200 releases is a great achievement for any indie label. To mark this respectable milestone in the catalogue of their Sonar Kollektiv label, JAZZANOVA have put together another of their pristine compilations. Far from adhering to any kind of obvious “best of” format, they have chosen to include almost exclusively tracks from the last year of Sonar’s output. And SK200 is a gloriously eclectic compilation showing that after more then 10 year on the scene, the label is still getting better with every release. SOULPHICTION aka JACKMATE aka Stuttgart man MICHEL BAUMANN gets the ball rolling with Sun Children taken from his fresh new album Do You Overstand on Sonar Kollektiv (SK180CD/elektrish). As well as having had releases on Sonar Kollektiv and his own labels Philpot and Phil E, SOULPHICTION has also put stuff out on Perlon, Playhouse, Moon Harbour, Liebe/Detail and Freude am Tanzen and has remixed DJ KOZE, INTERNATIONAL PONY, DAPAYK & PADBERG, MOVE D, SOLOMUN and EVA BE amongst others. Next up is Munich’s CHRISTIAN PROMMER with his cover of the DAFTPUNK classic Around The World. PROMMER is a member of FAUNA FLASH with his friend and now SK label-mate ROLAND APPEL, part of the famous TRÜBY TRIO also with ROLAND APPEL and RAINER TRÜBY, and VOOM:VOOM alongside PETER KRUDER. He has released many albums and a multitude of 12“s and had remixes on labels such as Compost Records, G Stone Recordings and !K7. Around The World is taken from his acclaimed new record Christian Prommer’s Drummlesson Vol. 1 (SK162CD/jazzclub). CHRISTIAN has successfully turned the DAFT PUNK’s electronic monster-hit into a freaked-out piece of Jazz. The lovely latino-pop number Like A Rainy Night is taken from the recently re-issued folk album Listen Of by Brazilian singer-songwriter PAUL BRYAN aka SÉRGIO SÁ. Originally released in 1973 on the label Top Tape in Brazil, JAZZANOVA member JUERGEN VON KNOBLAUCH found the LP while record digging in Berlin 9 years ago. He played it to the rest of the collective and they all instantly fell for it. So this re-release is a gift to all those, who have been looking for it in vain up to now. Like A Rainy Night is one of the highlights from this very collectable album which sold more than 150 000 copies in Brazil alone! From old Brazilian pop to the cutting edge of new New Zealand reggae. Since forming over 10 years ago, 8 piece roots/dub/funk outfit THE BLACK SEEDS have secured their status as one of New Zealand’s premier groups. They exposed their pacific feel good vibe, reggified and sunkissed grooves internationally with Into The Dojo released in 2007 on Sonar Kollektiv. And Take You Chances is taken from their new album Solid Ground on DANIEL BEST’s Sonar Kollektiv sub-label Best Seven (SBCD0011/demroots). From NZ we get a bit closer to SK home and a track by THIEF, a collaboration between Berlin singer-songwriter SASCHA GOTTSCHALK and 2 members of JAZZANOVA: STEFAN LEISERING and AXEL REINEMER (together EXTENDED SPIRIT). The charming song Somewhere by THIEF is taken from their 2007 album Sunchild (SK135). The afore mentioned ROLAND APPEL is not only know for his work with CHRISTIAN PROMMER. His track Dark Soldier was the secret hit at the 2007 Miami Winter Music Conference and found its way into the bags and the charts of the biggest DJs in the world such as DJ HELL, LAURENT GARNIER, PETE TONG, TIEFSCHWARZ, MICHAEL MAYER, EWAN PEARSON, DIXON, GILLES PETERSON, DJ T among others. Even UK’s most important music magazines like Mixmag, Fact and I-DJ acclaimed it and made it track of the month last summer! Inner Soul (slow version) is the opening track on ROLAND APPEL’s album Talk To Your Angel that came out earlier this year on SK (SK188CD). ROLAND APPEL is followed by another JAZZANOVA related project, SEASON & SYGAIRE, with their previously unreleased track Cowboys & Angels feat. RANDOLPH MATTHEWS on the mic. SYGAIRE is actually 1/6th JAZZANOVA, namely ROSKOW, while SEASON is Sonar Kollektiv brother in arms DIRK RUMPFF who’s OffTrack internet radio show was in the inspiration for one of the …Broadcasting mix CDs on SK. SEASON & SYGAIRE had another song also feat. the vocal talents of RANDOLPH MATTHEWS, Open To Love, included on the GILLES PETERSON comp. In The House (Defected Rec). Of course, Sonar Kollektiv’s reach goes way beyond Berlin although that’s where the label is based, as the signing of so many international acts goes to show. We have already heard from Brazil and New Zealand and now we hear the freshest sounds coming from Japan. QUASIMODE is a 4 piece Jazz band from Tokyo who formed in 2002 since which time they have already gained strong support in their native land. They have had releases on Freestyle Records, Inpartment and Columbia and now thanks to Sonar Kollektiv they are getting a chance to do their thing on the European and global scene. Object In The Mirror feat. one of the world’s greatest jazz vocalists CARMEN LUNDY is appears on QUASIMODE’s new LP The Land Of Freedom (SK177CD/jazzclub). QUASIMODE already had a track on JAZZANOVA’s compilation Neujazz which came out on Sonar Kollektiv in 2008 (SK174CD/jazzclub) and their inclusion on SK200 secures their place as SK favorites. From Tokyo to London and 2 BANKS OF 4, the producer duo ROBERT GALLAGHER (aka EARL ZINGER) & DILIP HARRIS (aka DEMUS). ZINGER was a former member of nu-jazz collective GALLIANO, who rode the wave of GILLES PETERSONs wonderful label Talkin’ Loud in the 90s, and more recently the force behind the many moods of EARL ZINGER, whose reggae rockers cover of BLUR’s Song Two was an underground hit on his own Red Egyptian label. DEMUS is a very respected London producer whose work includes the YOUNG DISCIPLES debut LP, IG CULTURE, ZERO 7 and founding the CO-OP club. As a duo, they have been remixed by A-class music producers such as HERBERT and DERRICK L. CARTER. The sun-soaked track Wake me 5.30 is taken from 2 BANKS OF 4’s long-awaited 3rd album Junkyard Gods (SK182CD/jazzclub). Another recent addition to Sonar Kollektiv is LARS BARTKUHN who had a great electronic 12″, Dimensions, earlier in 2008. His new trackfor the SK200 compilation, Prayer / Dance Into The Sun, is a delicious acoustic instrumental. LARS allows the tune to flow seemlessly from the downbeat opening Prayer into a truly uplifting latin-pop melody, Dance Into The Sun. YE:SOLÁR are Berlin’s freshest trio at the moment. Their track Egg Sample originally came out in 2004 as a 12″ on Vinyl Vibes Records (VV02) and has become a massive hit since then, with rave reviews and wall-to-wall radio play. The first lady of dub, electro and house, EVA BE, brought out her remix a year later on Vinyl Vibes. This special live version of this timeless classic is exclusive to SK200. From one leading female figure of Sonar Kollektiv to another: CLARA HILL. She has an impressive discography including 3 critically acclaimed full-length albums Restless Times (SK012CD), All I Can Provide (SK099CD) and Folkwaves plus many 12“s featuring the crème-de-la-crème of Electronic and Jazz knob twidlers such as JAZZANOVA, ATJAZZ, CHARLES WEBSTER, SLOPE and KING BRITT. The delightfully sublime Ocean Queen is taken from said album Clara Hill’s Folkwaves. Besides CLARA HILL, BENNY SINGS is another of the finest song-writers on the SK artists roster. His no-frills jazz-pop songs presented in a sunny west coast easy-listening vibe are reminiscent of BURT BACHARACH, SUPERTRAMP or even STEELY DAN. The song included here, For Your Love, is taken from his 2007 album Benny …at home (SK148CD/illicity) on which the Dutchman return to his hip-hop roots and adopt a much more urban sound than previous releases. Y que se sepa by the ORCHESTRA LOS VAN VAN is taken from another exceptional recent JAZZANOVA compilation – Nueva Vision: Latin Jazz From The Cuban Label Egrem (SK166CD/jazzclub) which presents some of the finest in Cuban music from the last century and includes great names from the Cuban scene such as CHUCHO VALDES, OMARA PORTUONDO and BOBBY CARCASSES to name but a few. ORCHESTRA LOS VAN VAN’s funky Y que se sepa is one of the many highlights on Nueva Vision. Another New Zealand based project on SK200 is RECLOOSE with Catch A Leaf, taken from his 3rd album PERFECT TIMING. RECLOOSE aka MATTHEW CHICOINE has released on Planet E, K7!, Peacefrog, Playhouse and Eskimo and is a regular member of CARL CRAIG’s Innerzone Orchestra. Catch A Leaf is a truly funky tune with the lush voice of RACHEL FRASER on the mic. The penultimate track on this superb compilation is the SONAR KOLLEKTIV ORCHESTRA’s version of How To Find Royal Jelly by THE LOST SCROLLS OF HAMARIC – a delicious tune that was originally released in 2001 as a 7″ single on Best Seven (SB7004). It, like the rest of the album, is has a gloriously warm and funky sound. SKO’s repertoire is a cross selection of tunes from the SK label back catalogue, the original styles of which cover a wide range from deep house and broken beats to reggae and experimental hip hop. The 15 piece band was founded to mark the Sonar Kollektiv 10th birthday celebrations in 2007 and under the leadership of VOLKER MEITZ recently released an album Guaranteed Niceness (SK170/illicity). And bringing this delightful compilation to a close is STEE DOWNES with a lovely track What’s wrong with groovin’ taken from his soon to be released album All In A Day (SK203CD/illicity). STEE’s song Destruction of Ourselves was already selected by JAZZANOVA to be on the 5th edition of their highly successful compilation series Secret Love earlier this year. Now, with a tune on SK200 and the full length album coming soon it is clear that STEE DOWNES is the latest edition to the ever growing Sonar Kollektiv. SK200 sees JAZZANOVA hold true to their self-imposed policy of releasing only “music far above and beyond average commercial standards”. Wether it’s from old friends in the form of SOULPHICTION, THIEF, CLARA HILL and BENNY SINGS, or new recruits such as QUASIMODE, RECLOOSE and STEE DOWNES, Sonar Kollektiv never fails to deliver the goods by bringing you the freshest talents around. As ever this CD is expertly compiled (an art in itself!) by JAZZANOVA, giving it just the right eclectic mix of style and a perfect flow.
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