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Interview with Nicky Kalliongis (Producer of Ze-Brass)

Ze-Brass - Feels So Good....Superlatives fail to describe the beauty of this music. Fell in love with this song right away when I heard it years ago and I still am. Ze-Brass was a studioproject by Nicky Kalliongis and Ray Caviano and no other releases were done by Ze-Brass. Terry Silverlight did excellent drumming here and the production-team succeeded in making a club-track that is unparalelled. The club mix on the b-side with it's 2 genial breaks is plain breath-taking. Yes, 'Feels So Good' is one of my all-time favorites. A precious diamond that any serious 80's soul/funk collector can't do without. Read below the interview with producer Nicky Kalliongis. Click here to hear a sample.

Hello Nicky, to start I'd like to thank you very much for your cooperation in this interview about Ze-Brass.

Nicky Kalliongis:

Thx..It was a surprise to hear that someone was inquiring about this record from so long ago!!

That's because your record deserves special attention as it is such a monumental track. Who came up with the Ze-Brass concept? In short, what is the story behind this project?

Nicky Kalliongis:

I had worked with the Change, B.B.& Q. Band records on RFC/Atlantic, and all those similar records back then, and decided to do my own.. I was already tight with the musicians so all the ingredients were there and we gave it a go.

Where did this exotic Ze-Brass name come from? Does it have any special meaning?

Nicky Kalliongis:

I came up with it.. I thought the name sounded good and it painted images in my head of a combination of real and electronic instruments. Today in Dance Music it leans towards electronic but back then it was more organic. Not better or worse, just different.. It was lots of fun having great musicians around though...

Was Ze-Brass a pure studio project and where was it recorded? Was there also a live act?

Nicky Kalliongis:

There were no live performances. It was a studio project recorded at MEDIA SOUND where a lot of great records were made.. Incredibly talented people working there.

And so are you...If I'm not mistaking the music was all composed and arranged by you. What was your inspiration?

Nicky Kalliongis:

I wrote the song about feeling good with someone that you're in the pocket with... Just a feel good record. The music I hoped would capture that feeling on the dance floor as well.

It certainly does. Do you remember what equipment was used for making this track?

Nicky Kalliongis:

I remember it was a Harrison board, either a Studer or MCI tape machine, 'Big Red' speakers on the tracking. The mix was on a Neve board with Urie speakers. The synthesizers that were used for the track are the Prophet 5, Moog and OBX. All at Media Sound.

Ze-Brass is often referred to as a club-record. Did it also get airplay on radiostations?

Nicky Kalliongis:

Yes somewhat but it was the clubs that leaned towards it more.

Ze-Brass is considered quite rare. Do you know how many copies have been pressed of this record?

Nicky Kalliongis:

Unfortunately I don't.

Was Ze-Brass also released on another recordlabel than Atlantic?

Nicky Kalliongis:

No, only on Atlantic.

You have produced many other records. What are the most important other projects you have done so far?

Nicky Kalliongis:

I have been involved either as a producer/engineer or an editor ect. on many records. Whitney Houston, Soft Cell, Rolling Stones, Dido. To name a diverse few...

What kind of music do you produce nowadays?

Nicky Kalliongis:

I do pop. Whether its Rap, Dance, Club, R&B or Rock.

Thanks so much Nicky for your time and thanks for making this fabulous Ze-Brass record, giving so much joy to many music lovers, even today, 20 years later...

Nicky Kalliongis:

Thank you for the kind words. That's what makes all the work worth it...

Nicky Kalliongis
Moda Records/Grandstand Entertainment


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