I started collecting records fairly late. In fact, up to an age of 21, I used to be only consumer of funk and soul music at various attractive clubs in town. But after I moved to the little university town Wuerzburg in the Franken region of Bavaria, there was no place to go out. So we opened up our own funk and soul venue which we called DISCO FANTASTIQUE. Soon we have made some progress in spreading our idea of wild, hot & sexy funk parties. With a growing crowd of funk-lovers our party grew as well. The DISCO FANTASTIQUE became locally acquainted for its DJ-sets in an extensively decorated location but also started to set up the stage for bands and DJs of international recognition.
In the last few years well-known artists such as the the Lefties Soul Connection (the amazing funk outfit from Amsterdam), The Hi-Fly Orchestra (some latin-jazz masters from munich) and the Backbeat Boys (containing the funky brass section of Peter Herbolzheimer’s Jazz-Orchestra) entered the stage of the DISCO FANTASTIQUE venue in Wuerzburg, Germany. With the Qualitons from Budapest and the Mighty Mocambos some of the hottest acts of the scene made tourstops at the DISCO FANTASTIQUE. Also DJ Tobias Kirmayer from Germany’s highly accredited Funk-Label Tramp Records has been a regular guest artist.
During 10 years of DISCO FANTASTIQUE the legendary Christmas parties have become tradition. Being probably unique in Germany, every December Jan Kohlmeyer played several hours of the club night only and exclusively funk and soul Christmas titles all from 45 or vinyl longplayers. Certainly, being properly mixed and making people dance all night. Every year, the location has been decorated in a seasonal way just for this one night. Christmas trees turn around all night being connected to a little motor. Lighting appliances and even huge plastic snowmen contribute to the special atmosphere.
So it was only a little step to get in contact with Tobias to release Tramp Records first yuletide compilation titled “Santa’s Funk & Soul Christmas Party”.
There were three people in the beginning who brought me into funk and hiphop. Most importantly was my brother. He was listening to all the dope hiphop acts like Jungle Brothers, Brand Nubian, Cypress Hill, and older stuff like Grandmaster Flash, Spoonie Gee, as well as funk artists like James Brown and Kool & the gang, to name only a few. After listening constantly to his records (and compact discs!) I found myself totally into these sounds.
The second guy who put me in the right direction toward funk was Fritz Egner. Fritz had a weekly radio show in the early ’90s called “black friday.” it was broadcasted on Bayern 3, a radio station under public law! Playing mostly standard soul and funk tunes, sometimes I heard those so-called “rare groove” tracks. I remember exactly when he said: “there is a new compilation out there called the sound of funk, vol. 1.” The song he played from it was no other than Leroy & the driver’s “sad chicken.” I was like…”damn, what the f**k is this!? I must get this compilation.” I bought it only a few days later. Immediately after getting it home, I was hooked to the rare groove sound. I couldn’t believe there were so many good tracks on one album. Damn! Over the next three years, I bought every compilation released; sound of funk, luv ‘n’ haight, not forgetting all the bootleg comps, too.
All of these people (my brother, Fritz Egner, the Desco crew and others) have influenced me regarding the style and quality of how good funk should sound. I remember well when I bought ‘the Meters’ “people say” 7″ for 12 deutsch marks (about $8.) After leaving the shop with the 45 in my hands, I kept thinking how crazy I was to buy a 7″ single for 12 deutsch marks! Funny, ain’t it? And that was only the beginning…
Most of my knowledge regarding soul/funk 45s and albums came from those compilations. You can imagine that that became costly, but now, several years later, I am very happy that it happened like that.
I am running my own monthly club night here in Munich called “shake-a-leg” together with Jerker Kluge, beside that I spin in several bars/clubs in Germany, England, France, Spain etc. My musical interests have developed over the years so that now I am also collecting funky breaks, drum’n’bass, afro beat etc. I founded tramp records in late 2003. So far I have released more than 60 45RPM singles (including 35 re-issues) as well as several compilations incl. “movements vol.1” (2005), “movements vol.2” (2006), “movements vol.3” (2010), “movements vol.4” (2010), three albums in the “contemporary…” series (“contemporary funk” 2009, “contemporary jazz” 2010 and “contemporary afro beat” 2011). Artist albums incl. Kaleta & Zozo Afrobeat (2008), “the hi-fly orchestra” (2007/2009), “the Qualitons” (2010), “Lucky Brown & funk revolution” (2011) and “Jaribu Afrobeat Arkestra” (2012). The next projects to be released are two albums in the “the story of…” series as well as more compilations and artist albums.
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