Les Gammas – Exercices de Styles, 2000    

Right from the first track this Bavarian duo’s debut effort draws you in with their unique blend of club, jazz and boogie. Exercises de Styles, the first full-length album from Les Gammas, immediately grabbed my attention as a Compost release. Followers of this legendary German label have come to know that virtually anything it releases is top notch. Among the classic acts that have churned out tunes on Compost are 4 Hero, Jazzanova, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Minus 8 and The Underwolves.

DJ/drummer/singer Marc Frank and pianist Jochen Helfert certainly do not disappoint; Helfert brings his tremendous harmonies and a sound developed playing the Fender Rhodes in a Brazil-jazz combo while Frank continues his fixation on combining electronic and acoustic music. The combination is an irresistible electronica sound with a jazz-disco-funk bent.

Guest talent includes Karl Berger (who’s done arrangements and orchestration for the likes of Jeff Buckley, Natalie Merchant and Bill Laswell), singer Ingrid Sertso (who has performed with Don Cherry) and Jan Krause (of Compost compatriots Beanfield).

Fans of everything from the chill-out stylings of Koop to the smooth sophistication of lounge lizard Nicola Conte will definitely find this disc worthwhile.


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