Boomkat Product Review:
“Boogie on the Mainline” presents a selection of 10 rare disco tracks from Germany plus one more tune from Austria, all of them, originally released between 1980 and 1987...
"The album contains little known tunes by groups like Imagination (which you can also see on the cover of the LP), Squish, Upstairs, The Poptown Syndicate and more. As the Boogie-ish post-disco side of German music history still basically remains undiscovered as of yet, “Boogie On The Mainline” hopefully will shed some light again on 11 rare gems that were mainly published on small or private labels.
The collection starts with an incredible song produced by composer and studio musician Peter Patzer who recorded his early works in the CREA-Studio in Bremen. With its mellow and distinguishing groove, the beautiful female vocals, and thrilling synth work “You Are Not The One For Me” is the perfect opener. The title was composed and recorded in 1982/1983 and finally released on the album “Pos-Attractions” in 1984, one in a series of 8 library recordings. It features the brilliant and now popular German TV voice of Anette Gerhardt, who is actually misspelled on the original record as J. A. Gerhards. Too bad there aren’t more tapes of the collaboration of Patzer and Gerhardt.
Next up is Ströer with the überclassic track “Don’t Stay For Breakfast”. Even though Ströer’s tune is the only one on “Boogie on the Mainline” that can be readily found on other compilations, we could not resist featuring this great song here as it boasts one of the most brilliant Moog synth-bass grooves ever heard. Composer and multi-instrumentalist Hans-Peter Ströer was a well respected bassist in the German Jazz and Fusion scene (being part of Volker Kriegel’s Mild Maniac Orchestra for example) but was also connected to the Disco scene in Munich. “Don’t Stay For Breakfast” is a synergy of these two musical worlds.
Around the same time, the band members of Upstairs from Frankfurt were being influenced by Rock, Funk and Disco. On their rare album “It’s Hard To Get In The Showbiz” from 1980 they created something that could be called Germany’s definitive answer to AOR. “You’re Just Yourself” marks the most soulful track of their album with a superb catchy groove and great vocals.
Next up is J.D. “Puma” Lewis aka John Davis. The bassist and singer began living in Germany in 1975 as a GI and still resides close to Nuremberg. His debut album “Joker” from 1980 features brilliant Modern Soul offerings like “Today” and “That’s Loving You”. Later, Davis became mainly focused on Electro Funk productions, many of which were released on the German label Metrovynil under various aliases before he gained late but rather infamous attention as one of the real voices of Milli Vanilli in the early 90s. “Dancing Shoes”, the track we licensed here, is one of the hits from the collectable Boogie record “Shake it - “Make it Loose”” on which John Davis teamed up with composer Reggy Hudson. The track is a perfect invitation to get up and dance.
Trust, a band from Hamburg, recorded their second and last album “Bow Making” in 1984. It remains a great example of German Boogie with beautiful soul and latin vibes. The uplifting groove on “It’s Not Over” combines with melancholic touches in the vocals sung by keyboardist and composer Jan Clemens Moeller. Once you hear this song, you won’t get the catchy chorus out of your head for a while!
Imagination, a band from Düsseldorf, originally started as an instrumental Jazz formation in the mid 1970s. Their influences ranged from Soul, to Fusion and even Blues, all the while employing jazz improvisation as a key component. On their self-released debut album “Shake It” from 1980 they expressed themselves with a unique version of mellow, yet funky Jazz and Modern Soul. The more uptempo “Strawberry Wine”, the opener of their album, could have been a straight-up hit. Unfortunately, attempts to promote and re-release the album professionally with the help of a dubious label and publishing company proved unsuccessful. The band felt ripped off by the record company who reissued the album without their knowledge.
“Get up” by Squish is an uplifting and motivating song to change to your life. The beautiful female vocals go “It’s time to make a change and leave the past behind - get up!”. Assembled with jazzy notes - what a beautiful pearl of a song! When demos of the full album “Royal Flash”, a soulful Jazz Pop release, were rejected by record companies it was released privately by band member Rainer Eichhorn on his own label Squirrel. It may be one of the hardest to obtain original records on our compilation.
Publicity’s “Funky Feeling” does not have to be explained much further as the track title says it all! Being the most recently produced cut on this album – released in 1987 – it may sound ‘cleaner’ than the other tracks. Nevertheless it still provides that funky “boogie” feeling we all love.This album became sought after within the French and German Boogie collectors’ scene a couple of years ago and since then the LP has become increasingly hard to find.
“Backstreetboy” by Bernie L is the only song on this selection from Austria. We simply could not resist licensing the track as it sports a raw, funky spirit. While Austria had a successful Disco scene spearheaded by superstar acts like Supermax and Falco, Bernie Leier was a sort of local underground hero from Linz. The obscure album “Ende der Eiszeit” (“End of the Ice Age”) on his own Skyline label is hard to put in a box and ranges from experimental New Wave to Funk.
Ca$h’s "Raff Dich auf" is surely one of the greatest moments in German Boogie history. A well arranged song with brass section, pure slap bass madness and a great recording quality. Unfortunately, Ca$h never released any albums and the track can only be found on the obscure local sampler "Vogelsberger Rock LP".
Imagine a groove as infectious as Cheryl Lynn's "Got To Be Real" with a big band feel and you get "Raff dich auf". This is the only track on the album that is sung mostly in the German language. "Raff dich auf" basically means "get up", shouting to the crowd to get out on the dancefloor.
Last but not least comes “Keep On Lovin”, a relatively unknown track which can be found on side B of a Synth Pop 12” on the small Eichhorn label. Produced by studio partners Freddy Steinberg and Franco Bloessoni (a.k.a. Frank Blöß) it features a couple of musicians and friends that they invited to their recording studio in Hamburg. The track shows strong influences of Italo Disco but still remains quite funky due to the grooving bassline and guitar. The heavy drums feature the sound of the legendary Roland 808, most other instruments were played live. We decided for the shorter 7inch version of the song which still retains all the juice of the 12” version. And when the final chorus goes “Keep keep keep keep on loving …” we hope you have enjoyed the track as well as the full album.
“Boogie On The Mainline” pays tribute to an era and movement that never really existed - and it will hopefully shed some light on these little-known Disco gems. The album is released in a deluxe double vinyl edition with gatefold jacket on the new Artless Cuckoo sister label “Boogie on the Mainline”. It includes extensive liner notes and original artwork by compiler John Raincoatman a.k.a. DJ Scientist."