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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Various Artists

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published April 27, 2007

The In-Kraut Vol. 2

London wasn’t the only “swinging” city in Europe 40 years ago. Germany, for example, not only had its share of excellent British beat-type bands, but no dearth of pop singers and big bands that produced hip-shaking grooves. As with the 20 tracks on Vol. 1, this compilation consists mostly of obscure album tracks, minor hits, or B-sides that have never appeared on CD. Some of the artists were well-known, at least in Germany. Paul Nero was actually Klaus Doldinger of Passport fame, while the popular Mary Roos is featured on an atypical German version of Jorge Ben’s well-known “Mas Que Nada.” Hildegard Knef, the only singer to appear on both volumes, is featured on a Krautadelica proto-rap song that was found on a rare 7” B-side from France. Many tracks feature hip horn charts and slightly over the top production values. Even James Last sounds strangely hip on “Soul March.”