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.
Touloulou, Tcha T, N'Hahli
checks on Reggae
and related musical scenes.
Rootical Vibes Magazine
Third floor, Wilhelmstr. 9
26 197 10
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!!!
Vol. II \\ II/97
...... INTERVIEWS ......
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
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
Vol. I1 \\ II/97
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
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
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"
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
TLL: Your family.....how many of you and their interest
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.
Vol. I1 \\ II/97
If truth were self evident eloquence would not
Five mangoes were under the tree and some boys
were passing by. Each takes one...how many are there left? Four.
'Each' is the name of a boy!!
Two rights don't make a wrong.. Think positive
Reggae music has gone through a 360 degree cycle
and is now again about to take its rightful place ... Nothing short
of the standards set down by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer
will do .... Judy Mowatt
promoters and artists... the ever
wideing gap between
Reggae be 'Sold'?
on some sistrens movements.
the Internet... nothing fishy but lotsa mice!!
Lesson # 1
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!!
Vol. II \\ II/97
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
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.
BY TCHA T