December 27, 2009

December 20, 2009

Orishas @ Postbahnhof / Berlin 9.12.09

Admittedly, I'm a bit late with this one. All concert posts before have been up a couple of days after the shows. I always thought it important to reproduce my first impressions of a band on stage. This time I simply didn't find the time to do so, and suddenly two weeks have passed. But then again, I've still got several impressions and memories of the gig to have a say. And that is this:

The Cuban expatriats are a good example that Hip Hop isn't only about stylish clothes and showing off a nearly polaresque coolness. Orishas are not stylish, at least not in a Hip Hop kinda way. They merge Cuban traditions with what they consider to be a Hip Hop attitude in their outfits, stage performance and other appearance (as can be witnessed on their spanish-speaking website). This often looks odd, a bit too deliberate in my opinion. On the other hand, I somehow appreciate the innocence that goes hand in hand with their inability to show off like 50 or KanYe do.

On stage, Orishas performed with three MCs, a DJ (using Serato or similar on two MacBooks!!) and a percussionist. I'm not quite sure whether that DJ simply had a bad day when I was there, but de facto he tried to impress with some introductionary scratching and juggling, which was - sorry to say - purely uninspired rubbish. Later, he didn't get the chance to blame himself again on the decks - his job was limited to firing up beats - however he still managed to look silly when we was waving his arms "like you just don't care". That can happen if you give a Hip Hop DJ too much free time. The one-man rhythm section produced some solid work, nothing mean to mention here, but he wasn't pushed to the fore anyway.

The 3 MCs did a real good job. Yotuel Manzanares and Hiram Medina dropped their rhymes pretty tight. So tight, that it sometimes seemed as if they were doing it lip-syncing. Roldán Rivero, the singer of the band, added a lot of Cuban flair to the tracks, a heavy reminiscence of the Buena Vista project. Although annoyed by the DJ, I enjoyed the show and the performance, especially because Orishas played for more than 2 hours, which is quite an amount of time compared to the 40 or 60 minutes that other entertainers offer.

During my research for this post I found out that Orishas aren't really the internationally well-known group I thought they were. They seem to be a phenomenon similar to David Hasselhoff or Dr Alban, a band/artist from abroad, loved by the German audience, but also mainly known here (Listen, Orishas: I'm not trying to put you guys on one level with the Doctor or the Hoff!!!). For their 2009 world tour, they played at 4 German locations - out of 8 gigs in total. In the feedback section for their youtube videos, I also found a couple of lines in french or polish, but still, Orishas rather appear to be a German thing. Their second website is - guess what - in German.

Here's a nibble for all of you who haven't heard of Orishas yet. Let me know what you think and leave a comment.

Orishas Represent (download/buy)

December 17, 2009

Capital Tune I: Linn & Freddie

December 09, 2009

Onesongonepic VIII

Xavier Rudd Fortune Teller (download/buy)

December 06, 2009

Same Same But Different VI: Kraftwerk

Balanescu Quartet Model (download)