Achtung, baby! Marina Records proudly presents THE IN-KRAUT (MA 66) - 20 rare and handpicked Soul, Beat, Now Sound, Mod & Soundtrack gems from Germany - recorded between 1966 and 1974. Enjoy a motherlode of Kraut-pleasin' obscurities and long-forgotten dancefloor nuggets - most of them appearing for the very first time on CD.
While the musical climate in Germany of the late 60s and early 70s was clearly dominated by horrible Schlagers, many other records of outstanding class were being cut - recordings that are absolutely on par with the hippest and tightest productions from the US and the UK of that time. Just check out "Gemini" by Günter Noris, a stomping piano-led instrumental worthy of Ramsey Lewis. Or the proto-funk of Erwin Halletz' "Das Stundenhotel Von St. Pauli" - a get-down-and-dirty soundtrack groover clearly inspired by James Brown. Listen to the elegant sweep of "Naturally Stoned" by Helmut Zacharias with more than a trace of a brilliant John Barry arrangement, and the powerful Blood Sweat & Tears-like "Molotow Cocktail Party" by Vivi Bach & Dietmar Schönherr.
The guys behind these productions were usually slick jazz players and studio musicians from the tightest orchestras of the country. Somehow these middle-aged men knew how to move the Kraut and adapt their skills to the swinging sixties. Even Peter Thomas, one of Germany's best known film composers, went "Now!" and chose to tackle the Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" - in very unique and mad fashion. And the man behind Memphis Black's ultra-rare breakbeat monster "Why Don't You Play The Organ, Man" is none other than Ingfried Hoffmann of the acclaimed Klaus Doldinger Quartet. Vorsprung durch Technik!
Some of the stuff included here is almost too good to be true: Check out the truly smoking drugsploitation nugget "Marihuana Mantra" by Kuno & The Marihuana Brass - a cash-in 45 celebrating the merits of Marihuana use (cooked up by members of The Rattles). There's even proof that Germans are capable of humor: Listen to Werner Müller's hilarious "Bodybuilding", an intoxicating sexy groover that discusses the pros and cons of a Schwarzenegger-like body. And we hardly dare mention Bill Lawrence's "Pussy Baby" - a track that has to be heard to be believed.
Even international stars like France Gall went kraut-a-delic in the 60s. "Hippie Hippie", a bubbly "love and peace" ditty, is one of her many recordings especially written and produced for the German market. Others went the other way round. When Heidi Brühl, a successful Schlager Fräulein, decided to update her sound for the Now Generation, she went to London, put on her white Go-Go boots and recorded the absolutely stunning "Berlin" with British musicians. Even Hildegard Knef propels one of her signature tunes to new heights with English lyrics: "From Here On It Got Rough" sparkles with added swagger and a cool Nico-like vocal delivery. Wunderbar!
Check out http://www.marinarecords.com/ma66.html for the complete tracklist, further details and soundfiles.
"It's fantastic! You wouldn't think that German pop music could be so much fun. Every track's a winner. Get yourself a copy today!" (Jonathan Ross, BBC 2)
"The perfect soundtrack to the next Austin Powers sequel. Nah, it's too good for that." (Now Magazine)
"Tight as hot pants on Pam Grier. Smokin. Slick. Mod. Groovy as a corrugated roof, shaking hips like a cronked belly-dancer: 'The In-Kraut' is all that and a bag of buds. Smooth Bacharach bounces that even Burt would envy, a psychedelic anthem extolling the joys of marihuana, chicks sounding like Nancy Sinatra doing Dietrich, and even a dirty back-beat soul jam that Bernard Purdie and Jimmy Smith couldn't do more funky.
This is a treasure trove of rarities. It makes Rhino releases seem like K-Tel. The variety is fantastic. Lounge, high-camp, rock, soundscape, jazz each tune brings something new and fab to the mix. This disc is so good get yourself to the record store now and buy this collection. Hell, buy 2. It'll make the perfect Christmas present." (Igloo Magazine)
The album is out on CD and double vinyl.