Yo Ho Ho! Marina Records re-issues “A Sunflower At Christmas” by The Pearlfishers as an expanded edition – with five additional tracks! The album now features 12 original compositions by main Pearlfisher David Scott and a lovely treatment of the christmas classic “Away In A Manger”. This new edition includes two brand new Pearlfishers compositions (“Come Chase The Snow”, “The Holly And The Ivy”) and new seasonal versions of three Pearlfishers classics (“Strawberries In The Snow”, “Battersea Bardot”, “Snow On The Pines”). Download only.
Further details and soundfiles: http://www.marinarecords.com/ma75.htm
Download the expanded edition @ iTunes or @ Amazon:
"A lovely addition to the season. Record of the week." (The Sunday Times)
"A magnificent christmas record. The sort of album you won't be listening to just on 25th December, but throughout the year." (Erasingclouds.com)
"Christmas albums are almost always a bad idea. Thank Santa, then, for the Pearlfishers, as their bold effort is a triumph: a sincere, joyful celebration of Yuletide!" (The Scotsman)
"A christmas CD that doesn't suck?! Unbelievable... but true. Combining elements from bands like The Beach Boys with a unique flair for composing modern pop, singer/songwriter David Scott comes up with seven surefire winners on this real treat of a holiday EP. What makes this disc so different than the average christmas CD is the fact that Scott chose to write all but one tune himself. And not only does he offer original tunes... they are as good as any of the old traditionals. His words and melodies are light years beyond what most artists are capable of producing. If you buy any holiday CD this year, this is the one to get. A truly wonderful disc." (Babysue.com)
Also still available: The original 7-track album on CD (digipak) and limited vinyl.
D-FUNK – what’s in a name?! We give you three words: Deadly! Defunkt! Deutschland! In other words: 30 years of Teutonic Funk Power. D-FUNK presents 18 block-rocking and distinctively eclectic Funk, Disco & Boogie nuggets from Germany that range from sweaty JB-styled grooves, cooking fusion gems, up-tight post-punk funk, to slick urban disco anthems.
It may be an unknown and as yet unexplored territory, but some Krauts certainly knew how to cook up a serious groove and put the D into Funk. Just take The Poets Of Rhythm and The Whitefield Brothers – two groups from Munich that immerged themselves so deep into the rare grooves of James Brown’s People label catalogue that it became part of their DNA. The Whitefield Brothers’ “Rampage” sounds like it was recorded in a funky shack in Louisiana in the late 60s. No wonder that DJ Shadow and Lyrics Born are keen to work with them nowadays. Hamburg’s Lee Armstrong Express and Augsburg’s Twen are cut from the same breed and no less impressive. Stabbing horns, hard poppin’ drums and grinding organs galore. Hit me!
The earliest entry on the compilation hails from 1972 and is cooked up by über-drummer Charly Antolini. “Jumping” from his much sought-after album “Atomic Drums” is a funky break-beat feast made in heaven. The same goes for “Kirschblüte” by Veronika Fischer & Band – an awesome, Philly-infused syncopation work-out, originally only released as a 7” flip-side in 1975, sounding like The Commodores lost in Leipzig. Hallelujah.
When the energy of punk met the rhythmic sophistication of funk, it often made for outstanding results. Berlin’s “No New York”-styled collective Zatopek (feat. Sven Regener of Element Of Crime fame) is a prime example: Driven by a great horn section, they explore the same territory as early 80s contemporaries Pigbag and James White & The Contortions. The fantastic Family 5 (featuring ex Fehlfarben punk demi-god Peter Hein on vocals) rode a similar path. Their rare debut 12” “Bring Deinen Körper Auf Die Party” (Take Your Body To The Party, 1981) is an insanely driven piece of post-punk funk. Addictive stuff. German post-punk legends Fehlfarben even went one step further. Their stunning 12” version of their single “14 Tage” (14 Days) from 1982 is the closest a German band ever came to the sound of Chic, Defunkt, and Change – incl. a killer bass line worthy of Bernard Edwards.
The discofied side of funk is represented by Ganymed’s spacy 7-minute magnum opus “Future World” (1979) and the incredibly switched-on “Stop Talking Bull”, a rocking collaboration by Discotizer & Supermax (Discotizer = rap mad men 5 Sterne Deluxe). Disco overlord Giorgio Moroder makes a laid-back appearance with his one-off project Stolen Property – with a slow burnin’, super-kool cover of “Low Rider” by War. Even Boney M. got funky once. Oh yes, and how! Their completely unknown and completely atypical B-side “Dancing In The Streets” (1978) sounds as good as any Miami funk tune served by KC & The Sunshine Band or Kool & The Gang. Dig.
During the 70s, even some old school bandleaders got in the game and infused their sound with a dose of F.U.N.K. The sophisticated fusion sound of James Last’s “Bolero ’75” could give Deodato a serious run for his money. Terrific! Andy Minkacz & Orchestra score with “Intercontinental Meetings”, a sexy Philly Sound groover highly reminiscent of American 70s cop-show themes. Bert Kaempfert’s long-time collaborator Herbert Rehbein is the man behind Su Kramer’s totally unique space boogie “Magic Dance” (1978). The track – built around a loopy funk rhythm – was later sampled to great effect by German hip hop act Deichkind for their hit single “Bon Voyage”.
Lovers of deep P-Funk from the school of Parliament/Funkadelic will be delighted by the contributions of Cheeseslider and Montana Chromeboy – pure uncut funk nuggets full of Larry Graham-styled slap bass and mad vocals beamed in straight from the mothership. Or as Biz Markie once said: “It don’t get no funkier than that!”
Available now on CD and double vinyl. Out in the UK and in the US on October 13, 2009. The first vinyl edition comes on delicious white wax!
Get your copy now via Marina Mailorder!
IN-KRAUT VOL. 3
Tag! Three Is The Magic Number. Willkommen to the third
and final installment of THE IN-KRAUT
(MA 72). Once again we take a deep trip into the funky musical
spheres of 1960s and 1970s Germany – an undiscovered universe
full of Hammond-heavy grooves, tight big band arrangements and fuzz
guitar enhanced dancefloor nuggets. Dip into a motherlode of 20 rare
Soul, Beat, Now Sound, Mod, Jazz & Soundtrack gems – most
of them appearing for the first time on CD, finally destined to move
naturally features a couple of cool and unique cover versions. Dieter
Zimmermann tackles Led Zeppelin’s “Whole
Lotta Love” orchestra-style – adding a whole lotta
fresh new twists and turns to the played-to-death rock classic. Inga,
who later recorded as Inga Rumpf, rocks Sonny
& Cher’s “The Beat Goes On”
– full of deadpan icy vocals à la Nico.
And Katja Ebstein – a lady who represented Germany
at the Eurovision Song Contest for an unprecedented three times (!)
– delivers a great “druggy” take on The Beatles'
“A Hard Day’s Night”. Her sitar-laden cover
sounds like the Fab Four may have treated their 1964 classic in 1969
themselves. Way out.
Available now on CD and double vinyl.
Get your copy now via Marina Mailorder!
Do you believe in magic?! Well, we do. Especially since we’ve heard this album. Marina is proud to present a brand new recording artist: Mr Brent Cash - a musical wunderkind from Athens, GA (home of R.E.M. and The B-52s, among others).
Brent entitled his debut album “How Will I Know If I’m Awake” and it is almost too good to be true. Sounding like a lost sunshine pop classic from the 60s, the record is overflowing with hook-laden choruses, multi-layered vocal harmonies and lush sophisticated arrangements. It’s the sound of endless summers and good vibrations.
From the start, multi-instrumentalist Cash decided to record his songs like “they did it back then”. So no costs were spared to hire the best musicians in town and assemble a mini-orchestra featuring strings, brass and even a harp (!). The results are simply stunning.
From the opening chords of “Everything That’s Grey” we enter melody wonderland. A place where major 7 chords rule and beautiful vocal harmonies dazzle your mind. “Digging The Fault Line” is full of Byrds guitar jangle, sounding like the perfect soundtrack to cruise into golden California sunsets (feat. a great Wes Montgomery-like guitar solo along the way). “Only Time” explodes with 100 % fat-free youthful euphoria - Roger Nichols meets The 5th Dimension. Ba-baba-ba...
While deeply rooted in 60s songwriting - influenced by Bacharach, Wilson, McCartney, and yes, The Monkees - Cash certainly has his own unique signature style. Just listen to “And Had We Ever...” and “I Think I’m Falling In Love” - with its complex enchanting textures, ignoring conventional song structures.
“Love Is Burning Down Tonight” - a striking duet between Brent and Amanda Kapousouz - is a special highlight of the album. It’s a song about a relationship going wrong - yet it’s so beautifully arranged, that it makes the scenario almost sound like the best lifestyle option ever (ha...). “Good Morning Sunshine” could be the theme song to the best TV series in the world - the harpsichord driven piece is chock-full of amazing twists and turns of melodic beauty. Play it over and over again - and you’ll still discover new beautiful details. “Making shapes on corners...”
“This Sea, These Waves” moves us into Bossa Nova territory. Starting off in a classic Getz/Gilberto mould, the song soon morphs into orchestrated Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 elegance (with one verse even sung in Portuguese!). Wow. “More Than Everything” - clocking in at over six minutes - ends this beautiful song cycle about love lost and found. A great final statement about overcoming heartbreak, delivered with the sincerety of a Carpenters record.
Listen to this album - and believe in magic!
Check out http://www.marinarecords.com/ma71.htm for further details and soundfiles.
Out now - CD, download and as a limited vinyl edition on white wax!
Get your copy now via Marina Mailorder!
Wake up everybody, they are back back back: After an extended hiatus, Glasgow’s The Pearlfishers return refreshed and all improved with Up With The Larks (MA 69), their sixth album for Marina Records – the latest in a line of orch-pop masterpieces including “Across The Milky Way”, “Sky Meadows” and “A Sunflower At Christmas”. The album is clear evidence that main Pearlfisher David Scott continues his unique musical journey with renewed joy and verve – and that classic songwriting and well-crafted arrangements are alive and well in 2007.
Joyous title track, “Up With The Larks” kickstarts the day, “shattered and blue in splinters and sparks”, rich with trademark Pearlfishers lush vocal harmonies, multi-layered guitar texture, the wild jangle of a battered upright piano and exquisite melodic twists and turns. Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake co-produced four of the album’s cuts, starting with “The Bluebells” – not a tribute to once famous Scottish popsters but a beautiful, string-laden rumination on the turning of seasons. One act that does indeed receive a full-blooded name-check are Womack And Womack in a song titled, aptly enough, “Womack And Womack” which recalls Scott’s early days running with the hawks of the major music industry (“…left the school and joined a band, like other lads across the land, gladly kissed the corporate hand…”). Morning breaks again in “Ring The Bells For A Day”, complete with the glittering Big Star chime of massed Fender Stratocaster, an exultation to “cast the night away” and a line written in tribute to one of Scott’s enduring heroes, Brian Wilson: “Wherever you lie down, wherever you wake up, the world follows”.
The Pearlfishers 2006 Japanese tour with BMX Bandits is thrillingly recounted in “The Umbrellas Of Shibuya”, a song which takes its reference point from Michel Legrand’s classic movie opera “The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg” but locates itself in a Tokyo rainstorm – with neon puddles, painted in Morricone banjos, Sakamoto synth blooms, Nilsson mouth music and, most tellingly, Scott’s truly unique sense of melody and structure. Another highlight is the Randy Newman-esque “With You On My Mind” which sounds like a lost Tin Pan Alley classic arranged by Van Dyke Parks. “London’s In Love” could be the theme song to an as-yet-to-be-made romantic comedy blockbuster starring the new Cary Grant, set in the “blue black air” of Britain’s capital, full of promise and heartbreak.
The Pearlfishers, firmly rooted in the classic tradition of three minute cinematics as pioneered by Webb, McCartney and, recently Rufus Wainwright, reach a great finale with the album’s closing songs: “Blue Riders On The Range”, a sparkling widescreen epic (sounding like Marvin & Diana doing “RAM”) and the gorgeous, pastoral “I Just See The Rainbow” which ends the album on an optimistic note. “And call me cock-eyed if you will, but I don’t see that dark hill, I just see the rainbow…”. The only way is UP!
Check out http://www.marinarecords.com/ma69.htm for further details and soundfiles.
The album gets a worldwide release on September 28, 2007. CD and download.
The Umbrellas Of Shibuya (MA 70) is also available as a 7” on white wax. It features the exclusive track “Clumsy” and is way limited – better be quick, folks!
More details: http://www.marinarecords.com/ma70.htm.
Get your copies now via Marina Mailorder!
The music of David Scott and The Pearlfishers was recently celebrated in an one hour special on BBC Radio Scotland.
listen to it here:
Welcome to Teutonic boogie wonderland, fellow disco citizens. DISCO DEUTSCHLAND DISCO presents 18 sparkling Disco, Funk & Philly anthems from Germany – recorded between 1975 and 1980. While never appreciated by rock critics, Disco is actually one of the few musical genres where German productions had a huge international impact and heavily influenced American and British recordings. It’s finally time to get this documented and appreciated. Shying away from the obvious hits, DISCO DEUTSCHLAND DISCO digs a bit deeper – with many tracks appearing on CD for the first time. So put on your platform shoes and boogie down to 100% fat-free dancefloor euphoria from Germany! Burn Baby Burn...
Su Kramer kickstarts our party of German glitterball grooves with the anthemic “You’ve Got The Power” from 1976, a big favourite of Germany’s gay community and previously only available on 7”. The song was written by Joachim Heider & Christian Heilburg, the German equivalent of Phillysoul godfathers Gamble & Huff during the mid-70s. The powerhouse songwriting team is also responsible for Marianne Rosenberg’s superb Philly-infused “Wieder Zusammen” (and her smash hits “Marleen”, “Ich Bin Wie Du” etc). Pure mirrorball magic. Mr Heider makes yet an another stunning appearance under his alter ego Alfie Khan Sound Orchestra with the terrific “Illegal Toys”, featuring a proto-house riff ripe for sampling. Are you listening, David Morales?!
Another main architect of German Disco and “The Sound Of Munich” was Giorgio Moroder, the man behind Donna Summer’s worldwide mega hits (“I Feel Love”, “Love To Love You Baby” etc). Munich Machine was his studio band that played on countless German disco recordings. “Get On The Funk Train” is Moroder in excelsis – featuring all the trademarks of his groundbreaking productions that still sound contemporary today. The band is held in high esteem to this day. International gigolo DJ Hell even named one of his albums after them.
The most successful German disco confection was without a doubt Munich’s Silver Convention. With “Fly Robin Fly” they hit the No.1 spot in the US charts and won a Grammy award, an unheard-of achievement for a German act. The high-octane “Love In A Sleeper” is a long-lost nugget from 1978. Supermax (with the orgasmic one-hit wonder “Lovemachine”) and Amanda Lear followed closely in their footsteps, both managing to hit the charts all over the world. Make sure to check out Amanda Lear’s superb lyrics for “Fashion Pack (Studio 54)” – perfectly capturing the hedonism and glitz of coke-fueled disco nightlife.
Even some old school cats turned on the disco fever during the 70s. Bandleader Ambros Seelos delivers the white-hot, metallic “Gimmi More”, featuring early traces of German Electro. Soundtrack legend Peter Thomas smokes his way through super-funky “Opium”, an irresistible disco monster from start to finish. James Last scores with “Can’t Move No Mountains”, a great slice of jazzy disco recorded in Los Angeles. And even easy listening god Berry Lipman went disco once. His steamy “Sex World” is the rare title theme of an x-rated porn flick. Speaking of disco soundtracks: The most obscure entry on this compilation is by none other than Schlager star Christian Anders. Though best known for schmaltzy ballads, he also composed the score to martial arts b-movie “Die Brut Des Bösen” (US title: “Roots Of Evil”). His “Running Away” is a killer funk workout with a bad-ass guitar part and a dead-on groove – he also had the good grace not to sing over it...
Available now on CD and double vinyl. The 2-LP vinyl edition comes on delicious white wax!
Get your copy now via Marina Mailorder!