Frau Doktor is a longstanding German ska group originating from Wiesbaden. The group started by covering the essentials of sixties ska music with a little bit of punk rock lurking in the background. Gradually, they introduced more instruments, more improvisations, more experimentations, and evolved into something much more familiar to ska orchestra than a simplistic group. Since their formation in 1995, the group released dozen of recordings like Süße Ska Musik, Muss, Dauercamper, Penner Super Disco, Wunschkonzert, Wer Mich Leiden Kann Kommt Mit, Grenzen Der Gemütlichkeit, and Alte Männer. Today, I will talk about their most advanced recording named Onkel Punk, released by Rookie Records in October of 2020.
Onkel Punk represents their latest offering to the broader audiences, comprised of twelve marvelously produced ska compositions. This material contains a recognizable cheerful ska vibe, danceable enough to shake all the bones in your body. Like the tradition of this specific genre demands, Frau Doktor follows some basic rules, which define pleasing ska sound. You may stumble upon a variety of wondrously performed rhythmical sequences, precise enough to retain the remaining portion of the group together in a line. Warm sounding basslines are lurking above these drumming maneuvers, and their presence builds melodic support for polyphonous guitar melodies. The guitars are providing suitable choppy ska chord progressions, various accentuations, leading scales, and themes.
These instruments are defining the direction of the group, but of course, there’s plenty more. The trumpets, saxophone, and trombone are surrendering even more layers of melodies and themes over the beforementioned instruments. The brass section nails with its orchestrations, and their maneuvers are continuously going beyond comprehension. The ambiance provided by the organ liberates a more ear-pleasing retro vibe, while the percussions are contributing to the outstanding drumming performance with its accentuations. It’s nearly mindblowing how these skillful musicians are articulating between themselves. Years of performing left their mark on their performance, and Frau Doktor undoubtfully sounds like a charm. Therefore, their compositions are thoughtfully structured and arranged, with plenty of listening pleasures.
Besides the sheer dominance of ska, you’ll notice how reggae, rocksteady, soul, jazz, and punk rock left a permanent mark on their songwriting. Their highly engaging music resembles the sound of The Slackers, Hepcat, The Gadjits, The Pietasters, Mad Caddies, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Madness, plus many more. Nevertheless, Frau Doktor sounds completely unique, and these are just some comparisons to illustrate their perfect sound. Onkel Punk comes on vinyl, compact disc, but it’s also available on streaming services. Head over to Rookie Records for more information about ordering.