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UPCOMING RELEASES
CD/ LP/ Digital
Helmut Brandt Orchestra
”Spree Coast Jazz” (Sono-101)
Lost Modern Jazz 1963
June 16, 2017
CD/ LP/ Digital
Elsie Bianchi Trio
”At Chateau Fleur De Lis” (Sono-102)
Unearthed Modern Jazz 1968
September 22, 2017
Exclusive 10inch LP
Elsie Bianchi Trio
”At Seiler`s Atlantis” (Sono-103)
Reissue of 1962 LP
September 22, 2017
CD & Vinyl-LP: Sonorama C-40/ L-40
VARIOUS ARTISTS – COLOURS OF FUNK/ RING & HAPPY LIBRARY
Colours-of-Funk-A
Colours-of-Funk-B
S 01
Track
Performer
Composer
Time
01
Mr. Marco`s Music
Ralph Marco
Werner Drexler
2:31
02
Open Up
Frank Mantis
Jürgen Franke
2:27
03
Jumping Balls
Klaus Weiss
Klaus Weiss
2:31
04
Get The Groove
Siegfried Schwab
Siegfried Schwab
2:51
05
Jump And Fly
Peter Thomas
Freund
2:25
06
Dark Alley
Ken Aldin
Jürgen Franke
3:07
07
High Snobiety
Siegfried Schwab
Freund
2:07
08
Present News
Klaus Weiss
Klaus Weiss
0:57
S 02
Track
Performer
Composer
Time
01
Chicago Song
Ralph Marco
Werner Drexler
2:47
02
Back Talk
Ken Aldin
Jürgen Franke
2:48
03
Gettin` High
Siegfried Schwab
Siegfried Schwab
2:25
04
Pick It Up
Frank Mantis
Jürgen Franke
3:05
05
Just Funky
Klaus Weiss
Klaus Weiss
2:13
06
Late Train
Ken Aldin
Jürgen Franke
2:36
07
Sound Colours A
Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas
2:38
All tracks recorded and first published between 1974 and 1979 by Ring Musik, Frankfurt am Main
Original recordings from the master tapes, remastered 2009 by Stefan Noltemeyer
Compiled from the vaults of Ring Musik by Torsten Heller, Ekkehart Fleischhammer and Andreas Rothgangel
The Ring Musik company was founded in 1964 as a publishing and production house for library music in Frankfurt/ Main. Besides “Selected Sound” in Hamburg, Ring Musik remains the most important archive for German library funk and library jazz from the 70s. The company started to produce countless LP albums in the early days, presenting hundreds of tracks in various musical stylings on their special labels “Golden Ring” and “Happy Records” for inclusion into TV, movies or advertising  only. None of the tracks were available for the record stores or the consumers and the carefully produced vinyls were solely distributed from business to business, remaining strictly promotional artefacts until today.

Composers and musicians for Ring Musik include such big names as Peter Thomas, famous around the world not only for his many legendary soundtrack works, or Siegfried Schwab, who is among the most requested European jazz guitar players of the time, plus the legendary drummer and producer Klaus Weiss, responsible for the famous Niagara albums and playing with everybody from Johnny Griffin to Klaus Doldinger. Other composers from the Ring family were commonly unknown or appeared with their bands under various pseudonyms, like Werner Drexler (as Mr. Marco) and Jürgen Franke (as Frank Mantis or Ken Aldin), providing a true blaxploitation sound that comes close to the best soundtrack works of the genre.

Drexler and Franke alone were responsible for dozens of LPs on the scarce “Happy label”, while the most essential funk tracks by Thomas, Schwab and Weiss were pulled from the top rare “Sound Music Albums”, produced for the Golden Ring imprint and housed in the yellow standard type “camera covers”. Jürgen Frankes “Dark Alley” and “Open Up” were pulled from the in demand “Frank Mantis - Open up” album, while his “Back Talk” and “Late Train” were found on further scarce Happy library LPs. Werner Drexler appears on his own Happy label as “Ralph Marco” with the cult album “Mr. Marco`s Music”, on which the heavy funk tunes “Mr. Marco`s Music” and “Chicago Song” can be found. He produced four more albums for his rare imprint but none of the tunes from these can top his killer big band funk output as “Mr. Marco”. 

On his LPs for Golden Ring, the stand out drummer and music producer Klaus Weiss used to play all instruments himself. Both Peter Thomas and Weiss invented various stereo production gadgets for the Sound Music Albums and experimented with phased electronic sounds, finally developing  unusual sound colours that are sought after by DJs, funk collectors, fans of cosmic disco and hip hop producers worldwide. The two powerful tunes “Get The Groove” and “Getting` High” by Siegfried Schwab were edited especially for this Sonorama compilation, while the full epic length versions can be heard on one of the early Sound Music albums. The final downbeat funk of “Sound Colours A” by Peter Thomas was chosen by the compilers for the listener`s final relaxation after the tons of breaks and beats on this unique compilation. Let`s say that “Colours of Funk” presents a flow that seems close to a very nice DJ set.

One of the first to discover such unreleased and forgotten sounds from Germany was Berlin based DJ Maxwell aka Torsten Heller, who started to collect and spin these rare library albums on parties in the mid 90s, when the Acid Jazz movement rose to fame and electro jazz or authentic big band funk became “en vogue” again. His collection remained the main source for this compilation, while collector Andreas Rothgangel and Sonorama label manager Ekkehart Fleischhammer handpicked further tracks from their record piles. Uli Velte of Ring Musik in Frankfurt recorded the chosen selection from the various master tapes, while Stefan Noltemeyer was responsible for a careful remastering of the compilation.

Collectors, DJs and further rare groove afficionados are willing to pay high amounts for the seldom seen original Golden Ring or Happy albums today. Now the “Colours of Funk” compilation presents the true essence of all the big library funk records from the Ring Musik Publishing archives. All tunes sound fresh and timeless due to great arrangements and the best production facilities available at the time. Expect a further compilation from the vaults of Ring Musik on Sonorama Records in the nearby future, presenting the best Latin and Brazilian tinged tunes from the same archives. So watch out for “Colours of Latin”, going to be in the pipeline soon.

Producer for re-release: Ekkehart Fleischhammer, original recordings mastered by Stefan Noltemeyer, cover art for compilation from the idea and design of Martina Römer, produced by Patrick Haase (rab.bit). Thanks and big respect to all involved artists, musicians, engineers and to Uli Velte from Ring Musik plus DJ Maxwell.