Soul Music was suddenly no longer "rough" and "hand made", but "sexy" and the result of modern studio technology. The title "TSOP" ("The Sound of Philadelphia") of the MFSB Orchestra, recorded in 1974 by the best studio musicians of star producers Gamble and Huff, became the anthem of the new disco sound. The city of Philadelphia was celebrated as its birthplace. Soon the sound became popular in German clubs too and German or Germany-based artists immediately started to work on their own recordings.
Composers for publishing houses and jazz musicians suddenly began excursions into the world of "Phillysound," because the blooming German scene hungered for good productions. Publishing rights or studio jobs served as a promise to earn good money. In the wake of internationally successful productions for Donna Summer and Amanda Lear, from Munich Machine and Giorgio Moroder, a completely independent and widely ramified German disco scene established itself during the late 1970s with hundreds of releases: "The most perfect disco sound made in Germany ". "I Feel Love" is still considered a world-known example of the unique "Phillysound from Germany".
The "Phillysound" album of the project "Intercity Sound Association" was the brainchild of producer and guitarist Klaus R. Nagel, a founding member of the internationally famous Krautrock and funk band "Joy Unlimited" from Mannheim. As early as 1972, Nagel left his band to pursue other productions, work on an own label and start his music publishing activities. Produced in 1975, this sole LP of the group was especially made for intensive advertising towards the state owned German service broadcasters ARD and ZDF, with the goal of getting airplay in various televison and radio programmes.
The promotion of the "Phillysound" LP was well received and some of the titles have been included into various programmes. Back in those days, it was easier and cheaper for German TV and radio stations to include perfect local productions into their broadcasts rather than the "real" Phillysounds from some well known U.S. stars. The first track on the album ("City Train") might still be recognized by many Germans from the youth sports program "Pfiff", in which it was played as the title theme for many years. All other pieces are also original compositions of the participating musicians, who, for contractual reasons, appear on the album sleeve under American pseudonyms such as "Denis Faylon" or "Pete Panthrow".
Nagel produced the entirely instrumental recordings in different studios and with different musicians. The string section of the SDR (South German Broadcasting) was arranged by jazz legend Fritz Muenzer, who also played saxophone at the recording sessions and successfully integrated the "Sound of Philadelphia" in other works for music publishers and the advertising industry. Around that time, some excellent but widely unknown Phillysound LPs were also produced by Dieter Reith ("Tender Aggression" or "Mellow Disco") and Peter Herbolzheimer ("Galactic Sound Orchestra") but these rare recordings were played almost exclusively by a few broadcasters.
With the "Phillysound" LP, Nagel, Muenzer & Co. created a true phantom of a record, produced at the highest level and therefore hunted throughout the world today. Its unique and powerful style with a touch of jazz-funk, extensive lines of solo saxophone, trumpet, flute, and "cosmic" sounding synthesizers, framed by the brilliant string section of the SDR, makes this album a sought after collector's item. Original copies are impossible to find, with only one album traded on ebay during the last eight years.
Original copies of the vinyl record rarely showed up even in the stores of the 1970s. Only a few of the LPs originally released on the Intercord label - which only provided the tracklisting with no further details on the album sleeve - found their way into the regular shops. With this release on Sonorama Records, the rare album is presented to a wider audience for the first time on LP and CD. Many thanks to Klaus R. Nagel for providing the original recordings, that have been remastered in Berlin during June 2012. ~ Ekkehart Fleischhammer, Sonorama 2012