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Actually, “hello 22” is a love story of two passionate record collectors who started more than 20 years ago to search the flea markets and record fairs for rare Amiga albums that could possibly be sampled for their own tracks.

Max Herre’s first contact with GDR music was in the mid-1990s, when he regularly frequented the Hi-Club in Stuttgart, where the one or other Amiga song by Manfred Krug and Günther Fischer or the Gerd Michaelis Choir was played between soul music by James Brown and Al Green. “That was the first time I heard funk and soul music in German,” says Herre, “but the party was still going strong. It wasn’t just a curiosity, but really cool sound. Of course, I immediately asked at the DJ booth what it was.”

A few years later, at the beginning of the 2000s, Herre moved to Berlin and where he also looked for Amiga records at the flea markets there. Since then, Herre has repeatedly incorporated prominent East German music references into his music.

For “hallo 22”, the former Freundeskreis frontman has teamed up with another German Ost Funk connoisseur: Felix “Dexter” Göppel is ten years younger than Herre and also comes from southern Germany. His musical roots lie in the Heilbronn underground rap scene.

“Hallo 22” is a skilfully assembled collection of 18 songs, handpicked by Max Herre and Dexter, which unites exceptional composers and songwriters like Günther Fischer, Holger Biege, Hansi Biebl and Uve Schikora with great singers like Veronika Fischer, Uschi Brüning and the charismatic Manfred Krug and bands like Panta Rhei.

The album is a testament to GDR funk and soul, which was more versatile and progressive than many thought, especially in West Germany, and at the same time has a sophisticated and emotional quality that is still touching over 40 years later.

However, this creative heyday did not last long. Some of the popular Amiga artists left the GDR in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Manfred Krug. But that is another story…

The compilation comes with an exclusive 7-inch on which Max Herre and Dexter have reworked two songs from the Amiga era. On the A-side, you can hear their very own version of the Panta Rhei classic “Aus und vorbei”: Max gives the storyteller, while Dexter loops the raw rock break of the original in that inimitable way that puts him close to US colleagues like The Alchemist or Madlib. The B-side “Es war nur ein Moment” (It was only a moment) is a profound, melancholic song in which Max retrospectively processes various episodes of his career and private life. The musical loop comes from a title by Manfred Krug and Günther Fischer (“Das war nur ein Moment”).