What is Fünfundvierzig?
Fünfundvierzig* is a small independent record label based in Labenz,
Germany. Started in 1984 by Piet Manns, the enterprise has released over
80 pieces of product in 12 years. The music of Fünfundvierzig is a
direct reflection of the musical tastes of its owner. Without abusing the
tired adjective 'eclectic,' it is fair to say that Fünfundvierzig is
not confined to any particular genre.
The label has four focuses. One is Reggae,
which includes artists such as the four-album roots Reggae stalwart Jamaica
Papa Curvin; 1994 Reggae Sunsplash performers Gracy and the Herbman Band;
an African roots ensemble called the Lions; a deejay called Mighty V; a
deejay called Ragga
Frankie and an ultra-progressive outfit called The
Vision. The Vision has become known throughout the world for defining
the creative and technical limits of modern roots dub reggae. Every Vision
album is an experience.
Fünfundvierzig also features a department based around Max Goldt and
his Foyer Des Arts -- identified by "strange unique German lyrics"
as Manns puts it. For those not fluent in German, Goldt's music will likely
come across as strange enough.
The third focus of Fünfundvierzig's efforts is on a Cologne, Germany-based
scene, centered around former members of Can -- one of Europe's most important
groups from the late 60's to the mid 70's. Former Can members are currently
featured in Fünfundvierzig artists, Dunkelziffer and The YA-YA's.
The other department features the primarily industrial sounds of Bourbonese
Schnitzler-Thomasius, and the Boston, Massachusetts-based Sleep
Manns' explanation for assembling such a diverse catalog is simple, "I
only release what I really like. I released my compilation (10
Jahre Fünfundvierzig) with the hope that some people might
understand my taste."
Fünfundvierzig has become one of the most respected independents in
Europe because of attention to detail and quality, both in terms of production
and presentation. If you love diversity in your music and can appreciate
the creativity and style of a well run independent label, then you will
be a fan of Fünfundvierzig.
*Fünfundvierzig translates literally to "forty and five"
or "45" in English.
In Europe, Fünfundvierzig is distributed by INDIGO . . .
For a complete look at the Fünfundvierzig reggae catalog, click
A related link: Roots & Reggae Concerts In Germany