Various Artists - Achtung! German Grooves
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Various Artists
Achtung! German Grooves
(Bureau B)

A couple years, I used to absolutely love compilations like Achtung! German Grooves. Stuff like the sleazy Vampyros Lesbos and Peter Thomas Sound Orchester's Futuremusik tickled a certain spot in my ear that made me a bit giddy. Somewhere along the way, though, I simply got a bit sick of all the kitsch and soft-funk and soul wankoffs, instead finding myself drawn to more complex work by artists such as Don Ellis and other like-minded souls.

That's not to say there's not a place for a release like this (which purportedly collects "20 instrumental dancefloor killers from the 60s and 70s"), but the problem remains that unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you've heard a lot of music like this, and likely a lot of stuff that's better. Heck, perhaps I can chalk it up to the "yeaaaah, baby" craze of Austin Powers and the slew of crap sequels that followed for having ruined me on this type of music in general, but it's something that's seeped even further into the consciousness than that. I'm as guilty as anyone for my love of the retro (helllloooo! small collection of Eames-era AM radios!), but lately I've found that unless it's offering something a bit different, this classic groove-tastic stuff just doesn't do it for me like it used to.

Having gone completely off course, I have to admit that there are some gems on Achtung! German Grooves, regardless of how burnt-out I'm feeling on this music. Orchester Günter Gollasch swirls some backwards loops and juicy horns into their dirty funk-bombed "Es Steht Ein Haus In New Orleans" while Heinz Kiessling overloads "Orbiter" with multiple organs and guitars, resulting in a sleazy track that's far from slick, squealing with drawbar glee as odd six-string noises chunk out all over the place. Basically, for every two or three tracks that you've heard some variation of before, this release throws out something exciting, which wouldn't be that great of a percentage if the more basic tracks weren't at least interesting, which they mostly are. If you need more music for your swinging bachelor (or bachelorette) pad, you'll likely want to have this as backing for an upcoming love-fest, but to most others this will seem old hat.

rating: 5.2510
Aaron Coleman 2008-02-14 19:14:04