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Boomkat Product Review:
Flavoursome collection of ersatz exotica from late ‘80s Germany, picked out and dusted down by Jan Schulte, and backed up with two Wolf Müller remix updates for Kenneth Bager’s Music For Dreams label, outta Copenhagen, Denmark
“Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams comes with yet another strong release - a double album of personal favourites compiled by Jan Schulte. According to all maps and witness accounts, Germany does not officially have any tropical forests. This is of no concern to Schulte however, who has unearthed many stunning examples of tropical drum music recorded there. Perhaps the number of botanical gardens and palm houses in Germany confused musicians into mistaking the climate, or maybe it was just a happy blend of escapism and multi-cultural integration within musical scenes that spawned such a curious output of undefinable tribal folk jazz.
Most of the tracks picked by Schulte were released on small labels in the late 80s. The musicians involved were mainly traditionally schooled, born and raised in Germany. At that time to be interested in foreign folk music might have seemed a gimmick to some, what with the emerging world music boom already snowballing into the mainstream. But these songs, while they may be based on musical traditions from foreign lands, deal much more with introspection than exploitation. Schulte himself points to his "general fascination for music that describes places where the artists have never been. Songs about the jungle or the rainforest made by people that know the rainforest only from television and books. Somehow I think you can hear their mythical imagination and fantasy in those tracks, he explains. We certainly hear it in the extensive use of wildlife samples on both "Tagtraum Eines Elefanten" by Argile and on "Wuhan Wuchang" by Total Art Of Percussion. Or on the repetitive and trace-inducing drum circle re-enactments of Ralf Nowys "Akili Mali" and Bob Moses's "Boat Song Part II”.”