Style is an elusive quality in life. Everybody wants it, few have it. Most people look for it in the wrong places or try to buy the next best substitute. What one calls Style may be bad taste to somebody else. And while the latter can be discussed and argued about at length, no one can deny that the music of De-Phazz is simply a question of good Style. Nor more, no less. A little over a year after its incredible Universal-debut, this "open project" orbiting around Pit Baumgartner proves that there is life after "Death Of Chocolate". The reincarnation is called "Daily Lama" and is the new, by now fourth album by De-Phazz. But to call this an album would be like calling a "Polynesian Pleasure Punch" a cocktail. Which it is, no doubt. Just like these twenty tracks in their entirety produce a longplaying album. But quite like in the case of the "Polynesian Pleasure Punch", the many diverse ingredients of "Daily Lama", once combined, result in something much more than the sum of its parts. Dub and Disco, Soul and Jazz, electronic Chansons and loungy Zulu-Grooves, a touch of Dancehall and every possible Latin-rhythm mix themselves into something new, exciting, never seen or heard before. One could call it Loungecore, Mamboom, Swank, "Kitsch with Class" or maybe just Music. Sure enough, there is one essential thing, besides craftsmanship and cleverness, one needs to produce such a sexy, sarcastic, subtle musical mosaic. And that is Style.

A vinylcracking Jazzpiano plays, a deep voice intones "You followed your faith", a scream of "What me say?" counts into one of those unresistably de-phazzy Latinbeats and we are right in the middle of "Looks", the opening number of the new De-Phazz album. Karl Frierson sings "Looking at the sun looking down on me" and with that transports us directly and smoothly onto life's sun-deck. "You stayed" crawls with a few George Benson-like licks into a groove that sways like a lazy camel in the shadow of a palm (yes, this certainly is music for and from a land, where this four-letter word describes a tree, not an organizer). On top if this floats the smooth voice of Pat Appleton, who sings a heartfelt ode to her favorite tree: "You stood, you swayed, I moved on, you stayed". Clouds roll by while dark, almost macabre rockguitars swell into a string-crescendo, and Barbara Lahr asks "What's behind?". Soon accompanied by a choir, she is interested in uncovering both the personal and the global-political backgrounds. Everything but "Easy Listening", indeed. The weighty dragging groovemonster "Wrong Dance" gets counted in as a waltz in a Southernpacific Patois, and only the irresistably lush flutes counter its animal magnetism. The guaranteed (late-)summer-hit arrives with the elegantly swinging "Atomic Ducktail", on which De-Phazz-Darling Pat Appleton sings "mix it right"- knowing all too well that hordes of fun seekers will happily follow her lead. "Cup Of Hope" could be, if only for its Southafrican Zulu-groove, as well about the "Africa Cup" of the continent's soccer league or the "Cape of Good Hope". Anyways, there's plenty reason to get carried away by the melodic harmonies of a choir of Miriam Makeba-soundalikes and those perfectly pearling guitars (courtesy of Adax Dörsam). What "True North" is about, may not be that important, apart from the fact that singer Karl Frierson and his former choir-colleague Charity are moved back and forth by the spirit. More importantly it is "all in the mix". In this, as in the case of many other De-Phazz songs, there is everything good and right and positive to be found in it. The mix, that is.

"Almost Gone" is a smooth Fender-Rhodes interlude that Pit Baumgartner expertly laced with a "first-ladylike" atmosphere. This leads into "Nightmare", a song in which Pat is leading us to belive that such nocturnal activities are her preferred method of preparation for the next day. Accompanying this is the ultra-smooth baritone-sax of Frank Spaniol, as well as a dramatic stringsection and a wormlike moog out of Pit's sampler. "Preachin to the choir" increases the tempo while singer Karl likewise increases his state of undress. Even the excellent horn-riffs of Joo Kraus seem to delight while the singer, as he is likely to do during De-Phazz' liveshows, performs a (not only verbal) striptease. "Try" is a sentimental ballad of losing in love and losing oneself in love. A pleasant surprise, if only for the fact that it flatters the heart without any of the ususal ironic fluttering of the eyelids. Angel J., leadsinger of the girlgroup "Black 2 Blond", offers Pit the opportunity to show his appreciation of American R&B-Pop á la Brandy with this song. Now, what's this? Could it be the late German Diva Hildegard Knef? Close, but not quite. It is Pat Appleton who chansons about the fact that love is just a "stupid game" ("Dummes Spiel"). All this to such a supremely subtle Mambo that one hardly finds the time to worry about the fact that this is the very first De-Phazz song in the band's native tongue. A "Grand Prix" contender in the best possible sense (d`Eurovision, that is).

"Things & Times" sways smooth, sensual and instrumental between wah wah-trumpets and plucked Kalimbas until it ends as the backingtrack to a singing Potmaker from Ireland. The "Belle de Jour" is elegantly strutting along, joined by almost James Last-like horn-swabs, and proclaims sexy and selfassuredly "What an affair!". With the soulful "Wait" singer Karl gives voice to his daughter's impatience, who keeps asking questions like "when will I have muscles just like you?". The blues pays his dues on "Down The Railroad", whose dubbed rhythms drift dangerously delightful on top of the de-formation of a well-known Soul Jazz-Hit. Dramatic string-hits (of the kind any HipHop producer would be proud of) open "Desert D´Amour", a miracle of a chanson written by Otto Engelhardt about the wonderful qualities of "Sheherazade". Afterwards Karl states in the funkiest way possible what he sonsiders to be really important in life: "Style" (see above). Karl has it and the bassline, horns and strings of this song very well do too. A longing bluesguitar slowly but surely leads into "Word In A Rhyme", a headnoddin' rhythm with many a sing-along melody by Barbara Lahr. Last but not least Otto Engelhardts "Jean-Mi" ends the new De-Phazz album "Daily Lama" on a gentle note with its dreamily sprinkled piano-licks and birdcalls.
For more than five years now producer and former "radio-drama" editor Pit Baumgartner and his band of friends and colleagues have been enjoying the creative freedom of making organic and electronic music as De-Phazz. Pit, who admits to being too lazy to practice guitar and just technically versed enough to handle a sampler (the latter fact being well supported by his remix-work on Ella Fitzgerald's "Wait Till You See Him" for "Verve Remixed"), edits his way through the history of music. "I see myself more as an editor who combines the different pieces of a musical puzzle, who combines the little pieces of a mosaic, than as a composer", he explains. Early in 2002 it was time to start this process once again. Pit compiled some of his musical "mosaics" and sent them out to the "usual suspects". Among those are the aforementioned Otto Engelhardt, who not only plays all sorts of musical instruments but delights in the occasional lyrical exploit as well, the singers and songwriters Karl Frierson, Pat Appleton and Barbara Lahr (who is also the very first solo artist on Pit's Universal-distributed label "Phazz-a-delic"), the trumpeter Joo Kraus (famous for his Jazzwork in the late 70s and his recent success with his "Tab Two") and many, many more. All of those wrote, rhymed and composed their own ideas on top of Pit's and then sent the tapes back to him. The mastermind in turn once again re-arranged their contributions, to send the newly de-phazzed constructs back to his musical cohorts. And so it went, back and forth, until everyone involved was satisfied and happy. With fairy-tale-like speed this collaborational process led to this wonderful new album, "Daily Lama". It is an important, as well as incredible step for De-Phazz, at the same time leading to more diversity and to a closer unity. Above all, it just may be the best musical thing to happen this autumn. Trust this "Daily Lama" to let the sun shine in your heart. With style.