amazing composer he also does impressive live performances with his 8 person ensemble. (The first appearance was at “XJAZZ” festival Berlin 2018 and blow away audience and critics. You can see live snippets on Youtube).


ROTHENBAUM – Dolce-Brutalism (Atmospheres 1-4) (Album)

“Dolce/ Brutalism” is a work by Rothenbaum. 21 year old Russian keyboard wizard, composer, performance artist. Rothenbaum didn’t appear to a bigger audience yet, he just starts to be known (under different names) in the alternative art scene of his hometown Moscow and in his temporary home Berlin. He is also part of the new improvisation- art guerilla group “Kosmet”. Doing spontaneous three minute appearances at political events and galleries.

Rothenbaum’s Dolce/Brutalism album consists of four atmospheric works. Little sketches and etudes played on thirteen different synthesizers. A collage of impressionistic moods and unheard sounds. Sometimes reminding the experiments of the “Musique Concrete” movement. But then you find lot of JazzFunk harmonies or dramatic dissonant evolutions, weird harmonical structures and complex melodic work. More than just an album this is a voyage.

Some of these sketches were used at Kosmet‘s group performances. Others recorded in Rothenbaum’s studio: an old bunker in the outskirts of Moscow, on several old synthesizers like an Arp Oddisey, a Moog, an Sidona Organ. But also some rare Czech and Russian keyboards from the 1980ies like the famous “Polivoks”.

On these synths Rothenbaum creates magic little sonic scenarios. With a special sensibility for light atmospheres. His music is never overcrowded. Small shiny little scetches interrupted by darker dramatic moods – an very special abstract collage of musical situations and atmospheres. Divided into four evolving parts.


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