Catalogue No. AY CD 21 (EAN 881390201228)
Fuel for your Sovietoblaster
RotFront is more than just good music: it's a contribution to international relations. Just as Russians once learned German listening to Rammstein lyrics, Germans can now sing along with RotFront in Russian, Ukrainian and even Hungarian." Wladimir Kaminer Fists punch the air, some launch into ska moves and others do the pogo. The band gives its all onstage, as if they were to be playing their last gig. And their playing is awesome. RotFront is the resident band at Berlin's Kaffee Burger, which is also the birthplace and home of the legendary RussenDisko. The collective, with its high-octane brew of musical references, has taken the baton from all the other collectives that have come out of Berlin to take the world by storm: Seeed with their mix of Reggae and HipHop, Culcha Candela with their mix of Latino and Pop. Now RotFront has come flying out of the starting blocks, showing how Eastern European sounds (Polka, Klezmer) can be heated up with smouldering southern rhythms (Ska, Cumbia). Their lyrics are based on their own lives and experiences. RotFront – welcome to Essay Recordings, to the melting pot of global pop sounds, where East meets West and North meets South, with no holds barred.
RotFront is the brainchild of two Berlin emigrantskis. One half of the RussenDisko is Yuriy Gurzhy, who joined forces with Hungarian musician Simon Wahorn, initiator of the HungaroGroover Soundsystem, to create the Emigrantski Raggamuffin Kollektiv RotFront. Founded in 2003, it played its way almost overnight to ranking as Berlin's ultimate party band. Whether there are seven, twelve or fifteen musicians on stage at any one time – nobody is going to be alone on the dancefloor for long. Right from the start, with the opening songs, the boundary between stage and dancefloor dissolves into nothingness. Rolling back boundaries is RotFront's mission – and in that sense they are a political band. They may not talk the talk, but they certainly walk the walk: instead of singing about politics, they actually live the easy-going, harmonious interaction of nationalities, ethnicities, musical genres and cultures. And it works. A Ukrainian, two Hungarians, an American, an Australian and five Germans mix Ska, Reggae, Dancehall and Cumbia sounds with Klezmer, Berlin's own in-your-face brand of Hiphop, Eastern European Turbopolka, Mediterranean melodies and rock riffs. Russian, Hungarian, German and English lyrics tell of life in Berlin and the adventures of immigrants in the city. Following their legendary cover version of the Kraftwerk track "Wir sind die Roboter" (on the RussenDisko Hits 1 sampler), Emigrantski Raggamuffin features Deichkind's explosively rhythmic "Remmidemmi". In March 2008, Berlin radio station Jugendradio Fritz asked several bands and DJs (incl. Fotos, Madsen, Lexy, Ohrbooten) to come up with their own interpretations of the song. RotFront hit it right out of the ballpark with their Eastern European stomp. Here, both the band and the label pay homage to Sebi, the mastermind behind the project, who died too soon.
Emigrantski Raggamuffin was recorded in collaboration with Berlin producer Kraans De Lutin (Tiger HiFi, Martin Jondo, Culcha Candela). Guitarists and vocalists Yuriy Gurzhy and Simon Wahorn were joined by accordionist Daniel Kahn (his own superb band: Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird), bombastic brass/woodwind trio Max Bakshish (clarinet and saxophone), Dan Freeman (saxophone) and Anke Luchs (trombone) with drummer Jan Pfennig (a legend in the Berlin Drum'n'Bass-scene, with a band called Human Sampler), fabulous female vocalist Dorka Gryllus (a Hungarian actress who has appeared in Sam Garbarsky's "Irina Palm", Wolfgang Murnberger's "Der Knochenmann" and Fatih Akin's latest film "Soul Kitchen"), and while he is the youngest band member, Mad Milian, is a name to watch out for in the Berlin HipHop scene. Even without a recording contract, the band has already played many international gigs (incl. Lowlands Festival (NL), Fusion Festival (D), Accordion Festival at WUK (Vienna, A), Moods (Zurich, CH), Stadtgarten (Cologne, D), as well as countless festivals and clubs in Hungary. But now things are really heating up:
05. Kemények a fények
06. Berlin - Barcelona
07. Red Mercedes
08. Ya Piv
10. Sohase Mondd
11. Gypsy Eyes (feat. Miss Flint)
12. RotFront FM
15. Emigrantski Raggamuffin (feat. Smo)
17. YouTube Song