Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

About last night… Chiemsee Reggae Festival

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I was blessed with free tickets for the Chiemsee Reggae Festival this year. So I took it upon me to actually spend 9 hours on overbooked trains into deepest bavaria (no shit! a few more kilometers further I got a text message saying I left german net coverage).

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend attending CRS as a paying guest if you’re older than 23 and really into reggae. The majority of the people there is as much into dancehall and reggae as it is into techno-acts like Deichkind, last years headliner. The whole event takes place in bavaria and thus the place is filled with undercover cops (on their website CRS prides itself for its good cooperation with the local police) eager to catch you with a joint to add to their career. I’m not much into weed myself but I still find the idea of reggae without smoking rastas estranging. So actually the whole thing reminded me of some kind of 25000-people-highschool-senior-party. Not bad, but much too young for me and not my vibe.

Apart from that I have to aknowledge that the surroundings where just great. The whole Alps scenery and the fresh water of the river running through the festival area are really special. And beer was cheap, too ;-)

Anyway, it’s about the music. So here’s what I saw: Junior Kelly sucked massive. Max Romeo was simply boring. Third World did their thing quite professionally and where good at it. Hans Söllner of course had a home game and Peter Fox did quite a show, despite seeming not quite healthy. But, after all, I am not much into big stages and thus I had most of the fun at the tent.

There I saw Phenomden, a Swiss based reggae singer/mc. He actually sings in his native laguage, which gives his vocals a strange groove and tone I really like. The performance with the Scrucialists was absolutely tight and got me dancing all the way through.

Paprika Korps, a Polish dub band had the misfortune of being one of the first acts to play on sundy. Nontheless they did their best, playing a mixture of laydback dub tunes and really forward electric guitar tunes. I believe they are quite known in Poland and I had heard tracks of them before that didn’t impress me much. But after this concert I’ll have a second look. For sure, I recommend seeing them live!

I had only a short glimpse at Oceana, but was quite imressed with her presence on stage. There was some serious soul funk going on :-)

Black Gold… Ska Train

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

A friend showed me this record and I just had to get it! The Beatmasters released “Hey DJ! (I Can’t Dance To That Music You’re Playin’)”, introducing Betty Boo, in 1989 and landed no.7 on UKs charts. The song sounds to me like some sort of mashup of everything it needed to become hit back then. Some elements sound like something from an EMF song, others are typical RAP and early Technotronic.

But the reason why I am writing this is the b-side. Ska Train is an absolute must for people who like the dancing side of dub! It sounds like the not so old father of Yamaha vs. Eletricos “Phoenix City”. A mixture of house and ska that  should have been on one of those “Serious Dropout” compilations released by DJ Reverend in the mid-nineties. I actually find the combination of these two songs remarkable. It explains where musicians like the Freestylers have their roots, combining electro sounds with reggea and ska elements.

I wish I could have heard this stuff back when it was produced. I was only 12 years old back then, long hairs and listening to heavy metal, but this sure would have inspired me. Anyway, it will enter my set now, 20 years after its first release. Call it sustainable rockwellopement :-)

Dancehall ADD

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Just returned from a Dancehall party.

What the hell is it with these people? Theres two DJs, a sound engineer and one MC. Sounds promising if you ask me. The music they play is mostly nice, actually I’d like to know the names of some tunes I heard tonight. I’ve seen the MC on other occaasions and I know he can sing (and is a nice guy by the way).


What the fuck? Why the hell can’t I get rid of the feeling that somebody is zapping through channels here? As if they took a dancehall jukebox and gave the remote to some kid with a serious case of attention deficit disorder.
The djs can’t keep a song longer than 45 seconds. That takes us maybe 10 seconds past the intro, which has to be played at least twice (REEWIIIIND!). AT WHAT POINT SHOULD I ACTUALLY START DANCING???
All this accompanied by the continuous comments of the MC, whose eloquence is as limited as the content of his speech. 99% of his statements are requests for boody-shaking or lighter-showing, spoken fast but without rhythm or rhyme. Major turnoff…

Somehow it seems to be about Jamaican tradition, but honestly: I don’t care. I just don’t get what’s so fun about this constantly interrupted medley-playing. Theres no flow in it!
It’s just frustrating, because I like the music, but I can’t dance. I just don’t get it.  Maybe I’m just too old…

Good night.