Great news for all devotees of danceable music, of dance-pop-songs and the 1990's: ALEX CHRISTENSEN resumes his highly successful record-series “Classical 90's Dance“ with a new album - the biggest 90's dance-hits come upon a classical orchestra! And simply because the best things come in threes, as the saying goes, he is going to cap it all off with CLASSICAL 90's DANCE 3, the third part of his ambitious project.
Much has happened since the release of “Classical 90's Dance 2“ in October, 2018. While its predecessor “Classical 90's Dance“ shot to #10 on the German album charts in 2017 and turned out to be an unqualified success, its sequel rose to #4 in its first week on the charts. Yet again, Alex Christensen, the innovator, was celebrated as one of pop-music's true visionaries. Rightly so. His idea, to illuminate melodies and harmonies of 90's dance-hits in a new and timeless fashion with an orchestra came like a bombshell - not just charts-wise, but even more effectively entrenching his vision in our collective pop-consciousness. Quick and remarkably deep, as it turned out. While most new releases are hardly in demand following their initial sales-waves, Christensen's “Classical 90's Dance“ turned out to be a long running series of albums. Having gained 30 million video-views, “Classical 90's Dance“, the preluding chapter of the series, went gold for more than 100.000 sold copies, 18 months after its release, with “Classical 90's Dance 2“ following its predecessor's claim for gold steadily.
Never let it be said that all has been articulated in pop-music. For “Classical 90's Dance“ Alex Christensen created brilliant albums and actually a new genre: Orchestral Dance Music. Not alone for sound recordings, as it turned out. Having brought the concept into the live-setting for the first time last year, he enthusiastically embraces the idea of getting „Classical 90's Dance“ to tour. Being the generator and beat-provider of his project, he positioned a 30-piece orchestra behind his DJ-booth for the very first time about 12 months ago. “That's been the bee's knees“, he happily remembers. “While being onstage, I constantly felt the urge to pinch myself as I finally fulfilled one of my childhood dreams. While I was working on ‘Das Boot‘ in 1992 with U96, I wanted to record the track with an orchestra. But neither was I able to provide the financial means for it, nor did I have a clue on how to arrange orchestral music. It's all the more thrilling to feel the orchestra now in my rear.“ You would think that a man who's name is decorating more than 40 million sold records, who had produced hit-singles and hit-albums for all and sundry, and who has been on duty as a sought-after DJ for 35 years, might not be as keen on music anymore. Way off the mark! Christensen counts his recent live-experience with the orchestra as one of the most formative of his career.
“The ‘Classical 90's Dance‘-Shows featuring real musicians and singers are amendments to my professional experiences so far. But they also present me with a unusual challenge“, says Christensen. “The shows are much more demanding and intricate than a mere DJ-set, which really pleases me. At some point, I felt that as a DJ I'd seen and experienced it all, which can lead to some kind of routine. And routine in music is a no-go for me, to put it mildly.“ Absolutely! Anyone familiar with the modest man from Hamburg will attest that there's nothing more boring for Christensen than recurrences. His new album Classical 90's Dance 3 is therefore not merely a continuation of its predecessor's successful formula. Like long ago, when he began making music before there were quick answers from search-engines and the internet, he presses himself and his music once again to come up with something interesting, something new. He wishes to progress, asks experienced arrangers for orchestral music questions to be able to shape his vision for orchestra-sounds based upon dance-music-beats consistently exciting and progressive.
Asking questions due to lack of detailed knowledge on how certain aspects of music-making work, is not a flaw to Alex Christensen, but a strength. A strength that he decorated himself with even back then, in the early 90's, when he decisively co-sparked the Eurodance-revolution as one of its pioneers. Only Hollywood's top-notch producers were able to pay for indescribably expensive sampling-machines at that time. In Hamburg, where Christensen conceived dance-songs while deejaying, he had to help himself with comparatively spartan resources. This alleged plight lead to an upheaval that would change the world of music forever. Christensen, the visionary, was one of its leading rebels. With Classical 90's Dance 3 his vision comes full circle. His main concern is still to come up with something new. He still challenges himself and the Zeitgeist to continually refashion dance-music.
House music classics of the 90's undergo engagingly beautiful new interpretations on Classical 90's Dance 3. To get it straight: Alex Christensen didn't pick any of the established techno-house-tunes with fast depleting melodic gamut for his new album. Instead he re-arranged a number of his favourite house-tunes, all dating from the period when house combined the originality of the Chicago-scene with enormous soulfulness. You'll hardly find a more ageless song in that fund than “Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)“, the Crystal Waters-classic, a track which wasn't chosen by chance as the album's leading first single. British #1-singer Natasha Beddingfield powerfully showcases 90's hits “The Sign“ (originally by Ace Of Base) and “Missing“ of Everything But The Girl-fame. “Rhythm Of The Night“ is “like a red traffic light, that no one could possibly have driven through who had listened to pop-music in the 90's“, as Christensen states. This, of course, extends to “Love Religion“ by Christensen's former project U96, now sounding hauntingly beautiful in its slowed down rendition. Classical 90's Dance 3 features two gorgeously orchestrated instrumental-tracks: Da Hool's “Meet Her At The Love Parade“ and Ultra Nate's “Free“. Another highlight is “It's Alright“ (formerly by East 17) which turned out to be a lot more boppy than its original-version when former Caught In The Act and 90's boy-group-star Eloy de Jong stepped in front of the microphone, who is currently at the top of his game in Germany and therefore meeting the requirements of Classical 90's Dance's ongoing success fittingly. Maite Kelly, whom Christensen met together with her famed Kelly Family in the 90's when she was still very young, sings the newly arranged hands-up-song “Everytime We Touch“ in her unique singing style. “Barbie Girl“ gains a lot more melodic presence in its new ballad-form. Giovanni Zarrella, casted by Alex Christensen at the end of the 90's for Bro'sis, sings “Believe“, the song-heavyweight by Cher. Its gender-change, a man singing a song originally taken by a woman, is reviewing the track entirely new. Another example of Christensen's spree with gender-changes for songs is “Wonderful Dream“, originally sung by Melanie Thornton. In its new version, former Modern Talking-superstar Thomas Anders is taking the song to a new destination by using a different pitch.
Classical 90's Dance 3 feels a bit like coming home for Alex Christensen as he says: “What signified the 90's? The Berlin Wall had just come down, the East was no longer seen as a threat, the German reunification had taken place. We youngsters were naively talking big, a joyful sense determined the Zeitgeist. Today we're confronted with bans on cars near Christmas markets and an insane figure is trying to buy Greenland. That's not joyful anymore, it's outrageously serious. If I can offer the listeners of my new album a place of ease and some escapism from all the daily insanity for a while, I'll have achieved a lot.“