Wolf Müller’s 5 favourite german flap-trousers-jazz-funk tunes

Wolf Muller playlist

Speaking to the Ransom Note recently, Jan Schulte aka Wolf Müller’s response to a question about his influences, was particularly pertinent: “Europeans that tried to make non-european music, and non-europeans that tried to make european music”. It’s reflective of a very transient, eccentric approach to his productions and sets, that can vary between ambient, balearic, jazz and leftfield disco, all with deeply percussive principals. Dusseldorft born and bred, the Salon des Amateurs resident doesn’t shy away from his country’s musical heritage, as displayed in this playlist today, as he explains in more detail, beneath the playlist.

Tropical presents Wolf Müller and Kasra V at Dance Tunnel (29th July)

“In the european jazz-funk/fusion scene of the late 70s and early 80s, there is a deep connection between deepest fusion beat jazz grooves and dungarees or flap trousers or, as the German say, “latzhosen”. In my theory the pure existence of some worn out flap trousers on someone in your band gives you the freedom to play the most amazing jazz-funk without any unnecessary bullshit, like too long solos, or annoying academic chord changes.”

Katamaran – Poseidon, from Katamaran (Pläne Jazz Records, 1976 in Dortmund)

This was my first contact with the mystic world of flap-trouser-grooves. I bought this record in a second hand shop in Cologne that doesn’t exist anymore, and instantly fell in love with these deep grooves that only the big pockets can carry.

Funky Jo Jo Band – Tiefflug, from Träumer  (White Label, 1980 in Hamburg)

These dreamers (träumer means dreamer) do not only play the most wonderful balearic dream grooves, they also show off with a super nice collection of amazing jazz sneakers and with a rare flap-trousers vs socks-in-sandals combo.

Mainpoint – Alaska Wartet, from Frisbee / Alaska Wartet (Let’s Fetz Records, 1981 in Kaarst)

This is the masterclass of german space funk: laser sounds, flanging Nile-Rodgers-style guitar, slap-bass, two-voiced lead synths, super heavy drum sound and a long drums/percussion/guitar-solo break… plus a band picture containing classic white flap-trousers and an amazing tour van with the bands logo. Thank you Arne for letting me know about this treasure early enough.

Kapingbdi – Why I Can’t Get No Pay, from Hey Brother (Trikont Verlag, 1980 in Munich)

These Disco-Bluesers are originally from Liberia, but the LP was recorded in Munich for the classic Multi-Culti label Unsere Stimme/Trikont.

Not only does it contribute to the legendary genre of Flap trousers Jazz Funk, it also is part of my collection of “afro”-music recorded in german high-end studios I can spot at least two flap-trousers on the back and i really can’t understand why musicians this stylish still have to complain about not getting paid.

Release Music Orchestra – Get The Ball, from Get The Ball (Brain Records, 1976 in Essen)

This pantsuit out of jeans doesnt really count as flap-trousers, i know. 

But i am sure one of this gentlemen hides some flappy trousers below his jacket as this incredibly groovy and subtle LP fits too well into the sound of classic Flap-trousers Jazz-Funk.

The guy on the right, Manfred Rürup, later went on to establish the company Steinberg which created Cubase, Nuendo and countless other music softwares.

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