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Monday, Jul 05 2010 | 11:39 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

Twenty-year-old singer Rachel Scharnberg, obviously anything but a sixties kid, presents herself as an artist deeply influenced by original soul and funk music from way back, by the warm and intense performances that made us admire Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway, the sound being kept alive by the likes of Daptone Records today.

“Plain & Simple” is all about pure, hand made music. No samples, no gadgets, nothing but vintage instruments, an amazing voice and analogue recording gear. In case you ever wondered what makes vinyl records and analogue techniques so special – this is a perfect demonstration of the raw, uncut sound of soul.

Equally vital to this album as Rachel is, there’s Soul Criminals trombinist and bandleader Michael Theissing-Tegeler (MTT) with his compositions and his unique way of producing. A few years back, he teamed up with The Shack Band and delivered “Geb’s auf” (“Give It Up”), a funky gem embraced by DJs, vinyl collectors and soul lovers alike, and now he finally returned to recording. Tegeler draws his inspiration from Daptone mastermind Gabriel Roth’s manifesto “shitty is pretty”, a guide to analogue recording techniques aiming at the intense sound that only a reel-to-reel tape recorder is able to capture.

Unpretentious yet sophisticated, Rachel, MTT and the Soul Criminals are on top of their game, young musicians who have spent half their lives on stage and have worked with German greats as diverse as Curse, Tom Gaebel, Sarah Connor, Brings, Stefanie Heinzmann, Denyo or Luis.

This record is driven by honest devotion to music. Music that touches you, makes you want to dance – music that simply feels good.

The Soul Criminals are based in Cologne’s Parkhaus-Studio, which itself is widely renowned for distinct, unconventional productions. Soulplex Recordings and online radio station, both highly respected players not only in Cologne’s music scene, have teamed up with Rachel and the Soul Criminals in order to spread the word: It’s “Plain & Simple!”


01. Plain & Simple
02. Speechless
03. Do Your Worst
04. Crying In The Rain
05. One For Ray
06. Turn The Music
07. Pleasure & Pain
08. In The Park
09. Too Late

The album Rachel & The Soul CriminalsPlain & Simple” (Soulplex Recordings) has been released July 2, 2010.

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