German funk band Poets of Rhythm began in Munich after friends Boris Geiger and Jan Weissenfeldt were first exposed to the raw funk that came out of the U.S. in the late '60s and early '70s. Soon, they decided to form their own group, and with Geiger on percussion and vocals, Weissenfeldt on guitar, his brother Max on drums, and Jan Krause on bass, they started writing their own material. After releasing their first single, "Funky Train," in 1992, the Poets' (who had by now added Till Sahm on organ, Michael Voß on trumpet, and Malte Müller-Egloff on alto sax) debut full-length, Practice What You Preach, came out (it was later reissued in 2006 on Daptone). More 7"s came in the following years, though they were often credited to groups like the Pan-Atlantics, Organized Raw Funk, Bus People Express, the Woo Woo's, and the Soul-Saints Orchestra.
Though the bandmembers had already begun to make a name for themselves in Europe thanks to their brand of hard funk that was heavily indebted to important outfits like the Meters and Parliament, they had yet to have much exposure in the States. That changed when Quannum's Lyrics Born found one of their singles in a record store in New Orleans and was impressed by what he heard, though he knew nothing about the group. By chance, when Latyrx's debut came out in 1997, LB got into contact with Jan Weissenfeldt, who was distributing The Album in Germany. The next year, when the MC was looking to record solo material, he went to the Poets of Rhythm for backup help and in 1999 "I Changed My Mind," a minor hit in the Bay Area, came out. The Poets' true sophomore record (they had issued label "compilations," which mostly consisted of tracks from their various incarnations), Discern/Define, featured nearly the same lineup as before -- Wolfgang Schlick took over on sax and added flute as well -- was released on Quannum in 2001. What Goes 'Round came out the following year on Shadow, and the band also showed up on the song "The Bay" from Lyrics Born's 2005 album, Same !@#$ Different Day. ~ Marisa Brown