For me, Berlin is closely associated with a pulsating and vital music scene. And I don't talk about brainless fashion shit like the fucked-up "love parade" or crap like that. Since the 60's, this city was always a good ground for creative handmade music, and especially the end-70's were the beginning of a highly creative period when the first Berlin Punk-Rock bands like PVC were born. Now we write the year 2004, and there is still a big amount of rock clubs and a lot of diverse rock bands are still around, ranging from heavy psych to garage rock to metalcore and more. Andreas Voland, the label boss of the Berlin-based label Setalight Records, had the genius idea to pick out fourteen bands of the the Berlin rock underground for a compilation, entitled "Berliner Ring". Well, I really like this compilation, because it gives the listener a perfect overview about what's going on, and due to the included diverse sytles it's a very entertaining ride. All in all, it was reason enough to make this interview with Andreas Voland, talking about "Berliner Ring", his hometwon and more. Go and get it... (The photos had been shot by Dominik Giese and the Jan Krzyzanowski)
Welcome Andreas Voland to the Cosmic Lava webzine! The reason for our first interview is the "Berliner Ring" Independent Rock compilation that will see the light of day at September 23rd released by your label setAlight Records. Before we check out the details about the complilation I would ask you some questions about setAlight. First off, when did you start the label and what were your intentions?
Hello Klaus, thanks for the interview. Setalight.records was founded by Marco Wirth and me in the beginning of 2003. The main idea was local presentation, to build up a platform for any creativ output of ourself , our friends and other artists.
What kind of music do you release, and is there any kind of special philosophy behind the label?
Well, that's very open. It's not fixed on a certain music style. More important are the feelings and authenticity that the music transmits. We like this warm and natural music, I mean, it has to be pure, coming directly from the heart and it needs that kind of inner quality. It hasn't to be over produced when you are a beginner, you know what I mean? This is what we try to produce, present and of course sell. I mean, we are still a young label. Our radius is at present as huge as Berlin, so we released especially music and art from Berlin. This will change with the time, things are growing.
Let's talk about "Berliner Ring", a compilation that is focused on bands of the Berlin underground rock scene., although a few of the included bands like Ojo Rojo or Liquid Visions have gained a pretty good reputation not only in Germany, but worldwide. What were the criterions of choice?
I was trying to make a gimmick for our mailorder www.slr-shop.com to present our bands and one night I said to myself: Fuckin hell, why not making a real sampler to combine all these good and mostly unknown bands of Berlin? So I engaged Alex of 2DFABRIK to do the artwork, Willem of SWAMP ROOM to distribute it, Dominik of KILLERDOM MEDIA to make the multimedia track and Timo of BETWEEN EVIL AND PEACE entertainment to organize the record release party. With that basics, I was able to ask the bands I like most in Berlin and wanted to have on the first ring.
One big plus about "Berliner Ring" is that nearly all of the tracks are unreleased! Have the bands composed exclusive cuts or have they sent you material that was already recorded?
Some bands created new songs and recorded them , others sent me outtakes from their latest releases.There were no rules for me. I just wanted to present the bands as they would present themselves.
There's a pretty good stuff to find, but some of my personal faves are Liquid Visions, Arvid Noir, Stonedudes or Drive By Shooting. Which songs do you prefer?
That's hard to say, I like each track. Some specials are: SULA BASSANA 'cause it has its own deep funny meaning. You know, mourning kids that like to have that chocolate flash!! and they get non and this seems to be the "end of the world"?! I like KIND very much, its hard and heavy and slow, its doom. I like THE OCEAN because its brutal. I like DRIVE BY SHOOTING , too, that's real lofi, fast and with that fuck of attitude. I like ELECTRIC LIZARD, its groovy rock and you know, they just splitted up and so the song on the Berliner Ring will be their last release. And of course I like SAMAVAYO. It's the latest and newest stuff we recorded; Finally, there are lots of exclusive songs on this sampler.