Klar (EP)
Jan Delay
Vertigo Be - Universal
Maxi CD
July 21, 2006

Track list
  1. Klar (Album Version)
  2. Halt Es Fast (Fantasy 2004)
  3. Klar (Tobitob Remix)
  4. Klar (Instrumental Version)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Five years have gone, since the first German language reggae album "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" was released by Jan Delay, who was born as Jan Eißfeldt and who started out as a member of German hiphop crew Absolute Beginner (now just Beginner), but with fellow members of Absolute Beginner and other artists around his (now defunct) Eimsbush label and Mathias Arfmann of Turtle Bay Country Club he started a reggae band: Sam Ragga Band and in 2001 they released "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" as the Jan Delay solo album, with a title and a cover inspired on the famous Dexy's Midnight Runners album. Musically however, inspired by the overwhelming success of the 1999 Jan Delay cover of Nena's "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann" for Herbert Grönemeyer's "Pop 2000" sampler, it was a pure reggae album, even with so many of the guests coming from the German hiphop-scene, the beats were 'Germaican' all along. In the meanwhile he released using the Eizi Eiz alias again in 2003 "Blast Action Heroes" together with fellow Beginner members Denyo77 and DJ Mad. Now Jan Delay is back with the first single released as teaser for his upcoming album "Mercedes Dance", going a completely new musical direction and style once more, leaving rap and reggae behind for the moment, this is 100% hot blooded funk. Together with, amongst others, old companions Mathias Arfmann and Tropf and recorded at the former's Turtle Bay Country Club (as well as Hamburg's La Boom Studios) reworking the music penned by the Stylistics' (known best in the reggae world for their "Country Living", "Break Up To Make Up" and "Betcha By Golly Wow") Linda Creed and Thom Bell for his extremely catchy "Klar (Album Version)", a real earwig boom disco funk tune that you can hear and see by clicking its title in the tracklist. The second tune on this Maxi-CD is stranger, a reworking of Hans Warner a.k.a. James Last's "Fantasy" from the 1980 album "Seduction", first released on the James Last 75th birthday tribute album from 2004 "They Call Mi Hansi". And you will, like me, have to admit that "Halt Es Fest (Fantasy 2004)" is a great tune - although the idea might not be original as P. Diddy in 2001 for his "Where's Sean" from "The Saga Continues" already used a sample from "Fantasy" - no matter how improbable the combination of Jan Delay and James Last's music might sound, very fine lyrics and delivery by Jan Delay over a great funky reworking of "Fantasy". The "Klar (Tobitob Remix)" is a very fine much darker sounding but through its very frenetic bells percussion still dance moves stimulating 7:26 version of the tune, followed by the "Klar (Instrumental)" perfectly showcasing how great his new band Disko No.1 sounds (as Jan Delay & Disko No.1 perfectly demonstrated to the 2006 Summerjam massive on July 15th recently). A great Maxi-CD certainly worth buying and a great teaser for the upcoming Jan Delay & Disko No.1 album "Mercedes Dance".