DRA Future of the smallest Form

Posted on Feb 6, 2024 in / Serial ENW / Serial Publications

edition niehler werft is proud to republish the legendary first DRA album on band camp!

Christopher Dell DRA

Future of the Smallest Form


get your digital  copy here


Originally published in 2001, the recording has for long been out of print. We are very happy to make the now historical material available to the long-standing fans of DRA on the occasion of its 25 Years Tour!

This is DRAs iconic first album. Originally released in 2001, it is now made available to the public again via edition n Biehler werft (enw) as part of its retroactive series. DRA is a unique contemporary music research ensemble focussing on the exploration of rhythm. In the 25 years of its work, DRA has created a significant body of work that has been the subject of intense discussion in the music world.

At the time of the release, the famous critic Ulrich Olshausen wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 26 October 2001 under the headline “Air from three lungs. Gary Burton looks back, Christopher Dell looks forward” the following:
“…. In the case of Christopher Dell, one can also speak of descendants – one generation further on. The German vibraphonist would be hard to imagine without the challenging technical standards that Burton set for the world, especially as he studied with Burton and the American wrote the liner notes for Dell’s first record under his own name in 1992. What Dell does with these suggestions on his new CD is hard to believe. He uses big words to describe his concept. There is talk of the “manifesto of a new positioning in structuralist jazz”, of “innovative and vital fluidity” and the “exhaustion of what is possible in the musical space of classical trio playing”. Amazingly enough, everything is true. Others also compose complicated, twelve-tone themes with difficult changes of meter. In this trio, however, all the pieces are organized in a sequence of incessant, small-scale, highly complex structural changes. … Without question, these are highly conceptual compositions, but the confident, precise, casual flow and the technical qualities of the playing sensualize the music into a new kind of construct. The interplay of the trio – Christian Ramond (bass), Felix Astor (drums) – is the result of “three years of intensive research work”: this breathing of a body on three lungs is unprecedented. Of course, the “future of the smallest form” will not look like this: The rest of the The rest of the world would have to try too hard.“

Track List:
Einundvierzig 04:34
Dreiundvierzig 04:23
Vierundvierzig A 02:58
Neunundsiebzig 03:28
Fürnfunddreissig 03:59
Sechsundvierzig 06:49
Siebenundvierzig 03:56
Dreiundvierzig A 06:09
Vierundfünfzig 03:28
Einunddreissig 03:39
Fünfundvierzig 05:12
Zweiundvierzig 03:56
Achtundvierzig 04:27
Siebenunddreissig 05:53
Fünfundsiebzig 04:11
Dreiunddreissig 03:06
Line up
Christopher Dell – vibraphone
Christian Ramond – bass
Felix Astor – drums

Recorded November 2000
by Reinhard Kobialka

All compositions and concept by
Christopher Dell
© & ℗ 2023 Christopher Dell
enw 017
retroactive series
Design by Ruth Hommelsheim

Produced by Christopher Dell

released November 11, 2023

Design: Ruth Hommelsheim