Few projects in electronic music have remained at the very cutting edge for as long as Reagenz, a collaboration between San Francisco-based Jonah Sharp and Heidelberg-based David Moufang.
Their first self-titled album “Reagenz,” was released during a foundational moment for ambient and electronic music: 1994. At the time, Jonah’s main project was Spacetime Continuum; an early signee of seminal label Astralwerks. He was also running one of the first independent electronic music labels on the West Coast, Reflective Records, recording with the likes of Pete Namlook and Bill Laswell; while David was founding acclaimed duo Deep Space Network, starting to record solo records as Move D, entering into a fruitful collaboration with Pete Namlook, as well as running his own Source Records imprint.
Following several well-received live appearances in Japan, Reagenz was reformed in 2009 for a full-length album “Playtime” on the respected Berlin label Workshop. Since then, the project has been ongoing, touring to present live shows in both the US and Europe.
There has also been a special collaborative extension of the project when Reagenz met Magic Mountain High (Moufang w/ Juju & Jordash) under the name The Mulholland Free Clinic at last year’s Unsound Festival in Krakow. Moufang, working as Move D, is now highly in demand as a DJ, whilst Sharp is also busy with solo gigs and a collaborative project with DJ Spun called the Loose Control Band.
In 2013, almost twenty years after their first project, the album “The Periodic Table” was released. A stunning live album captured at The Bunker New York’s tenth anniversary party at Public Assembly, Brooklyn, in January 2013.
The Triple LP / CD album also served as the first full-length release from the The Bunker New York-label who has released music from artists like Atom™, Voices From The Lake, Marco Shuttle and others.
To introduce the album, Sharp noted; “I consider it a live album that captured the essence of the show. The two-and-a-half hour show was edited down to 70 minutes or so. The hard bit was selecting chunks to use.”
Recorded using a full stage of gear / all-hardware set up that included Roland TR 909, Roland TR 606, Roland JX-3P, Roland SH101, Anyware Instruments TinySizer, Nord Micro Modular, Doepfer Dark Time, Akai MPC 1000, Electro Harmonix Memory Man Delay and a Moog MidiMurf “The Periodic Table” incorporates elements of house, techno and ambient in an organic flow that few artists could replicate. Watching the two musicians on stage makes tangible the sense of decades of shared experience between them very apparent. Moufang clarifies “it is definitely about letting go and finding out where we can go as in terms of improvising (new) tracks.” Sharp concurs, “Communication comes down to hearing and feeling what's going on at the time and trying to make the right decisions on the spot. Spontaneity plays a big part! “
Of course, this special adapt-and-move approach is not something every musician could do successfully. Sharp confirms, “it's a challenge to play live dance music and make it work,“ whilst Moufang sees a parallel for their approach in game theory, noting “Live improvisation is always like a game of chess in a way—you follow and try to take the lead.”
Recorded with almost the same equipment they used to record their debut twenty years earlier, “The Periodic Table” is a testament to the power of live electronic music, its ability to transcend time and remain, when delivered with skill and art, one of the most powerful live music experiences possible. Far from being locked into any cul-de-sac of “dance” genre or DJ tools, “The Periodic Table” presents a living, breathing model. Free your mind and your feet will follow.
New split EP on AWAY with Move D and Reagenz.
3rd March 2017 Move D released an EP on AWAY with rEAGENZ. You can listen the one of the tracks via this link.