Greetings readers! The 'Vibes' is out again in a dreader stylee and nuff feedback since the first issue... Our works is always towards a positive betterment of things. We are now readable on the Internet and will soon be available in other languages. Interest in RAW is growing and so we provide additional information about its current actions. Locally, 'nuff ' tings a go on.... this summer saw record breaking flood water damage plus sun and sun and more sun again for the tanners dem...no more complaints about Germany just cold and 'grey' etc. etc. ..heat like fire this summer...Record amount of bicycles sold!! In this issue, Touloulou's interview with Ras Perez gives us a picture of the unheard of Caribbean before the great Reggae Revolution. Tcha T has been all over the higher ground reggae scene this summer and fills us up with all the latest and greatest reggae happenings in town...Tom and the entire YAAM posse must be given a special Big up and support for moving Yaam to new quarters on Curvy Str. Nice place. All the reggae and positive thinking massive meet there on weekends...Yes folks just try to think about Berlin without this place on a hot summer weekend...What to do? RESPECT is the key word when it comes to dealings among people...says N'Hahli in her article on behalf of the sistren. Yes I, straight to the heart of the matter!!! An update on Tommy House is also featured and one can only ponder about its fate during the forthcoming century. All we can safely say is that change is surely taking place within the reggae community.....for better or worser ? It's hard to guess.
2000 is around the corner, and a glimpse of what could be coming was demonstrated by PerryLee, Mad Professor and 'Robotics' in Pfefferberg ...Samples a go go... 'Wo YO' still ringing out twenty minutes after curtains had been drawn!! Did Perry really 'sing'? Well... Perry would not be himself if he did not put in some really slack vibes into the show. For ethico-moralo reasons, I will not print a really wicked line which is also supposed to be the name of the song....Leave them man in their business!!! Full house to see and hear the 'I am a madman' in Berlin but next show up in Hamburg was not so full up. Got a glimpse of some of this year's acts featuring at SUMFEST in Jamaica. Nuff niceness..... but as usual, Empty Vee showed most of the dancehall artists and although the living greats like Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt were given a chance to say something, the spotlight was definitely on to the 'other' side of reggae.
Greetings to all..
I take this opportunity to say certain things which I think must be said
in order to clear up some misoverstandings between men and women, particularly
those in touch with the reggae music 'scene'. I am not considered to be
German although I was born here. Does it really matter? I know myself
to be a free person in a free country and expect to be treated thus. There
is a certain lack of respect towards women by certain men who profess
to love JAH or reggae or both. Some do not even take time to reflect and
choose their words before they indicate their short-sighted intentions.
It hurts to see that things as pure as music and love should be exploited
by individuals whose only aim is to experience a short live body thrill.
Of course a dreadlocked individual is proven to be a 'wolf', all dreads
have to bear that cross, be they good, bad or soso. This does not mean
that the dreadlocks are the only ones. Many men just want to believe that
because a woman loves to smoke ganja or is a die hard reggae fan or whatever
in that line......check what I mean? The sistren must also stand up and
be strong and not just cower back when affronted with sexual terror tactics
from wimps and goons. The media has already instilled the idea of selling
everything with a scantily dressed woman next to it... we do not have
to help them kill us!!
So... all you 'Mr. Wichtigs' out there, take heed or you will be exposed just like the dancers in the white underpants!!!........Cheap flesh!! ....Just to sell a product!!!
TOULOULOU ...... INTERVIEWS ...... RAS PEREZ
Ras P: Yes my brother plays up to now, but my sister
no. My father was a sax player in a local band and always practiced scales
at home. So my brother and myself used to look and try to repeat what
he played with our mouths.
TLL: So you were born and raised in a small Caribbean village, yet with a window on the outside world through radio. What were your favourit programs and what kind of music was played?
Ras P: The only one that made any sense at that time was Trinidad's Radio Guardian. Lots of Calypsos, and since recording possibilities were so remote, we had to be always listening in order to hear our favourit songs again.
TLL: So let's get to the point when you started checking music as a musician. How did that come about?
Ras P: When I was about seven, my brother bought me a melodica and some books to learn the basic theory and stuff. I never wanted to learn about the notes on lines and things like that.
TLL: So what were you interested in then?
Ras P: The raw theory...cycle of fifths etc..
TLL: At seven you were already into that?
Ras P: Yeah man! My brother had a xylophon that he soon beat up and turned into a "drum". My sister sang the songs, I accompanied her on melodica and my brother kept the riddim on his xylo-drum! That was real fun!!!
TLL: What kind of songs did you play then?
Ras P: Most of all what they played over the radio! The popular ones. Radio Guardian used to blast Sparrow and Kitchener steady so we just had to check them.
TLL: Sparrow? Kitchener?, who are theses artists?
Ras P: The heavy duty calypso creators outta Trinidad. Calypso (Today's Soca) was what was reigning these days so we just had to play these beautiful songs.
TLL: How do you check Sparrow today compared to them times?...I mean today you play reggae and your first influence was calypso. Why the change, if there indeed has been one?
Ras P: Actually there has been change, but it still is the same thing going on. The so called problem arises when one tries to give names or labels to things...Sparrow played pure kaiso and then it was later called soca...a zouk clone... but cadence is more or less the same thing and those who know that Exile was crashing over the place before Kassav came out must realise that everywhere call 'their' music by a certain name and all the rest of the improperganda fill up our heads everyday because we are accustomed to check things by their labels...
TLL: Didn't you leave something out??...
Ras P: Look out the window man....Rainstop and the sun shining.
To be continued.......
For a couple years now, Ras Perez & the Reggae Ambassadubs has become synonymous with reggae based in Berlin.People who have seen this band must remember certain particularities. Two dreadren, (Bass & Drums) an' two Sistren; (keys, voc.,perc., voc.). There is a noticeable absence of guitarist(e)!! It becomes quite clear however that Ras Perez is the (red) bassist-lead singer. Who he is and where he comes from cannot be easily guessed unless one knows him through his CD or hears his story from himself (which is what we intend to do here). I arrived late but that did not seem to disturb him.
Ras P: Yes I Tilou...greetings!! Come
in man, I thought you had a traffic jam session.
I sat down and put my walkman straight into recording mode because I did not want to miss anything. I had been forewarned but already I was hearing about "Traffic Jam Session!!!???!!
TLL: Nah man, today Sunday de roads clear... I jus wake up late.
Ras P: Sun what?? It raining cats and flies out dere.
TLL: Yes, but you know what I mean...stop splitting hairs and leh we start the interview.
RAS P: I ready already.
TLL: People would like to know about your early musical influences, since on your CD you say you started in 67. Some people who listen to you were not born then. What can you tell them were your early musical influences?
Ras P: Well...as long as I can remember, I was attracted to sounds from very small. I liked the birds how they sang and I considered horses and donkeys to have the "jazzy" side of animal sounds compared to the birds which I checked as being in the "pop" category!!!
TLL: What? Ras P: Yah man, before I talk about listening to radio or learning to play instrument, I must say that I was really fascinated when listening to animals "talk", "sing" or "cry".
TLL: Yeah, I see where you coming from, but people would like to know about stuff like if you come from a musical family, or if you listened to what was you favourite music over the radio if you had that possibility, or what was the musical ambience around you, say up to when you were ten or so.
Ras P: Yah Yah...it's good you mention that possibility thing for radio because when I was growing up in Dominica, Grand Bay to be more precise, I remember when there were only three or four radios in the village and our family was one of them that had. Of course we are talking about before the great transistor revolution and I was lucky to be able to stay home and listen to almost anywhere in the world ...except Dominica of course!!
TLL: Your family.....how many of you and their interest in music?
Ras P: My parents lived together at the time and I am the middle one with an elder sister and a younger brother.
TLL: Eh, Eh Centrally placed eh? Your sister and brother, do they play music too?
featuring RAW performing artists will be hosted by "Be here now", an all ages smoke-free venues in Ashville, on September 5th and 6th. For complete information about RAW, those interested can contact its founder Papa Pilgrim at the following address: 1057 Denver Street, Salt Lake City, UTAH, 84111, USA. Phone/Fax: 801-355-1405; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To date there 336 RAW members with known e-mail and a further 101 with known web site. So, don't watch us grow. Grow with us!!!!!
Berlin's Hanf Parade kicked off to a good start with local and outta town massives in full support but nothing to be compared with Love (sic) Parade that drew a million technoheads and sold 'nuff beers and cold water thirsty ravers!!! Love parade is what it is and Hanf is something else. It is still a known fact that some herbs products dealers tend to distance themselves from hard core smokers. A double-sided affair. Yes, it would be good for the Government to relax ganja laws so that the -0%THC-content weed could be planted abundantly and sell lots of hanf clothes or soap whatever the 21st century yuppies decide the style to be. So the parade went on and Makwerhu was among the bands that played somewhere that day. Berlin seems to lack a good open space to put up a nice concert in the TU Mensa ...gone by days or what? Local acts were more or less out of stage view this summer....Every weekend or so one of the main groups was always out to play somewhere else than Berlin. Are we tired of hearing our boys or are they tired of playing to us? There is still some work to be done by both parties to ensure that the reggae vibes is forwarded with due respect to JAH and the people who yearn and crave to be imbibed by the vibes of this music. In the next issue a local promoter frees up his mind and has some things to say to aspiring artists inna de city.
by The Dreaditor
Since the fall or its infamous wall, Berlin has had to come to grips with a new reality. There is no more 'east' and 'West'. People just slide through where points used to be checked before (Charlie). So it's all 'West' now, and the changes and adjustments were felt everywhere. Kreuzberg happens to be centrally located and land/property there as well as everywhere else in now very highly valued. On Wilhelm Str. 9, Tommy Weissbecker Haus stands like a reminder of Berlin's radicalism, and we all wonder whether it is here to stay or will one day be transformed into a sleek modern job like Willy's mansion just within smoke smell distance up the street. As we mentioned in our last issue, everyone has some kind of concept about what this place is supposed to be, but hardly an inkling of an idea about its runnings. It is a place conceived to demonstrate that communal living can work in spite of all the hardships that usually accompany the almost impossible task of trying to organise chaos. The house 'Constitution' is very precise in allowing each individual to stretch forth towards one's creative limits while at the same time paying due respect to the excesses of others. It works!!! On a sunny afternoon or even certain nights, one can relax to soothing reggae sounds coming from the practise sessions of either Ras Donovan, Ras Perez or any of the local outfits in the cellar brushing up for an upcoming gig. Soon to be featured in the Café downstairs (Linie 1) will be local weekend reggae happenings. Yes folks.... twice a month on weekends starting mid October. Rootical sounds and small but effective live presentations will be on the musical menu. More times and it's gonna be cold, so when you'll want to check out good reggae on a weekend, don't forget to check out the Linie 1 and find out who's slated....Nuff new talents will be discovered there ...I tell you!!
Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide is today the world's largest reggae music network with members residing in 47 different countries. Most members consider themselves to be Artists, Committed Reggae fans, DJs, Managers Promoters & Producers, Labels, Writers, Publishers and Publications, Shops and Vendors etc. It costs twenty dollar to adhere as a fan and fifty dollar for all other categories. The aim of RAW is to foward the reggae vibe every time and it started with two but it slowly but surely approaching 1000 membership. The Ambassador is RAW's newsletter which gives nuff information about the runnings. This year's RAW conference will take place in North Carolina, U.S.A., and the theme this year is.. Reggae Moving Mountains... in continuation with the Organisation's focus on education, entertainment and
MORE RAW FACTS
Yes I, lots of happenings inna de city this summer. The East of Germany floods but Berlin has had more than its usual share of sun this year. Yaam moved to a new location on Curvy Str. and the Sunday massive turn out to check vibes. Same thing but a different setting...lots of space for freeing up oneself and toning up the mind for.....Monday!! Big up to Tom and his crew anyway.Arena now 'controls' the former site so I guess that everybody's happy now. Record crowd to see and hear Luciano, Ziggy and Spear in Tempodrom...heavy duty vibes ...Spear does have a thrust. More about that show in another section. This year's July 21st 'Fete de la Musique' was not as upbeat as last year's initial tryout. With quasi-mystical foresight, the organisers set up less outside stages as if they knew in advance that heavy rain was coming that day!! Yes folks, it did rain cats and dogs throughout 'ganz' Deutschland that day. Another funny happening was the fact that most bands had paying gigs on that very same day and all chose to go to play where the pay was. That's life!! A report from Cottbus tells us that a Reggae Dub Fest was completely washed out although the crowd remained and pranced under the showers....of blessing.... Mot less that thirteen (13) Soundsystems outta Berlin clashed in May in Tempodrom!!! Sound after Sound after Sound but the vibes were just irie....Concrete Jungle, Sounds Dimension, Urban Bass, Black Liberation Sound, Heart Attack Sound Sisters to name a few of them. Culture and the Dub Mystic Band were in top form in Pfefferberg at the end of May. Guaranteed roots and Kulcha......Big up.. Dean and Dexter....irie!!! Early June saw the younger Marleys on stage in Huxley's. Goos show, ..but no crowd for a place of that size...It was advertised though!!! Early July, Israel Vibration were also in Huxley's with Radics but it was not the kind of mash up crowd that you would expect....Still de boys dem tight!! On the local sound side of things, Liberation Corner has just reopened after one month cool out. Hafis will be there spinning as usual on Frinights!! George Cool now steady at Acud Club in the eastern part of the city. Check the man every Thursdays and Saturdays nights for what I consider a balance reggae menu...stoned or not, you will end up checking the positive vibes. Ruff Ryder (Keith Damage or Keith Kamus ..dj-selekta extrodinaire) is back in town and featured at this year's JA Independence Fest in Pfefferberg.
Reggae.. RunnIngs.. Inna.. BerlIn