When asked about the sound of Hamburg, one is likely to drift off into the past, wandering around with memories of long-lost German Hip Hop days – Absolute Beginner, parts of FK Allstars, Deichkind, Fettes Brot, Mr. Schnabel, Samy Deluxe … I guess you catch my drift. You might also go so far as to think of Hans Albers, his (in-)famous “Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins“ and the early days of German cinema. Another direction might take you to the Indie (Tocotronic) or Reggae/Ska corner (I-Fire, Dubtari).
Now, now… wait a minute – Dubtari?
Yes, Dubtari! For years, the Dubtari crew has been an underground tip for all those digging all things offbeat, ska, reggae and dancehall. The eight-strong band has been around for more than ten years and played as supporting band for reggae masterminds Culture and Burning Spear. While always thinking on a larger scale – they were the opening act at Summer Jam in Cologne 2002, amongst many other gigs – they never forgot and are proud of their roots in this northern cultural haven. In Hamburg, they have played almost every major gig there is to play – from Hafengeburtstag to Altonale and Reeperbahnfestival, you name it. And during this decade of Dubtari, they’ve developed some kind of tradition: their concerts in the Fabrik in Hamburg-Altona over the years have become an institution of its own. The mix of trilingual offbeat music that drifts from Reggae to Ska to Drum ‘n’ Bass over to Latin rhythms and Hip Hop elements and is labelled ‘Intercontinental Offbeat’ by themselves, regularly takes the audience hostage and culminates in a concert that leaves everybody smiling. After having released three studio albums and various musical cooperations, the band, which is lead on-stage by two vocalists Marcophone and Quiandra and backed by the brass section of Sören and Schü, Robs on the drums, keyboarder Szigalle, guitarist Ivo and bassist Bolze, has now pushed their discography to the next level and decided to record this great live experience of their concerts, for a live-album. In November 2010, they equipped the Fabrik with loads of high-tech equipment and recorded the whole gig, and after having spent almost half a year with intense work on mixing and mastering, the result will soon be available on CD (July 15, 2011). I can only recommend listening to this piece or, naturally, paying the next Dubtari concert a visit!