24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2005
An amazing selection of German grooves from the 60s through to the early 70s.
There’s so many albums you wait an age for which inevitably let you down, then albums come from nowhere and knock you out. Such is the case with ‘The In-Kraut’, appropriately sub-titled ‘Hip Shaking Grooves Made In Germany 1966-1974’.
When you think of German music past, it’s hard to get past Kraftwerk and hair rock. But like all cultures, if you go past the obvious and scrape the surface, there’s some great stuff hidden down below. I first heard album opener ‘From Here On It Got Rough’ by Hildegard Knef on the radio, prompting me to seek out this collection. Like Nico does northern - incredibly quirky and catchy and a sign of things to come. Some tracks are cool and funky variations of the big band sound, like Guenter Noris’ ‘Gemini’ which operates in Ramsey Lewis territory and Fredy Brock’s ‘Beat It’, featuring a class JB style rhythm section. Best topping those is Orchester Helmuth Brandenburg’s ‘Moving Out’, not a far cry from the Starsky and Hutch theme! There’s the annoyingly catchy ‘Marihuana Mantra’ with its driving guitar and chant-like chorus or the fuzz-pop of Bill Ramsey’s ‘An Unknown Quantity’. And check out the breezy 60s pop of Marianne Mendt’s ‘Wie A Glock’n’ or the more sleazy ‘Pussy Baby’ by Bill Lawrence. Talking of 60s pop, I love Heidi Bruehl’s ‘Berlin’ - almost like a soundtrack piece, complete with great psych guitar solo (rumoured to be from Jimmy Page!). And for a piece of driving hammond, The Boots’ ‘Alexander’ hits the spot.
And there’s tracks that have already become sought-after collectors’ grooves. Check out ‘Why Don’t You Play The Organ, Man’ by Memphis Black - a monster funk piece. And feel the groove on the opening of ‘Sunday Love Affair’ by Orchester Frank Pleyer. More mainstream funk comes courtesy of Erwin Halletz, with ‘Das Stundenhotel Von St Pauli’ - a blue movie soundtrack inevitably! A track that has already been lifted wholesale is ‘Bodybuilding’ by Orchester Werner Mueller - re-worked by Bentley Rhythm Ace into a hit single a few years back. And no album of this nature would be complete without a bonkers covers version - enter Peter Thomas with his early synth and brass take on ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.
20 tracks - no filler and one of the best booklets I’ve had the pleasure to read in a long time. A fantastic trip through the German underground of the 60s and early 70s and an album I just can’t recommend enough.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2005
Tight as hot pants on Pam Grier. Smokin. Slick. Mod. And as advertised, groovy as a corrugated roof, shaking hips like a cronked belly-dancer: 'The In-Kraut' is all that and a bag of buds.
Encompassing some of the best of the late sixties and early seventies, it’s a raunchy Deutsche gumbo: 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. Tunes from the musty, dusty days of a still divided country that evince American influences, but also show off their own distinct flavors. And they’re tasty.
The variety is fantastic. Lounge, high-camp, rock, soundscape, jazz – each tune brings something new and fab to the mix. It’s hard to imagine a mélange like this coming to a gel. But these are jelly and jam, hot sauce and jalapeños: sweet as hominy grits and honey one moment, sultry as a silk garter the next. Lord Jesus, this disc is so good it’s driven me to more colloquialisms than Dan Rather on election night.
So I’ll end my review with just one more final, no jive comment: Get yourself to the record store now and buy this collection. Hell, buy 2. It'll make the perfect Christmas present.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2005
There seems to be no end to the moddish discotheque ravers released in Europe during the late 60s, a fact underscored by the delightful 20-track 'The In-Kraut' collection of 'hipshaking grooves' from Germany. This spirited sampling of nutty swingers from leering German big band bozos, breathy pop tarts, misguided TV personalities, quirky Eurovision losers, St. Pauli sexploitation film savants and Kraut-a-delic garage band bruisers would make the perfect soundtrack to the next Austin Powers sequel. Nah, it's too good for that.