Tag Archive | hamburg

Blue Chateau – Jonkanoo Interview

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Redstar73 Blog: Please could you tell us about Blue Chateau history. Where was the name coming from? How did you get into ska?
Blue Chateau: Blue Chateau was founded in 1984 in Hamburg. The original founder of the band had envisioned the band as a soul/jazz/ sixties outfit, hence the name “Blue Chateau”, which he thought sounded a little bit “mysterious” and “60’s-like”. With additional band members bringing in new influences and the line-up being completed by a full brass section, ska and reggae became more and more dominant throughout the years, especially in the band’s live sets, but the name remained. Blue Chateau was never a pure ska band though, and the repertoire always contained a blend of sixties beat, soul and even funk alongside ska and reggae. The band split up in 1991 right before the planned release of their first album and re-formed twice in 1992 and 2012 for a reunion gig.

Redstar73 Blog: Your debut single was ‘What a nice, nice neighborhood’. Could you give us some details? How many copies were pressed’ How was the feedback?
Blue Chateau: “What a nice, nice neighborhood” was released in 1990. Strangely enough it did not feature a song by that name though. The A- side was an up-tempo ska song called “I don’t care”, the flip side featured the track “Unity”, a reggae song with strong anti- racist lyrics, both songs had already been written in 1985. I believe at the time only 500 copies were pressed, most of which were sold. The response was very positive and “I don’t care” also appeared on the “Ska, Ska Skandal” series by Pork Pie Records as a result.

Redstar73 Blog: How did you get on the Unicorn compilation? How did you find out about it?
Blue Chateau: We heard by coincidence that Unicorn Records were planning to release an international Ska compilation. We had just recorded 4 songs as a demo, one of them being “Steps in the alley”. In those days there was no internet and no CD’s either. So we sent a demo cassette with the track to Unicorn Records, and they liked it. The demo was only a 4-track recording, so we decided to go into a professional studio and re-record the song as a 24-track recording. The Unicorn release really boosted our popularity, and as a result we received tons of fan mail from all over the world. The song even ended up in the BBC playlist shortly after the release and was later covered by Australian Skanksters “Backdoor Stomp”. They even released an album called “Steps in the alley”. Blue Chateau was again featured on Skanking Round the World Vol. 4 with the track “Nightmare”, which was recorded in 1989 together with “I don’t care” and “Unity” during the same recording session.

Redstar73 Blog: Do you have any unreleased tracks?
Blue Chateau: Shortly after the release of “Steps in the alley” we went into the studio again to record three more tracks, a soul track, a reggae number and a sixties- influenced track.  We offered them to Unicorn Records as well, but they were never released. I guess they were not “skanky” enough. In preparation for the release of an album four ska/reggae tracks were recorded in 1990, but never released either: “One Night”, “The Busker”, “Children of the night” and “Caribbean nights”.

Redstar73 Blog: How was the scene back in the 8ts in HH? Were there more active Ska bands?
Blue Chateau: In the mid 80’s, when Blue Chateau was founded, there wasn’t much of a ska scene in Hamburg. There were a few local mod bands though, who also had one or the other ska song in their repertoire, namely “The Meeting” and “The Gamblers”. There was also a ska band called “The Jim 6” we did a couple of shows with. In 1984 “Foxy” was formed. They played Ska with German lyrics, landed a major record deal and released a couple singles then disappeared again. In the late 80’s some more bands were founded.

Redstar73 Blog: Did you have contact to other Ska bands in Germany or Europe? Did you play outside of Hamburg a lot?
Blue Chateau: The Unicorn and Pork Pie releases also opened the doors for many gigs. During the 7 years of their musical career, Blue Chateau shared the stage with many renowned artists from the world of ska and reggae such as Laurel Aitken, Bad Manners, The Beat, The Toasters, Mark Foggo, The Busters, Skaos, No Sports and others. Gigs were mainly done in Hamburg and the surrounding area, but Blue Chateau also played in Berlin, Potsdam (Ska Festival), Bielefeld, Paderborn, Lübeck, Schwerin and other cities in Germany.

Redstar73 Blog: Tell us more about your new band. As far are I understand several members of Blue Chateau are playing with Jonkanoo.
Blue Chateau: Jonkanoo was founded in 2002 out of the nucleus of Blue Chateau. Currently there are 3 former members of Blue Chateau in the band: Mieze on drums, Stefan on lead vocals and Zoran on bass (who played rhythm guitar in Blue Chateau). Since then the band has done numerous live shows and released three CD’s, “Jonkanoo live” in 2004, “Jungle Beat” in 2009 and most recently the EP “Jahcuzzi” in 2015. “Jahcuzzi” also features a new version of “Steps in the alley”. An official video was also released showing the “making of” the song in the studio.

“Yahcuzzi” was produced by Robert Curiel at The Dubcellar in Amsterdam, who also worked together with the likes of Rude Rich & The Highnotes, Mark Foggo and Amsterdam Faya Allstars.
The concept behind Jonkanoo is to perform both own songs as well as cover versions of well- known songs in a ska and reggae style.

Redstar73 Blog: What are your plans for the future with Jonkanoo?
Blue Chateau: We are currently promoting our new EP, which was released in December 2015. For 2016 we are planning a number of gigs as well as a return to the studio for some new recordings.
For more information on Jonkanoo you can turn to:
https://www.facebook.com/Jonkanoo-154956211182782/?ref=hl

Redstar73 Blog: Last words!
Blue Chateau: Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
It’s later than you think
(The Specials)

Rote Flora: “Access all areas” – International day of action

Since the beginning of this year, the Rote Flora in Hamburg is threatened by sale and eviction due to the formal owner’s announcement to sell the property profitably. The project has originated in 1989 from the resistance against the intended musical theatre “Phantom of the Opera” in the Hamburg quarter Schanzenviertel. For more than 20 years, it was able to refuse agreements and political misappropriation and to represent a politically disturbing factor as an autonomous squatted centre. To this day, Flora is both the point of origin of demonstrations and political intervention and a non-commercial location for parties, events, self-help and a meeting place for political groups.

Rote Flora: “Access all areas” – International day of action

It would be great, if you distribute this call and give us feedback up to August 22 if you would like to take an active part or contribute criticism or suggestions.

Access all areas

International day of action against capitalist urban development and gentrification

Since the beginning of this year, the Rote Flora in Hamburg is threatened by sale and eviction due to the formal owner’s announcement to sell the property profitably. The project has originated in 1989 from the resistance against the intended musical theatre “Phantom of the Opera” in the Hamburg quarter Schanzenviertel. For more than 20 years, it was able to refuse agreements and political misappropriation and to represent a politically disturbing factor as an autonomous squatted centre. To this day, Flora is both the point of origin of demonstrations and political intervention and a non-commercial location for parties, events, self-help and a meeting place for political groups.

Defend Rote Flora!

In March 2011, the campaign “Flora remains disagreeable”* has symbolically smashed the register of real estate regarding Rote Flora and other projects. Therefore, we have clarified that the building which has been squatted for 22 years is symbolising a black hole in the order of ownership and doesn’t belong to anyone but to those who are utilising it. We want this state of affairs to prevail and won’t stay passive in case of potential eviction but will develop multi-level resistance.

In order to defend Rote Flora, we are not relying on participation models, negotiations or concessions of public institutions but on many people’s active solidarity. In recent months, solidarity events, various actions and an inter-regional demonstration mobilising more than 5000 people were taking place. To accelerate the conflict concerning Flora even more and pick up practically on the solidarity from other countries and cities we have been experiencing in recent months, we suggest an international day of action in autumn 2011.

For the appropriation of life and urban space

“Let’s combine the appropriation of spaces and resources with the defence of inner-city neighbourhoods against a policy of demolition! Let’s combine the initiatives of homeless persons with the resistance against evictions! Let’s strengthen tenant initiatives with vacancy campaigns! Let’s connect the opponents of environmental degradation with the fights of immigrants for their right of residence! Let’s broaden the space of action for civil disobedience by artificial and militant, clever and symbolic, virtual and direct actions!”

Theses to the congress “Right to the City” in June 2011 in Hamburg

The fight for Rote Flora is not an isolated affair, but embedded in border-crossing rebellion. Fight for appropriation is taking place in metropolises as well as in peripheries and rural spaces. In our view, the focus of the upcoming struggle for Rote Flora is not on the project’s conservation, but on its “disagreeableness”; the opportunity to position it with all its weight as a political factor in ongoing conflicts. We don’t want just one Rote Flora but many, the multiplication of disagreeable and autonomous projects and centres as locations of intervention in social struggles and fights.

With its desire for disagreeableness, Rote Flora is part of manifold movements developing in every space where there are people meeting each other critically and self-organising in everyday life against the illusion of capitalist inevitability. We are a picture from the future, but simultaneously we are part of the present permeating and constantly corrupting us. Domination does not exclusively arise from above but also from ourselves; not just from external constraints but also from internal comprehension and the activating momentum to participate in capitalist wonderland. We are part of an incessant production of goods, values and consumption needs. But exactly this starting point in the middle of given conditions enables us to sabotage and attack those circumstances: Countering the destructivity of oppression with collective processes of emancipation and subversion, creating temporary frictions, occupying the system’s gaps and blanks and inventing ourselves anew.

The conflicts, antagonisms and disputes we are encountering in defence of Rote Flora are corresponding to experiences gained by others fighting for housing space, against police assaults and displacement policy in urban streets. We are spectres in the here and now, refusing the logic of practical constraint, who are not to be gotten rid of and are revealing a completely different lot to be possible.

In capitalism, cities, houses, things and ideas are turned into commodities. From our perspective, they are part of the common wealth created by all and consequently all are entitled to them. We don’t need any real estate registers or price labels, neither police nor surveillance cameras ensuring things to remain as they are. Instead of social standstill, we count on movements running rings around the system. The objective of appropriation isn’t individual enrichment but expropriation resulting in collective re-distribution – a re-appropriation of things and therefore an appropriation of a life beyond norms, constraints and the misery of wage labour.

A day of theory and practice of social struggle

It’s a specific objective of the day of action to convey an impression of the inter-regional and international resistance which hopefully will occur in case of an attack on Rote Flora. We intend to rain on any potential investor’s parade and render eviction politically impossible beforehand.

As regards content, we don’t want to focus on Rote Flora itself, but on political issues being symbolised by it and on issues connecting it with your local struggles. Protest against gentrification and neo-liberal privatisation models, against police violence and displacement of undesirable population groups, against racist police checks and deportation; resistance against fascism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism and capitalism in urban space. Thinking of and multiplying Rote Flora, there are many locations and types of intervention: Squatting, disturbing police checks, celebrating reclaim the street parties, designing billboards and banners, organising demos and all kinds of action. Certainly, you have much more imagination than we do.

On the one hand, we understand the day of action as an opportunity of creating a network, on the other, as a chance to determine by way of political practice focal points regarding content and their relationship with each other in other cities and countries. Where are there intersections in different local experiences and conditions? Where are discrepancies and where is something developing from these relationships which is possibly more than the sum of its parts?

A day of action, and an international one in particular, only makes sense when and if it’s supported by many. Therefore, we request you to distribute this call for a day of action and inform us up to August 22 if you want to take an active part or contribute criticism or suggestions. We deliberately didn’t yet fix any particular date, but will get back to you during September to fill you in on the feedback and relate the day of action’s exact date which is yet to be in 2011.

Sabotage gentrification – defend squatted projects!
For expropriation of private and appropriation of public assets!

Kampagne „Flora bleibt unverträglich“ – campaign „Flora remains disagreeable“

Information: http://florableibt.blogsport.de/English/
Contact: flora-bleibt@nadir.org

*disagreeable means both being bad for the system and refusing to enter into any agreement

K Mob – Cushdy CD (Grover)

K Mob
– Cushdy CD
(Grover)
die hamburger haben sich richtig ins zeug gelegt. 18 stücke wurden im frühjahr 2005 aufgenommen. naimas stimme geht unter die haut und sorgt für stimmung. auch moritz klingt sehr gut. als gastsänger ist noch der grandiose dr. ring ding dabei.
witzig auch die geschichte zu den aufnahmen im cd booklet. musikalisch eine mischung aus reggae, ska und rocksteady.
sind meine newcomer des jahres 2005.

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