Many popular musicians have never studied music and composing. They are just playing, what they hear inside and of course the musical world has got great results from them. Here comes one artist ,who has full command of all classical theory and who creates a fertile combination of the popular and the classical approach.
heartscore is the pseudonym for the man behind this studio-project and the new album of heartscore called "Touch me", shows, that a classical background is not a handicap to rock as hell.
Founder and mastermind Dirk Radloff was born in Frankfurt/Germany started to play violin at the age of 5. Later he explored also piano, viola and not to forget electric guitar and bass. After he had finished his violin-studies at the music academy in Frankfurt ,he joined several local bands, but he became more and more frustrated by them. In an interview with Sergio Vilar he complains: " Years ago I took part in a countless number of local bands, so I played live very often. That didn't really satisfy me. My bandmates were either completely unprofessional and turned up stoned at rehearsals two hours late or they were just not prepared properly. Things didn't develop and you just carried your amplifiers from one youthclub to another. So I decided to work on my own 5 years ago."
In 2000 he founded the studio-project "heartscore", which set mostly american poems to music in the manner of an intellectual and progressive Rock-style. With "heartscore" Dirk could realise to arrange and write scores, which had to be played by himself and the other musicians. He could also melt together influences ranging from Led Zeppelin and Yes to modern Jazz and classical music. As a critic wondered: "Who can put this together?". Heartscore could and during the next years the project published three albums, which catched the attention and many compliments from critics. Heartscore featured some very talented musicians like Tim Warweg and Stefan Platte. Almost all recordings and the production was done by Dirk Radloff himself, just the Mastering was given to the talented ears and hands of Ole Kießling at Tonstudio Kießling.
In 2002 heartscore released "Structures", which was named "one cool album" by "Progressiveworld" and it showed Dirk and his classmate Oliver creating a well constructed Hardrock with strong melodies.
In 2004 heartscore hired Session-drummer Tim Warweg and piano-player Stefan Platte to realise the very ambitious work "Straight to the brain". Here the music was influenced by the inner structure of poems resulting in really spectacular and unusual songs. Critics especially acclaimed the use of choirs, which were compared to Yes and Queen, and the creative arrangements.
In 2007 "many directions" surprised the world with some more commercial songs, still basing on composed progressive rock, but now appearing as straight rockers and disco-funk. But the album also include one of the most progressive tracks of heartscore with a full orchestra: "The miller's wife"
Now in 2009 heartscore presents the actual "Touch me", which marks a turn around in the style of heartscore. But let Dirk explain it himself: "Inspired by the relationship to my pretty wife I started two years ago to collect little melodies on my cellphone. You have to imagine: Sometimes I stopped in the middle of a street, switched on the recorder, and sung something, while people around me wondered, what I am doing. Fourteen of these little recordings became basic motifs of "Touch me". During the process of composing I realised, that the new material would not fit to poems, because the songs were much more easy than anything, what I had written before. So I stepped away from the poems, the choirs, the long songs and the progressive style, though there are still progressive elements left. For the first time I use synths and programmed techno-patterns, which are transforming my sound to become more modern and more suitable for more people. All songs were written as full scores using my notation software 'Sibelius' before I thought about how to record everything. I hired again Tim Warweg for the drums to get a natural groove, which nobody can copy with programming. The drum-set was recorded in my bedroom with just two mics. We used very old drums by the manufacturer 'Asba'. The drums are made of steel, a material, which was also preferred by John Bonham . Tim was well prepared and we recorded all fourteen songs in just one day directly to 'garageband'. Basing on the drum-tracks I added the other instruments and the voice step by step."
From the first second "Touch me" surprises with the use of synthesizers, which were never used before on a heartscore-album. The synths are clever arranged with the guitar and the combination gives "Touch me" its special athmosphere somewhere between the old Rock 'n Roll and the young Club. Looking on the first track " I did it" with its mixture of delicate rhythms and straight-forward headbanging sections you can hear influences from slayer to to modern Jazz and you will feel activated to move and the same time to think over the arrangement and meaning of the song. The second track features the wonderful ballad "You are so beautiful" driven by the admiring voice of Dirk, the natural acoustic guitar and the powerful but controlled drumming of Tim.
The third tune "Happiness" kicks the ear from a totally different side: With its four-to-the-floor rhythm and funky bass playing the song looks directly to the dancefloor.
All lyrics are reflecting the bright sides of love, seldomly the problematic sides, and supporting a very smiling and happy mood for any listener.
If you are listening to "Touch me" your ears will melt away, your eyes will blink, your mouth will become hungry and your fingers will long to touch the handcrafted felt-cover, petting in a tender way the whole day over and over it as long as you hear the entire album.
Since 2000 heartscore is combining the tradition of Rock with the skills and knowledge of classical composers. heartscore is believing in handmade music, melodies and quality.