Nov 14, 2014


Those who know, KNOW

Wir bei Ropeadope haben das große Vergnügen, permanent in die wunderbarsten und reichhaltigsten musikalischen Regionen vordringen zu können. So auch im Falle von Lars Bartkuhn, Komponist, Gitarrist, Produzent und einst die Kreativabteilung hinter dem überaus erfolgreichen und heute schon legendären Housekollektiv „NEEDS“. Schon in den Zeiten, als der Jazzgitarrist Lars Bartkuhn vornehmlich für den Dancefloor produziert hat, brach er das Genre durch etliche neue Zutaten aus Brasil, Soul und Funk und seine komplexen, einzigartigen Arrangements auf.
Neben seinen zahlreichen Eigenproduktionen hat er sich mit „NEEDS“ auch einen Namen als Remixer für Auftraggeber von Ennio Morricone bis Ian Pooley gemacht. Darüber hinaus veröffentlichte er auch für das legendäre Jazzanova-Label „Sonar Kollektiv“ und hat das Album „Entfernung“ der wunderbaren Sängerin Inga Luehning produziert, programmiert und mitarrangiert.

Wie schon erwähnt: Those who know, KNOW

In einem Zeitalter, in dem Künstler und Bands quasi über Nacht produzieren, hat Lars Bartkuhn mehr als drei Jahre an seinem fünften Studioalbum gearbeitet. „PASSION DANCE ORCHESTRA“ wurde von Sebastian Merk (drums), Lars Duppler (Piano/Rhodes), Helmuth Fass (E-Bass), Andreas Edelmann (Ac. Bass), Oliver Leicht (Klarinetten, Flöten) eingespielt. Hierzu addiere man das brasilianische Kammerorchester, das Lars Bartkuhn in seiner zweiten Heimat geleitet und aufgenommen hat. Die stilistische Bandbreite des Albums reicht von Folk über zeitgenössischen Jazz bis hin zu Elementen aus Neoklassik, Rock und Electronica. Alles zusammen gehalten von Lars Bartkuhn’s Gitarren und seinem subtilen Gesangsstil. Das Resultat spiegelt sich in einer musikalischen Architektur wider, die in Ihrer Komplexität niemals den Aspekt des Geschichtenerzählens verliert.

PASSION - Volle Intensität, viel Herz, Verstand und Seele.

DANCE - Der rhythmische Ansatz mit Wurzeln und viel Erfahrung im Dancebereich.

ORCHESTRA - Das konstante Streben nach der Erschaffung magischer Welten, voller Farbe und Leben, in die der Hörer eintauchen kann. Streicher, Holzbläser, selbstentworfene Harfengitarren und programmierte Elektronik erweitern das Grundgerüst der Band um fantastische Klanglandschaften.

Passion Dance Orchestra - NOW you know.

Oct 28, 2014

Tastemaker Comments

"I can relax to this, I can move to this...pure musical yoga from one of Germany´s most sensitive musicians. If you like Pat Metheny & the musical outings of some brasilian songwriters like Lo Borges, Milton Nascimento or even Egberto Gismonti I am pretty sure you are ready to dive into the musical world of Lars & his Passion Dance Orchestra …"
Marc Mac (4hero):
“I was pleasantly surprised by this wonderful album, It really sounds like Lars went with his heart on this record and that is the best way to make good music.”
DJ Marky:
"Absolutely amazing! The new Passion Dance Orchestra took music to another level. Good to hear real intruments and not just computer sound.“
"I’ve been a fan of Lars’ previous albums, and think “Passion Dance Orchestra” is his Opus magnum.
It contains all the elements that make a LB piece unique: the minimal music patterns, the MPB harmonies, the baroque counterpoints.
But in “Passion Dance Orchestra” he introduces a few new factors to the equation: bluegrass-influenced acoustic guitar lines, an orchestra, and a well-oiled quintet providing the tight support structure for his signature melodies.
I was fortunate enough to see the music evolve, from the first demo to the final master, and it’s been inspiring how Lars followed his vision to create such a unique piece of music.
Anthony Nicholson:
"Lars Bartkuhn is one of the reasons I still have HOPE in this world."
Alex Barck (Jazzanova):
superb album!
Patrick Forge:
too beautiful to even talk about it 
"Great album, he has found his own voice whilst interpreting some classy inspirations. Love it!

Aug 20, 2014



Mar 4, 2014

‘those who know, KNOW’ 

We at Ropeadope have the great fortune to be able to peer into the deepest wells of music creation around the world. For the last six months we’ve had the pleasure of ongoing dialogue with Lars Bartkuhn, the creative force behind the German House collective ,NEEDS”. Lars has been navigating the deep waters of the more intricate side of the genre for many years, bringing influences of jazz, Brazilian music, soul, and funk into house music. In addition to releasing their own works, Lars and his crew also gained worldwide recognition as remixers with works under their belt for Francois K, Jazztronik, Ennio Morricone, Atjazz, Ian Pooley, Russ Gabriel, and Franck Roger. Lars also produced the album titled ‘Entfernung’ for the great german jazz singer Inga Luehning.

Like we said - those who know, KNOW.

In an age where artists drop records overnight, Lars has spent three years creating his fifth studio album - PASSION DANCE ORCHESTRA. The core band consists of Sebastian Merk (drums), Lars Duppler (piano), Helmuth Fass (elec. bass), Andreas Edelmann (ac. bass). Add to that a Brazilian Chamber Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Lars himself. The stylistic range of this LP stretches the genre boundaries as the music travels from folk through contemporary jazz and on to neo-classical and orchestral elements. All held together by Lars‘ custom guitars and melodic vocal style. The result - a musical architecture with thematic continuity that tells a dramatic story.

That story creates the name :

PASSION  from the heart, mind and soul - a state of mind where idea meets intensity.

DANCE - the artist’s approach to rhythm, as the percussion arrangements move you.

ORCHESTRA -  The never ending quest to create magical worlds, to provide the listener with colour and life. Strings, wood, and brass with layers of sound created by self designed harp guitars.

Passion Dance Orchestra - now you know.


This is the single most respected, played, charted and beloved 12“ of all my recordings. A 15 minute orchestral, spiritual, worldly House-journey that was compiled many many times and played in all educated clubs around the world from Tokyo to Body&Soul and Shelter in New York. Considered even by guys like Lil Louie Vega as a „classic“. It is a piece that demonstrates my drive to expand the form and dimension of that style - a motivation for whatever kind of musical environment i find myself in at the moment.

Worlds - Theme

Worlds - House/Dance

Mar 3, 2014


Early EP that was a breakthrough for NEEDS. „Needs“ is the name of our label and was also our band name in the beginning. It‘s three people: my brother Marek who helped me in the studio alot - he‘s a biologist and a dj, „Yannick“ who is a dj and an important guy in the RedBullMusicAcademy-staff ... and myself. Alongside many other compilations it was on the „Respect Is Burning: DJ Deep“-album among real houseclassics from Kerri Chandler, Louie Vega, Lil Louis and Osunlade.


Mar 2, 2014


That was a dream come true for me. Ennio Morricone is one of my all time heroes and I got the chance to create this whole new production for him. It‘s more like a song of my own using some samples from the original - and I tried to show some respect for another guy who is deeply influenced by the Maestro: Pat Metheny!!! Mr. Morricone particularly liked the remix and approved it personally to be on the compilation on Compost Records. Proud!


Mar 1, 2014


(King Street / Needs / Impartmaint) That‘s a jazzy track from my debut album where I tried to implement bigband kind of writing combined with jazzy guitar playing into my House-formula. Important to mention is the fact that it was also released on one of the greatest Houselabels of all time: KING STREET/NITEGROOVES (vinyl 12“ and CD-compilation) - that was a massive honour for a white kid from Germany ;-) Compiled by Rainer Trüby!

• Treasure-Everywhere

Feb 26, 2014

Jazzfunk, Boogie inspired tracks and more...

LARS BARTKUHN - WINDY CITY (from the album „Choreographies“, Impartmaint/Japan)

• Windy-City



TOUCH ONE - GET ON UP That‘s my project with Chicago‘s producer legend ANTHONY NICHOLSON who was also a partner of RON TRENT of the „Prescription“-family (one of the most important House movements of all time!) - That‘s a BOOGIE..


KABUKI - BEYOND WORDS (composer) (V-RECORDS/London) I made a couple of records with Kabuki - the only german D&B-producer to have ever released music on V Records.


Feb 21, 2014

Sonar Kollektiv and RBMA



LARS BARTKUHN - GOODBYE DANCING HELLO GOD (Sonar Kollektiv) -PLAYED BY GILLES PETERSON ON HIS WORLDWIDE SHOW From my album „The New Continent“. The track title is not to be understood as a farewell from dance music, but it explains that there are new msuical paths for me to be explored. I am super proud of that record, it‘s highly ambitous, contains a lot of crazy influences from the 70s in Brazil to cosmic funk jams while staying all personal und genuine. Unfortunately it was released without any support from Sonar Kollektiv (as I mentioned before)... All music is composed, performed and produced by myself...


RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY I used to be a member of the infamous Red Bull Music Academy team (still connected). I was a lecturer (ROME) among people like Leroy Burgess, Bernard Purdie or Arto Lindsay to name a few and also the studio producer (SEATTLE) to guide the participants and helped making their tracks. Together with LARRY HEARD I produced a piece called „Pudget Sound“ (yeah, so now I feel legendary, because I released a track with the inventor of everythinhimself!) I also presented the academy as a dj with further lectures from North America to Russia.

Lecture Video