Various Funky Frauleins

Sehr Schön! In dance music history, the narrative goes that Black American rhythms become popular in Europe and are then fed back with imitative, often mechanical grooves, which nonetheless add their own cultural stamp. Such is the story of Giorgio Moroder, for instance. Bureau B has compiled a hard-grooving collection of out and out funky tunes crowned with great band performances and original production tricks. I defy anyone to come up with a better version of Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill," complete with a cello break overtop of harpsichord-spiked break beats. The music is often made by large-scale studio bands and adorned with many pop production bells and whistles — lean and mean groovers these are not. But the funk is on and the often-severe Germanic vocal delivery (a stereotype to be sure, but one hard to shake) gives loads of personality to these two-dozen bangers. (Bureau B)