Various Jeff Özdemir & Friends Vol. 2

Various Jeff Özdemir & Friends Vol. 2
Finally, an album as eclectic as your vinyl collection.
The expansive double-LP Jeff Özdemir & Friends Vol. 2 starts with a cheeky little electro-pop instrumental by Faruk Green called "Der Herr Doktor sieht das nicht gerne." It has a gorgeous beat and a rich, throwback synth sound. The title translates as "The Doctor Does Not Like That."
Your head will be turned — and not for the first time — two-and-a-half minutes later. In the first of 11 collaborations, Jeff Özdemir partners with Sonja Polligkeit to deliver a summery, café-sized slice of loveliness: "Agora Fica," or "Please Stay." Polligkeit's smooth, plaintive vocal is the first real indication that we're in for something special on this 20-track production.
Like its Vol. 1 predecessor, you'll recognize a host of influences: jazz, ambient, indie pop and even a bit of cabaret. Tigerlily's vocal on "Dada N°1" is exceptional. Part modern-day Edith Piaf, part chilled-out Keren Ann, the Berlin singer has made a career of crooning. Özdemir and Roderick Bell join forces on the straight-up jazz ballad "König Rasulov" next, on which Bell's tenor sax stands out — it's just one of a dozen hidden gems on these two records. Désolé Léo's "Roseraie," meanwhile, is one of the more modern-sounding tracks. File it under vocal lounge along with the gorgeous "Beautiful Ends," by Özdemir & Zap.
There isn't a single weak link among these 20 tracks. Yet for all the variety here, the collection hangs together tightly. Call it an attitude, a vibe — whatever you like. This like-minded group of artists has produced a memorable, high-quality double-album that few of us saw coming. (Karaoke Kalk)