A pronounced sense of style, bone-dry grooves, tons of soul and purring irony – these are, quite frankly not typically Teutonic qualities that have made De-Phazz the most famous, unknown music export "Made in Germany".
De-Phazz' songs creep into the auditory canals, stimulate brain activity and electrify dancers to shake their legs, are known in Vladivostok as well as in Anchorage, in Ibiza as well as in Kathmandu. By courtesy of smart bartenders, compilations like "Café del Mar" or movie soundtracks, songs like "The Mambo Craze", "Something Special" or "Cut the Jazz "(played on Spotify 3 million times) went viral when this term was still associated merely with influenza. Baumgartner & Co. have sold over half a million recordings - black-market copies not included - that possibly makes De-Phazz the most burned band in Eastern Europe. The group has so far performed over 600 concerts all over the globe.
There is plenty of reasons to celebrate - but please with taste, noble understatement and a significant portion of self-irony, as befits De-Phazz. "Black White Mono" is the title of the album for the 20th anniversary of the band. But don't worry: As abridged as the album title and as cool as the art-based Op Art ajar record cover may seem, the music is nothing of the sort. Rather, Baumgartner lustily sends his listeners on the wrong trail. "I love to induce frowns a little," confesses Mr De-Phazz.
With "Black White Mono", we're talking about a colourful, adult birthday bash that remembers the era when an album was still a movie for the private cinema and not just a drop-off point for individual sound files for profane playlist use. Everything one needs for a successful party is there: cheerful family members such as the vocalists Pat Appleton, Karl Frierson, Barbara Lahr or the trombone player Otto Engelhardt meet old favourite friends such as the trumpet player Joo Kraus, the saxophonist Marcus Bartelt or the drummer Oli Rubow and all head together for the champagne.
German engineering has always been appreciated worldwide. It is innovative,technically sophisticated down to the smallest detail and makes life more beautiful. Attributes that also fully apply to the band De-Phazz founded in 1997 in Heidelberg. Created by the diligent sound collector and sample architect Pit Baumgartner, the "Godfathers of Lounge" are the most reliable and pleasant German export commodity since the VW Beetle, and the most musically charming invention since the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen invented MP3.