Various Artists: Funky Fräuleins: Female Beat, Groove, Disco, Funk in Germany 1968-1978

Although nothing on here can be qualified as quintessential, it's still hard not to get down with a compilation so upbeat, feel-good, trans-global, and -- well -- just plain funky.

Various Artists

Funky Fräuleins: Female Beat, Groove, Disco, Funk in Germany 1968-1978

Label: Bureau B
US Release Date: 2009-08-18
UK Release Date: 2009-08-10

Sometimes, the more you look at the big picture, the more everything winds up being the same. Such is the case with Bureau B's excellent Funky Fräuleins compilation. Though extracted from the German airwaves during the peak of the disco era, these funky, lost nuggets don't differ much from the mirrorball classics piped through America's boomboxes during the exact same time frame (save for the language they're sung in). Take Peggy March's "Dancin' Daddy", for example. Pitched between the retro-soul sounds of the Grease soundtrack and the sleek production of the Andrea True Connection, here's a track about an uncool dance-floor companion (horribly uncool, in fact) that wouldn't sound too out of place being played right after a Gloria Gaynor classic in your favorite retro club. Elsewhere, there are keyboard-heavy funk-groove tracks (Heidelinde Weis' "Hans Emmerich"), mariachi-infected dance-floor numbers (Evelyn Künneke's "Kikilala Hawaii"), and interstellar wah-guitar workouts (Roberta Kelly's "Sunburst"). Though these sound like defiantly disposable '70s fodder, one track manages to outshine them all: Renate Kern's stellar horn-filled cover of the 5th Dimension’s "The Age of Aquarius" (or, more accurately, "Der Wassermann"), which captures the exact same vibe of the original while updating the production ever-so slightly, somehow retaining all of its faux-psych flavor even when sung in German. The whole thing comes off like a top-notch Bond theme-song reject (even moreso than Jane Morel's delightfully innocuous number "Special Agent"). Although nothing on here can be qualified as quintessential, it's still hard not to get down with a compilation so upbeat, feel-good, trans-global, and -- well -- just plain funky.





Cordelia Strube's 'Misconduct of the Heart' Palpitates with Dysfunction

Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.


Reaching For the Vibe: Sonic Boom Fears for the Planet on 'All Things Being Equal'

Sonic Boom is Peter Kember, a veteran of 1980s indie space rockers Spacemen 3, as well as Spectrum, E.A.R., and a whole bunch of other fascinating stuff. On his first solo album in 30 years, he urges us all to take our foot off the gas pedal.


Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.


Inventions' 'Continuous Portrait' Blurs the Grandiose and the Intimate

Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium side project, Inventions are best when they are navigating the distinction between modes in real-time on Continuous Portrait.


Willie Jones Blends Country-Trap With Classic Banjo-Picking on "Trainwreck" (premiere)

Country artist Willie Jones' "Trainwreck" is an accessible summertime breakup tune that coolly meshes elements of the genre's past, present, and future.


2011's 'A Different Compilation' and 2014 Album 'The Way' Are a Fitting Full Stop to Buzzcocks Past

In the conclusion of our survey of the post-reformation career of Buzzcocks, PopMatters looks at the final two discs of Cherry Red Records' comprehensive retrospective box-set.


Elysia Crampton Creates an Unsettlingly Immersive Experience with ​'Ocorara 2010'

On Ocorara 2010, producer Elysia Crampton blends deeply meditative drones with "misreadings" of Latinx poets such as Jaime Saenz and Juan Roman Jimenez


Indie Folk's Mt. Joy Believe That Love Will 'Rearrange Us'

Through vibrant imagery and inventive musicality, Rearrange Us showcases Americana band Mt. Joy's growth as individuals and musicians.


"Without Us? There's No Music": An Interview With Raul Midón

Raul Midón discusses the fate of the art in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is going to shake things up in ways that could be very positive. Especially for artists," he says.


The Fall Go Transatlantic with 'Reformation! Post-TLC'

The Fall's Reformation! Post-TLC, originally released in 2007, teams Mark E. Smith with an almost all-American band, who he subsequently fired after a few months, leaving just one record and a few questions behind.


Masaki Kobayashi's 'Kwaidan' Horror Films Are Horrifically Beautiful

The four haunting tales of Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan are human and relatable, as well as impressive at a formal and a technical level.


The Top 10 Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Films

Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.