- label:Piranha Records
As the home of Piranha Records, the city of Berlin, its musicians, tastes and vibes are quite naturally reflected heavily in the label’s repertoire. It’s right across the Piranha roster – the motto of this international boomtown and cultural metropolis has been Piranha Records’ motto right from the start: forward in all directions!
There are expatriates living in Berlin from all around the world, whatever their reasons for operating from the city may be: Zimbabwe’s Mbira Queen (at least part time); a Nubian master drummer; a Brazilian MPB singer; a veritable nephew of famous Uncle Patrel straight out of Szegerely, and founder of ‘world music’ who established it as the hot new musical craze; an American bellydancer with roots all over the world; an outspoken feminist activist from Senegal; one of BalkanBeat’s most successful international recording DJs; a classical piano player from Italy gone electronic; an international group of fun-punks working Berlin’s Russendisko circuit; an American calypso revivalist complete with big band, vocal sextet and all – and counting!
Then there’s the adventurous Berlin scene of the eighties and nineties that was one of the seminal international driving forces for the booming world music genre in its early days. A bulky batch of original recordings (released here in eight volumes) from the artists who were in town are the legacy of those lustful HeimatKlänge days – that bristling hot outdoor festival right next to the Reichstag, with its weeklong residencies at the edges of Berlin’s Tiergarten park that has never been matched in abundance and accessibility by any other global music festival around the world.
Such was HeimatKlänge’s impact on the city and its inhabitants that it was only the smallest of steps to make to the Karneval der Kulturen – another one of those Berlin successes in the wake of legendary Loveparade drawing up to a million visitors from both within the city’s quarters and without. It’s only another small step from Piranha’s Karneval samplers documenting some genuine Berlin musical contributions to this friendly clash of cultures to Robert Soko’s BalkanBeats party soundtracks, Lord Mouse’s contemporary calypso nostalgia, Sonia Brex’ electro lounge pop and so on and so forth – see above and in the Piranha Records catalogue, below.