• style(s):
    • World
  • label:Piranha Records

Karneval der Kulturen is certainly the event that sealed Berlin's reputation as an international carnival hot spot: a four-day festival during Whit that passed had attracted a million participants already from 1996!


However, there have been summer festivals celebrating international carnival activities in Berlin before the Karneval der Kulturen. Those carnival festivals were called HeimatKlänge and they shook the city's booty under the summer stars with Caribbean orchestras in 1993's 'Carnevale Caribe', various lusophone styles in 1994's 'LusoMania' and with all kinds of Brazilian samba and more in 2000's "Brazil 500" programmes, amongst others.

Originally a Christian festivity to whoop it up one final time and to keep the spirit up before Lent, the concept of carnival has long spread around the world as the ultimate means of lifting up any mood in any region at any time. And fair enough! It brings bodily and spiritual delight and brings the people together – out of their houses and into the streets. Carnival fosters creative powers and people's capacities of playing a little with their identities – the costumes, the performance! Last but not least, it has a subversive potential – as political satire and critique, as grass roots social inclusion of all and as a roadtest for utopia!


Carnival is powerful. Carnival is everything but it’s no laughing matter! As Frank London courageously rants in the liner notes to his Klezmer Brass Allstars' album 'Carnival Conspiracy': “Carnival has power to elicit cathartic laughter in even the most constipated. True ambivalent and universal laughter which does not deny complexity but affirms it. Laughter that purifies from dogmatism; liberates from fascism and pedantry, from fear and intimidation; from didacticism, naiveté and illusion, from the single meaning, from sentimentaliy. Laughter which restores the almighty ambivalent wholeness of our existance.”

With those words so well said by carnival conspirator London, we return to Karneval der Kulturen. Held for the first time in 1996, it was documented by Piranha Records on the compilation albums 'Karneval Hits 2006' and 'Karneval Hits 2007' – and the parade and festivals will be organised by Piranha Arts from 2016 onwards.

All of this carnival atmosphere can only be capped by our own Lord Mouse and his Kalypso Katz, who – reckless as they are – decided to celebrate their 'Go Calypsonian' carnival year in, year out. And they will keep doing' till they drop!

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