Moka Efti Orchestra
Six Degrees Records
Like the Monkees and the Blues Brothers before them, the Moka Efti Orchestra was originally put together to play a big band in Weimar Germany for the Netflix series, Babylon Berlin. Their popularity from the show led to touring and the group became a real band.
Erstausgabe is their first release independent of the TV show. The songs on the album range from big band swing (“Hallaender Mash Up”) to sultry R&B (“Snake – Together Alone”) to wild Klezmer (“Frenzy”). Singer Severua takes a Marlene Dietrich turn on “Zu Asche, Zu Staub.” If you’re unaware of the group’s role in Babylon Berlin the record feels scattered with all the styles they cover. Taken in the context of trying to represent the rich dynamics of 1920’s Germany, it all falls together.