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Practice What You Preach

The Poets of Rhythm

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Album Review

Practice What You Preach is a solid 11 cuts of hard-hitting, greasy soul-funk that takes its cues straight from the greats (the JB's, the Meters, etc.). The compositions are catchy, if admittedly derivative, and enjoyably varied, spanning all-out party-starting burners ("Funky Runthrough," the title tune), simmering midtempo groovers (all with food-related titles), and a couple of decently convincing soul ballads. The grooves are deep in the pocket, and the musicianship is basically impeccable. But what makes the record especially notable is its provenance: Munich in 1993 (or any other year for that matter) was hardly a hotbed of Afro-American-derived groovesmanship. Germans aren't exactly noted for their funkiness, but they are known for a punctilious work ethic, which might explain the care that clearly went into this album's meticulously accurate period vibe, right down to the recording and mixing. Unlikely as it must have seemed to them at the time, the Poets of Rhythm can now be seen as the forefathers of the 2000s soul-funk revival, so it's fitting that this, their debut album, has been reissued by Daptone Records, the standard-bearers for faithfully authentic retro-soul. Collectors should take note, however, that all of these tracks, in a different sequence but with the addition of two non-album 45s, are still readily available on the Shadow Records compilation What Goes 'Round. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi

Biography

Formed: Munich, Germany

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

German funk band Poets of Rhythm began in Munich after friends Boris Geiger and Jan Weissenfeldt were first exposed to the raw funk that came out of the U.S. in the late '60s and early '70s. Soon, they decided to form their own group, and with Geiger on percussion and vocals, Weissenfeldt on guitar, his brother Max on drums, and Jan Krause on bass, they started writing their own material. After releasing their first single, "Funky Train," in 1992, the Poets' (who had by now added Till Sahm on organ,...
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Practice What You Preach, The Poets of Rhythm
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