Freitag, 18. September 2009

Netlabels als Chance für unbekannte Künstler - eine Diskussion auf der a2n

Im Vorfeld des Netaudiofestivals 2009 hielt ich es für sinnvoll, im Rahmen der "Alltogethernow" Konferenz eine Round-Table-Diskussion zum Thema Netlabels im Independent Musiksektor anzubieten. Etwas enttäuscht war ich dann, dass trotz sehr guter Resonanz und regem Interesse der zahlreichen Beteiligten ausgerechnet beim Veranstalter nur der Amateuraspekt von Netlabels hängen geblieben ist. Naja, war ja trotzdem gut gemeint. Dessen ungeachtet habe ich von mehreren Seiten ein schönes Lob für meine Moderation bekommen, das entschädigt dann ein wenig. Denn so oft mache ich das ja auch nicht. Hier also der Review zur besagten Diskussion [link zum a2n-posting]: 

"CD's gibt's nur zu Promo-Zwecken, Vinyl für Liebhaber" - am liebsten aber alles digital und kostenlos. Netlabels bieten GEMA-freie Musik kostenlos zum freien Download an.

Es gibt mittlerweile mehrere hundert Netlabels auf der Welt. Allein in Berlin sind es rund 35. Wie funktioniert deren Business Modell? Oder sind sie nur kostenlose Spielwiesen auf denen sich Künstler profilieren, bis sie ein "richtiges" Label finden?

Diese und weitere Fragen diskutieren gerade Raimund Reintjes vom Netaudio Festival mit Ronny Kraak (Kraftfuttermischwerk), Timor Kodal (Pulsar Rec.) und Volker Tripp (ID.eology) auf der A2N - und die Antwort: Ja - oft funktioniert es so. Viele Künstler nutzen Netlabels, um sich bekannter zu machen und ihrer Musik Gehör zu verschaffen.

Ein Netlabel ist mehr als ein eine Website auf der ein paar Tracks zum kostenlosen Download bereit stehen. Ein Netlabel baut seine Künstler auf, pflegt Medienkontakte und versucht seine Künstler zu "promoten". "Damit sie nicht in der Masse untergehen, wie bei Myspace oder Facebook", meint Ronny Kraak.

Vor allem in der Elektronik-Szene sind Netlabels ein wachsendes Modell. Hier sind die Kosten für die Musikproduktion am geringsten und somit auch das Risiko Verluste zu machen. Der Netlabel Bereich wird dementsprechend von der elektronischen Musikszene bestimmt.

"Natürlich ist bei jemand der seine Beats am Rechner bastelt die Internetaffinität höher, als bei einer Indie-Band - aber diese Ausweitung kommt noch" meint Timor. Auf dem Netaudio Festival, das im Oktober in Berlin stattfinden wird, zeigt das Programm dass sich die Bandbreite der Musik allerdings ausweitet. Dennoch bleibt die Realität vieler Bands wie sie Ronny beschreibt bestehen: "Rammstein nimmt keine Platte in der Küche auf."

Mehr Informationen zum Netaudio-Festival:

Mittwoch, 16. September 2009

Netaudio Berlin 2009 - A Spectacular Creative Commons Festival

The following interview was posted in the international edition of "Phlow" magazine. Link to the original posting.

Don Ludwig, Antina Michels and Raimund Reintjes prepared one - if not the most - exciting creative commons festival in 2009. Netaudio Berlin 2009 will present nearly hundred artists, groups or music projects making noise in the free culture movement called netaudio. Since weeks music lovers from all over europe wait for the festival. We interviewed Antina and Raimund to get to know what will happen in october in Berlin.

After two years the second Netaudio Gathering in Berlin will open its gates from 8th to the 11th of October. Who is taking part in the Netaudio Berlin Festival and who are the main creators of the event?

Raimund: Who is taking part? It would be a long list if we were to mention all the artists, speakers and participants! Solely the night program from Thursday to Saturday contains close to a hundred artists, groups or music projects. The free daytime program on Friday and Saturday is also packed with workshops, lectures, discussions, showcases and various art installations resp. performances. It would be better for you to flip through the lineup on our website.

Your second question is a lot easier to answer. The main driving forces behind the Netaudio Festival Berlin are – ladies first – Antina Michels, a European Ethnographer and author of the book about "Netlabels – social networks on- and offline", Don Ludwig – free Graphic Designer and long time Netaudio activist (Pentagonik, Netlag etc.) and Raimund Reintjes, an Event Manager and Netaudio Supporter, who emblazed the initial flame to the Berlin Festival activities in 2007. But without the network of activists: Henry, Sarah, Jon, Timor, Kevin, Kirsten, Hannes, Volker, Saskia and some more friends surrounding us, a festival of this velocity would still only be a dream.

What is the main driving force behind your engagement for the free music movement, also known as creative commons music or netaudio? Why do you have such a love for this culture so that you spend so much of your time creating such a festival?

Raimund: It’s the strong belief that there should be a fair and a strong relationship between the artist (formerly known as the producer), the music (formerly known as the product) and the listener (formerly known as the consumer). Creative Commons on the legal – and netlabels on the physical side of life provide the best starting point. I have realized in the past 15-20 years to re-organize the perverted relations within the music business we have to start from the very beginning, to bring the whole thing back on its feet again – but so many artists, music lovers and professionals are working on this subject.
It’s exciting to see the growing impact and effects this movement has had on the rules of the game already. Music is basically something to touch your heart and soul – not for the profit of a few big companies. Netaudio is bringing dignity back into the music business by eliminating the financial aspect as the roots of engagement. This is not the end of the story – but it’s meant to wipe out the conditions of greed and replace them with an economy of trust and attention.

Antina: The festival is the practical realisation of more theoretical thoughts in my book. The festival also stands for the "face to face" interactions, stepping away from the internet as Andi Studer from the Netaudio Festival London 2008 has previously remarked: "The offline festival for online music."

Netaudio needs the real life physical exchange – and thrives from it. The participants and guests will have personable experiences together; strengthening the relationships already formed online and making new friendships face to face. These contacts can be valuable for musical and artistic collaborations which become possible by the connections made at the festival, as an example the Trioon project which is a collaboration between J-Lab (former Netaudio London, now Berlin), Dr. Nojoke (Netaudio Berlin) and Servando (Spain, now Berlin). The Festival also allows the artists to promote themselves, to be heard and to raise their profile.

One aspect of my personal motivation is the practical/my experience of a ‘community of practice’ – (a form of collaboration in a team, which is based on- and offline communications, a learning concept developed by Lave and Wenger) working and learning together under the recent circumstances like project orientated, temporally limited collaboration. It facilitates the in-sight in collective, co-working and (co-) learning processes. I have to admit that my research instinct comes up sometimes ;)

Another aspect of my motivation is the opportunity to bring people from different cultural backgrounds together, to give them the possibility of exchange, for example in discussions. In equal measure more informal meetings are important and motivating: having fun together on the dance floor, listening to music, chatting, catching up and networking at the netaudio fair. In this way ‘offline contexts’ and a feeling of belonging are created. This gives the possibility of remembering ‘former’ online friends more enduringly than if it were just left at a single online contact.

What has changed during the last two years? What can we expect from Netaudio Berlin and why should we come?

Raimund: mo. – you should be coming because we invited you to moderate a round table discussion about online distribution and the role of netlabels as a hinge between the “market” and the creative output of the artists! All the others should come to watch you of course

Ahem ok, we’ve invited a few more experts for an informative daytime program. There will be some 40 netlabels presenting themselves – so if you are an artist and in search of top level contacts within the netaudio scene – we have a plethora of them. And if you love exploring the progressive developments in music & styles you should not miss our widespread night program with all sorts of electronic music like Techno, Minimal and House – but also Dubstep and Drum’n’Bass, Triphop and Nujazz, Pop, Dub, 8-Bit, HipHop, Techdub and especially the Experimantal Stage at the opening night on Thursday The variety of styles is one of the main attractions, also the extension of the festival which now starts on Thursday. We have also extended the daytime program - which now has two long afternoons and three parallel branches of activities. We have also upgraded to a better venue – which has provided us with some better working conditions. We do not have to squat in order to have enough space

In spring you called for entries. Now the program is finished. How many entries did you get and under which criteria did you choose the artists? What was your main goal?

Raimund: We got roundabout 150 entries. But through a multi-leveled procedure and also through the required amount of information we tried to support requests from those artists who really wanted to get involved in this specifically – and not just in any other festival. We tried to give some extra support to artists from Eastern countries. So we have now announced artists from Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Czech Rep., Slovakia, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Morocco and Serbia – and we hope that they all get visas and permission from the authorities to play in Berlin. Other criteria were mainly subjective. We’ve chosen what we liked the most. Around half of the program is filled with artists from the “Call for Entries”, the other half has been asked by our bookers if they would like to take part. We thought this would be a fair arrangement between our own ideas and the offers from the communities.

When organising and inviting musicians and artist to such a happening like Netaudio Berlin, I’m sure everybody has their own favorites. Which musicians or artist are your favorites and what do you yourself not want to miss?

Raimund: As I have been in charge of the booking for the Experimental Floor and the Dub & Techdub Floor you’ll find nearly all my favorites here. For sure I am also very happy about a whole bunch of artists on other floors – and I helped on decisions with one or two of the others. But to be honest I am really proud that we can present something like the Experimental Floor on Thursday.

There has never been such a line-up at a musical event before. It is a unique combination of artists and due to the nature of their music you would never normally see them billed at this time, on this day, in this setting, so we are very pleased to be able to offer them and the visitors this treat. Here we have about eight representatives with extremely creative and free minds, experimenting with sounds and musical atmospheres all combined on one floor! And the Dub & Techdub Floor on Saturday contains a close to perfect selection of my personal favorites. I can’t live without one or the other release of their music on my mp3 player – always ready to sweeten my days

Antina: The most interesting thing about a festival is a variety of styles, not only music genres, but also varied forms of presentation like musical showcases, audio-visual performances, films, discussions, workshops, lectures and ping pong sessions. Personally, I’m especially glad to welcome reggae, dub and 8-bit artists in the night program and also to have more experimental, downtempo and ambient artists in the day program. The netlabel showcases will open up the possibility to chat, network and enjoy the music at the same time.

Besides music in the evening Netaudio Berlin also focuses on other creative commons art forms and has some knowledge to offer. What exactly?

Raimund: We are showing, for example, a selection of CC-movies from Stefan Kluge of VEB Leipzig – who informs us about the ideas behind CC movies and also why they even allow these movies to be used for commercial purpose Then we have the netaudio ping pong game, an interactive game which uses netaudio sounds. We also have some field recording projects with concerts, sound- and net-installations as well as an exhibition on netlabels. Also there are a lot of discussions about various aspects of CC on the daytime program.

In many contracts with the musicians you "signed" the music of the artists. Do you plan to offer free live recordings afterwards?

Raimund: We will record the whole festival for our own documentation and maybe for live streaming – but also we might release some of the recorded material afterwards. There are only a few artists who do not want that. In matters of post-festival releases we are maybe a little more interested in the intellectual outcome of the day program. We’d love to think about spoken word releases like lectures and discussions. There are enough netlabels to release high quality netaudio music. But there is no such thing like a publisher for CC-audio books resp. intellectual creative commons.

Only here and there you’ll find single releases of this kind. We would like to develop this aspect. But we might also release some live sets of the music program. If everything goes well we might broadcast a live radio and live net-radio from the festival – but the venue is very difficult for that. During the next few days we are investing a lot of time, energy and also some money in trying to set up an infrastructure for broadband streaming. It would be so nice - and also appropriate

Thank you very much for the interview and see you at Netaudio Berlin 2009 in October!

Sonntag, 13. September 2009

RAW dub style

Juhu! Endlich mal ein Interview zu meiner Lieblingsmusik - dem DUB! Crofton heißt der Mensch, der mich interviewt hat. Ich kenne ihn über die Musik seines großartiges "i-ality hifi sound system" (leider ist die website nicht entsprechend.). UND er betreibt eine eigenes Musikblog "Music Line". Das Interview führte uns dann weit über die Grenzen des Dub hinaus, zu Fragen der Stadtentwicklung und Gentrifizierung, zum RAW.tempel und noch so einigem mehr. Also sowas könnte mir öfter passieren! [Hier ist der Link zum Originaltext]

Sooner rather than later, the stray dub fan in Berlin encounters the RAW.tempel. RAW stands for Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk - a defunct factory complex in Friedrichshain, used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for maintenance of trains. In 1998 the site was taken over by a project group who started to use it for artistic and musical events: it now houses several venues of different sizes, and hosts numerous workshops and activities - political, ecological and social as well as artistic. There's also a climbing wall and a skate park. Prominent on the site is the RAW.tempel, which over the last decade has secured a reputation as one of the centres of gravity of the Berlin dub scene. Berlin's a long way from London and accordingly the dub scene has a different history and a different focus. In late May 2009 I met up with one of the RAW crew, Raimund Reintjes, to ask him for his perspective on dub in Berlin. We talked about the history of the RAW.tempel, the evolution of dub in Berlin and the ever-present threat of gentrification, along with the influence of the netlabel scene and the 'third wave of dubby ideas' which has the city locked right now. But it all begins with psychedelic trance ...

"In the mid-90s dub was a big thing in Berlin, not in comparison with the techno scene of course, but there were regular dub events in lots and lots of venues. Towards the end of this movement, at the end of the 90s and early 00s, the psychedelic trance scene gathered at RAW.tempel. At this time psychedelic trance and dub were quite closely related, because dub was nice for the chill out area, along with the chai shops and everything. That was the first connection between RAW.tempel and dub. The psychedelic trance scene then moved away but the dub scene stayed, and it's really established itself there.

- So what kind of dub are we talking about here?

When we're talking about the mid-90s, most of the dub played here was UK style: Adrian Sherwood's On-U sound, African Headcharge, Dub Syndicate, Audio Active, along with Dreadzone, Rockers Hi Fi, the Disciples, Zion Train and the Universal Egg crew - this is what I mean when I say UK sound. They were much more present than Jamaican dub, which had been ruling the scene for the previous 20 years but was not really recognized in Berlin. There was a time for reggae, the late 70s and early 80s, it was really big, but that was Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and there wasn't so much talk about King Tubby, Lee Perry, Sly and Robbie or King Jammy. Then the techno thing started, and it influenced dub production. So with new technology and fresh ideas from electronic music they formed this 90s electronic dub, which was mainly done in Britain. So the dub and reggae idea came up again but in a new 'coat', let's say. And this second generation of dub got quite popular in Berlin and some other German cities. A guy called Deeroy [proprieter of the celebrated Deeroy's Dub Store on Pappelallee, now closed] organized the Dub Cruiser, and together with a guy called Lujah he opened the legendary Dub Club. Then the scene died down again, at the end of the 90s, and now it's coming up again mainly in the form of dubstep and dubtech. It gets fresh ideas again, it's kind of the third wave of dubby ideas.

- Do you find that the same people who listen to 90s dub listen to dubstep?

Yes, it goes quite well together. If you see what's going on in RAW.tempel, there's the Dub Wohnzimmer every week on Wednesdays, and for years they've been doing nothing other than UK dub, sound system dub, with some Jamaican roots, and now they're also heavily involved in dubstep. But many organizers or places where they do dubstep also come from the drum'n'bass side. It doesn't really matter which side you're discovering it from. What I'm expecting and hoping and really like is the idea that people are discovering dub because they have discovered dubstep.

- You said to me a while ago that you were really interested in European dub rather than UK dub right now.

It's a personal thing of mine, in the 90s I was listening to so much UK dub, I know it for some fifteen years already, and I'm always hunting after fresh ideas. And what I've found is that there's a large, growing scene in Europe, especially France, which has a completely different cultural input into their dub community, because they're not so related to the English speaking part of the world and they have a lot of immigrants from North Africa and Arabian countries. They often have a combination of a lot of different musical influences, so it's sometimes really hard to explain to anyone why I would call it dub, because if you're not into the subject you don't hear that there's a dub idea inside. So French dub has this drum'n'bass aspect, Arabian sounds, rai, hip hop, breakbeat, a nice unique mixture of different styles, open to a lot of things. This is what I really like, this is vital.

- Can you give us some idea of who you're thinking about here, which artists?

Kaly Live Dub, Le Peuple De l'Herbe, Zenzile - though they've seemed to shift away from dub now. And above all High Tone and Brain Damage from the Jarring Effects label. It's one of the most creative labels I know, where genre borders don't exist, a very fusion-orientated label. They get musicians from a lot of styles, a lot of countries, a lot of musical backgrounds, put them together and form new projects, but the dub idea is still linking everything or nearly everything. 60-70% of the output of that label is related to dub in any case. Led Piperz is a fantastic dubstep project also from France, and you have Fedayi Pacha. Led Piperz performed at the Jarring Effects night in Maria and I wanted to go home because it was early in the morning and I was kind of through with the day, but Vincent, the label manager, forced me to stay to see them: 'They do some dubstep, but it's not only dubstep ... if you've seen Benga and Skream already, forget about them, it's much better...' Well, I'd seen Benga and Skream at the beginning of the year at Club Transmediale, and was really impressed by their performance, so if someone's telling me that there's a dubstep project which is even more powerful than Benga and Skream I won't miss it. So I stayed. And I really did not regret it. It was absolutely amazing!

Dubstep is really popular now and it's really pushing things in an interesting new direction. But there's also the releases from the netlabel scene, the combination between electronic music and dub. All the techdub and dubtech, which is becoming more and more popular, I think it's a child of this netaudio idea, because I never heard something like this before and I discovered a lot of stuff on small labels who are releasing mp3s for free. There's a lot of labels in Europe now specializing in techdub, which also gives the development of dub a fresh and interesting direction.

- Again, give us a few representative names.

Ok, Deepindub, an Italian netlabel run by a guy called Maurizio Micelli. Qunabu, a Polish label run by Piotr Kalinski. Then we have the German spearhead Jahtari, for chip-tunes reggae, 8 bit dub. Disrupt, Jan Gleichmar, who is the founder of the label, has really done a lot of good networking, he's come around, spread the idea and people really like his kind of music. The label also promotes this Bo Marley thing, a Danish performance group with mobile soundsystem and some freaks in incredible outfits. The singer speaks German and the rest of the band take it as funny voice samples. So this is a funny dub project who don't take things too seriously, they sing about meat, for example, an anti-vegetarian song, but with a twinkle in the eye. When you follow the words, the beginning of the sentence is different to what they're telling you at the end, they mix things up, make mistakes, do illogical things. There's some quite Dadaistic aspects in their music and performances. I like this because they play with everything, they make music which makes you smile. And Marko Fürstenberg, for example, from Leipzig, the same town as Jahtari, he's done a lot of excellent releases in the past years. Volphoniq from France is a big name in the netlabel community, great performers, and also in France there's Fresh Poulp Records. In Germany Stadtgrün from Cologne have put out a lot of decent techdub. And then there's Ornaments, a vinyl label who are re-releasing some netlabel dubs or new stuff from netlabel dub artists.

- When you say techdub, do you mean stuff influenced by Rhythm and Sound, Basic Channel, stuff like that?

Yes, but it goes further than that, it's much more related to the minimal techno sound. Techdub or dubtech, you can have hard techno beats with a dubby tune running through it, so you have this relaxed atmosphere inside a really hard beat. Also you can have a dub tune which is so minimal that it is really reduced to the very basic elements, so you can hardly call it dub any more. It's not this loungey deep house dub thing, it's really a dancefloor filler.

- Is it particularly a Berlin-associated phenomenon or not really?

It's a niche, it's not a big wave rolling through the streets which everyone's excited about, but there's a small community who really like it. So for example last weekend there was the Thinner label night in the Arena Club, and they had an exclusively techdub lineup: Das Kraftfuttermischwerk from Potsdam, Marko Fürstenberg, Gabriel Le Mar who was a big name at the end of the 90s in the psychedelic trance scene. The night was completely done by techdub artists. These kind of events don't happen very often. But three years ago no one would have been attending. So they're creating something which is strong and getting stronger hopefully.

- Back to RAW.tempel: it seems the RAW.tempel is more directed towards dub, while Yaam is more reggae and dancehall. Is this a deliberate policy?

No, it developed a bit like this but Yaam is now doing more dub things also. The dub festival [3-5 Sept. 2009] will take place at Yaam. There's a small amount of people who organize these kind of events, and a small amount of venues where you can organize them: Yaam is bigger than RAW.tempel, you can fit more people in, you have the possibility to do a second floor, outside things even, so it's much more suitable for festivals. I'll probably go as a visitor, it's relaxing to enjoy two or three days of heavy dub music without any pressure. So really I'm fine with this.
On the other hand, RAW.tempel was really supporting dub in the darkest days, at the beginning of this decade, when no one was playing any dub at all, and dub was a lost idea from somewhere in the past. Dancehall grew stronger and all the venues jumped on the dancehall idea. But we did dub, dub, dub, and no dancehall, and only a little reggae. And now with the growth of dubstep and the return of dub into the clubs, techdub, we're benefiting from the fact that we've been doing dub for all these years without looking at whether anyone else is doing it, or if we are cool or hip. There was a small dub community who were able to do their thing, and now this small dub community has become a bigger dub community. We do concerts, we have the weekly Dub Wohnzimmer, a lot of people are involved and some of them also do the Dubstation at the
Fusion Festival. We've also started doing dubstep events with a series called Interzone. Not at RAW.tempel, but as a kind of spin-off, there was an attempt to relaunch the Dub Club, in the spirit of the original venue from the 90s. Eventually this didn't happen but some other projects appeared like the Dub Pub, which is done by a lot of people also involved in RAW.tempel. Then there's the Dub Camp at Rieben in June, a festival outside Berlin, which is also a spin-off of all the city's dub activities. And there's dub in summer beer gardens and illegal open-air things in parks. So it's a good time to enjoy dub in Berlin these days.

- It seems that this is a time of a lot of change for Berlin, in terms of structures, venues, gentrification, the Mediaspree project ... is RAW.tempel affected by these currents?

On the one hand I have to disagree: the situation since the teardown of the Wall has been constant change, this city is always changing. There were massive changes in the 90s, when Berlin became capital of the reunited Germany, when they started to heal the wounds of the partition. So I wouldn't say that this is a time of specific change, it's been the same before: venues opening for a few months, closing, opening again on a different site, a new name, illegal, semi legal, vanishing again ... Berlin's been like this for 20 years. But on the other hand you're right. Development in the inner city districts, like Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte, was the topic of the first 10-15 years after reunification, but now change is more or less over in these areas because they're settled in a certain way. But the things you were mentioning, Mediaspree, this is the third and maybe last big field of inner city empty space where you can really form attractive places, whatever attractive means, and whoever you want to attract ... Mediaspree is a huge area, with major pressure from money, investors, big companies, global players. Of course RAW.tempel is affected by this, though not so heavily as all the alternative projects situated directly in the Mediaspree area: Yaam, Bar25, Maria and the others which are going to close to make way for towers and office blocks.
I hope Mediaspree is the last really big mistake in Berlin, because the politicians should recognize that they've been going too far by allowing nearly everyone to buy out the right and left side of the Spree. They've got rid of an area which is so valuable in so many different ways, like recreation, alternative culture, the feeling that Berlin is not just a big city but also a very lively space for many different cultures and peoples and attitudes. So what they are doing is monostructuring all the Spree with office buildings and this kind of stuff, and pushing alternative projects, which have been there for ten years, out of the area. This is what we mean by gentrification: people who with creative energy and power get into a space, create something interesting, and are then thrown out on account of money, because they've been making the space interesting.

This kind of thing is affecting RAW.tempel, because what's actually happening is that the whole area - we're talking about an area larger than 80 football fields - has been bought by a company whose only interest is making money out of land speculation. They don't want to develop anything, they don't want to create city spaces, do something where you can discuss if it's good or bad, they just want to push the price of the land up and get money out of the fact that they own it. So in this case they bought the site for 4 million euros two years ago and they might sell it for between 11 and 20 million next year. So they triple or quadruple the money they invested. Of course 4 million is not a price which reflects real monetary value, it reflects a lot of circumstances and aspects which you have to keep in mind: you have to spend a lot of money just to get rid of great parts of the rotten old structures, get rid of the chemicals in the ground, build an infrastructure so that you are able to develop something. So you will have a lot of cost just to get the thing in shape.

The investors want us to be a project who they can throw out at any time, where they dictate the framework of what we can do and how we have to do it. We were the first who developed anything on this empty space, attracting people to come and see what they can do with it, so there's no way that anyone is going to tell us what we can do there and what not. So we're arguing this, and we're also arguing that the whole area should not be developed just for maximum profit, but instead they should keep in mind the needs of the people who live in the area around, who don't have any playgrounds, or any green, open space just to be in. Because we say this, and we mean what we say, we're not just trying to get a better position in negotiations, it's difficult for the investors to deal with us. And this is why they'd like us to go. But I don't think they will manage this. There's a strong political will to keep RAW.tempel, because with the public voting about Mediaspree, political parties and responsible authorities have realized that people really don't like things going on like this without anyone having a brake in their hand. So I don't think politicians will make the same mistakes in the RAW area as they did with Mediaspree, but of course it will not be heaven on earth. An investor wants to earn money, and he wants to develop the thing, so there have to be compromises in some or many fields. But that does also mean that there has to be space for alternative cultures, recreation space for the neighbourhood, away from the cars, the pollution and all the velocity of the city."

(Since this interview took place, RAW.tempel appears to have been the victim of a campaign of harassment, suffering several arson attacks of unknown motivation. Nonetheless, some signs are appearing that its future may be secured, on a legal basis, for another decade.)

Freitag, 11. September 2009

Netlables als wesentlicher Bausteine der Independent Musikszene

Für die "Alltogethernow (a2n)" Konferenz 2009 habe ich eine Round-Table-Diskussion beigesteuert, die endlich einmal den Fokus der Diskussion um Netlabels weg vom leidigen Gema-Bashing leiten sollte. Ebenso kann ich auch nicht mehr hören, dass 90 Prozent der Netlabel-Veröffentlichungen doch ohnehin minderwertiger Amateurkram ist. Erstens stimmt das nicht und zweitens sind solche Aussagen wirklich nicht dazu geeignet, Netlabel in ihrer Bedeutung und ihrem Potenzial zu beschreiben.

   Photo: SimSullen

Netaudio Berlin bietet im Rahmen der "Alltogethernow" - a2n eine Diskussionsveranstaltung zum Thema "Netlables als wesentlicher Bausteine der Independent Musikszene" an. Denn nachdem in den 1990er Jahren die Independent Musikverlage und -label mehr und mehr von den Verlagsriesen der Branche arborbiert und bestenfalls als Sublabel überleben konnten, breiten sich seitdem eine wachsende Zahl an Netlabels in dem Vakuum aus. Individuell geführt und eher an neuen, ungewöhnlichen Sounds als am bestehenden Massengeschmack des Mainstreams orientiert bieten Netlabel einerseits all jenes, was die Independent Vinyl- oder CD Label d er 1980er und 199er attraktiv gemacht hat. Indem Netlabel derzeit i.d.R. nicht auf finanziellen Gewinn ausgerichtet sind, bieten sie andererseits extrem wenig Argumente für ihre Absorption durch die großen Majors. Im Schlepptau der non-kommerziellen Label entwickeln sich zudem in jüngster Zeit auch neue Formen und Strukturen, die den kostenfreien Rahmen verlassen und alternative Bezahlmodelle - von Mikropayment über hybrides Cross-Selling, temporäre Kostenpflicht bis hin zu Zahlungen auf freiwilliger Basis anwenden. Welche Potenziale bieten Netlabel für eine zukünftige Independent-Labellandschaft jenseits von Selbstausbeutung und diesseits von Integrationsinteressen der Major Companies? Welche Strukturen entwickeln sich - oder haben sich bis dato noch nicht entwickelt, wären aber wünschenswert - oder gar notwendig für eine vielfältige und chancenreiche Indie-Musikkultur?

  • Raimund Reintjes, Netaudio Festival Berlin, Moderation
  • Ronny Kraak - Blogbetreiber und Netaudiokünstler (Das Kraftfuttermischwerk / Potsdam)
  • Timor Kodal - Netlabelhead (Pulsar Rec.), Digitallabel Betreiber (Little Green Man) und Gema Mitglied
  • Volker Tripp -  Jurist, cc-Experte, entwickelt mit PRIMA ein alternatives Abrechnungsmodell für cc-Musik und Mitbetreiber des Netlabels  ID.eology


Kommt doch vorbei und diskutiert mit! Unterstützt den Zusammenschluss für eine Neuordnung der Musiklandschaft - all-together-now! Das wirklich umfangreiche und extrem spannende Gesamtprogramm der a2n findet ihr hier!

Mittwoch, 9. September 2009

Beat - Interview 09/2009

Interview mit Raimund Reintjes, Netaudio Festival Berlin (09/09/2009)

link zum Artikel]


Beat / Vielen Lesern wird das Netaudio Festival in Berlin noch kein Begriff sein, trotzdem findet es nach 2007 bereits zum zweiten Mal statt. Was hat sich in Sachen Akzeptanz einer ehemals doch recht überschaubaren Szene in der Zwischenzeit getan?

Raimund / Wenn man es ganz genau nimmt, findet das Netaudio Festival sogar schon zum fünften Mal statt, nur eben zum zweiten Mal in Berlin. Wir hatten auch schon zwei Festivals in London und eins in Bern. Dieses Jahr gab es eine überwältigende Resonanz - sowohl in der Öffentlichkeit als auch in der Netaudio-Szene. Wir werden für dieses Festival beispielsweise vom Berliner Senat durch seinen Hauptstadtkulturfonds unterstützt, den wir überzeugen konnten, dass die Netaudio-spezifische Dynamik einige sehr interessante Ansätze bereit hält, die Spielregeln im Musikbusiness wieder auf die Füße zu stellen. Die entfremdete Beziehung zwischen dem Künstler, der Musik und dem Hörer wurde ja zuvor fast ausschließlich in den Kategorien Produzent, Produkt und Konsument gedacht. Dass wir zurückkehren müssen zur Seele, zum Herzschlag und zum Wesen der Musik wird mittlerweile auch medial breit diskutiert. Das spüren wir auch sehr deutlich. Unsere Presseresonanz ist enorm - gemessen an dem Zustand vor zwei Jahren. Netaudio ist in Berlin mittlerweile ein sehr positiv besetztes Thema.

Beat / Zwar hat die Netaudio-Bewegung zum Beispiel mit Julia Kotowski eigene kleine Stars entwickelt, die sogar auch in den Massenmedien Widerhall finden, umgekehrt scheint es noch nicht allzu viele Anknüpfpunkte zu geben .

Raimund / Nun, Anknüpfungspunkte sehen wir schon richtig viele - aber wenn Eure Frage darauf abzielt, dass bekannte Namen in den kostenfreien Netlabel-Bereich "überwechseln", dann habt ihr sicher Recht. Außer um ein paar Promo-Tracks zur Verfügung zu stellen gibt es auch wenige Gründe, warum schon sehr bekannte Künstler dieses tun sollten. Andererseits ist Netaudio doch auch mehr als kostenfreie Netlabel-Musik unter CC-Lizenz. Netaudio bezieht sich ja beispielsweise auch auf netzspezifische Produktionsprozesse oder Distribution. Ein Beispiel: Im Jahr 2002 begannen die Einstürzenden Neubauten ihre Arbeit zu einem neuen Album ohne den Rückhalt einer Plattenfirma, da ihr Label Mute an EMI verkauft wurde und EMI den Vertrag nicht fortsetzte. Für die neue Platte vertraute die Band stattdessen auf ihr Internetprojekt. Über 2000 Fans (auch Supporter genannt) hatten sich auf ihrer Website eingetragen und die Produktion des neuen Albums unterstützt, indem sie 35 Dollar überwiesen. Dafür bekamen sie später eine CD - das Supporter's Album #1. Daneben erhielten sie die Möglichkeit, via Internet der Band bei den Proben zuzusehen und über Chat direkt Fragen und Vorschläge an die Band zu richten. Auch andere Künstler, wie etwa das Techno-Urgestein Tanith, öffnen sich mittlerweile dem Netaudio - ohne ihre sonstigen musikspezifischen Einnahmequellen auszutrocknen. Netaudio ist einfach eine zusätzliche Ebene im Spiel - und sicher nicht für jeden Superstar so attraktiv, dass er schlaflose Nächte bekommt, nur weil er noch kein Net-Release hat. Man muss auch sehen, dass Netaudio nicht als Allheilmittel für alle entfremdeten Zustände im Musikzirkus kommuniziert wird.

Beat / Einige wichtige Label wie One Bit Wonder haben hingegen ihre Pforten geschlossen oder haben - wie im Fall von Stadtgruen - deutlich weniger Output als noch vor einigen Monaten. Wächst eurer Ansicht nach genügend Substanz nach, oder ist der erste Pioniergeist bereits erloschen?

Raimund / Die erste Pionierphase, in der alle hemmungslos euphorisiert die neue Heilsbotschaft vom Netaudio gepredigt haben, ist eindeutig zu Ende. Die Szene professionalisiert sich. Das bedeutet auch, dass der Elan mancher Pioniere erlahmt ist und sie wieder mehr Zeit für Freundin, Zierfische oder ihr schon 15 Semester dauerndes Grundstudium aufwenden. Andere wiederum, wie Thinner, Instabil, Jahtari, Pentagonik und zahlreiche weitere Netlabels fangen an, Musik auch kostenpflichtig anzubieten bzw. Bezahlmodelle zu entwickeln. Das halten wir für einen sehr wesentlichen Schritt. Denn es ist doch zu schade, wenn die jahrelang aufgebauten Künstler mit ihrem einsetzenden Erfolg etwa bei Bookinggagen oder in punkto Anfragen von kostenpflichtig veröffentlichenden Labeln zu diesen abwandern. Wenn also andere mit der oft jahrelangen Promoarbeit Geld verdienen. Im Gegenteil wäre es doch schön, wenn das auch in der Familie bleiben könnte. Andererseits ist der Trend, ein Netlabel aufzumachen, nach wie vor ungebremst vorhanden. Um den substanziellen Nachwuchs machen wir uns wirklich gar keine Sorgen... Mittlerweile kann man ja auch, wie etwa auf Festivals wie dem unseren, von erfahrenen Hasen jede Menge Tipps und Hinweise bekommen, wo die Fallstricke und Stolperstellen im Betrieb eines Netlabels verborgen liegen. Dieser Knowhow-Transfer ist Teil der sich professionalisierenden Szene.

Beat / Mit der "Cologne Commons" gab es im Frühsommer bereits ein recht erfolgreiches Netaudio-Festival in Köln. Verträgt die Szene bereits eine zweite große Veranstaltung innerhalb eines Jahres?

Raimund / Unsere Kölner Freunde haben ja einen etwas anderen Fokus als wir. Sie konzentrieren sich auf die Diskussion um Creative Commons und dann im Wesentlichen auf die mit diesem spannenden Rechtsbaukasten verbundene musikalische Komponente. Das ist ein Teilausschnitt von Netaudio. Unser Konzept ist jedoch deutlich weiter gefasst und wird in diesem Jahr auch sicherlich eine andere Dimension bekommen, als die Cologne Commons. Zudem machen wir unsere Veranstaltung nicht spezifisch nur für die Szene. Wir wollen explizit die Ansätze und Ideen des Netaudio in die Mitte der Musikbranche führen. Wir möchten endlich mit unseren Nachbarn Netlabel-Empfehlungen austauschen. Wir wollen, dass nicht nur Tim Renner sondern auch Dieter Gorny versteht, dass die Zeiten vorbei sind, in denen man aus bequemen Sesseln in schicken Spreeufer-Büros die Künstlerkartei wie ein Aktienportfolio mit Renditeerwartung hin- und hergeschoben hat. Wir wollen explizit nicht, dass Netaudio in der Abgeschlossenheit einer Szene verbleibt. Eine strukturelle Öffnung passiert unserer Meinung nach gerade von beiden Seiten. Da sind Netaudio-Festivals sehr hilfreich - gerne auch mehr als zwei pro Jahr in Deutschland!

Beat / Ihr könnt auch auf die Erfahrungen anderer Veranstalter in Europa zurückgreifen. Wer steht euch hier zur Seite?

Raimund / Im Wesentlichen unsere Freunde von Netaudio London. Wir wechseln uns seit vier Jahren in der Ausrichtung des Netaudio Festivals ab. Nächstes Jahr wird es wieder ein Festival in London geben. Zudem haben wir gute Kontakte nach Spanien - etwa zu und zum Underground Family Festival (UFF!) in Barcelona. Ein anderer wichtiger Partner ist Nettare, das italienische Netzwerk von Netlabeln, die im vergangenen Jahr ihr erstes Festival organisiert haben. Außerdem sollten wir noch die Clubtransmediale erwähnen, die zwar in Berlin stattfindet, aber einen sehr internationalen Charakter besitzt. Das kleine Fieldrecordings Festival ist ein besonders experimenteller und spannender Partner, den wir dieses Jahr neu hinzu gewonnen haben und der sich mit einigen außergewöhnlichen Programmpunkten in unser diesjähriges Festival einbringen wird. Nächstes Jahr werden von unserer Seite weitere internationale Aktivitäten hinzukommen, die darauf zielen, neue Partner in anderen Ländern aufzubauen.

Beat / Als Motto für das Netaudio Festival Berlin habt ihr euch "East meets West" gewählt. Was steckt dahinter?

Raimund / Naja, Auslöser war natürlich der 20ste Jahrestag der Maueröffnung dieses Jahr. Gerade in Berlin ist das ein Thema. Damals fiel die Grenze zwischen den politischen Blöcken Ost und West. Wir haben das zum Anlass genommen um insbesondere auch die Netaudio-Aktivitäten in den osteuropäischen Ländern sichtbar zu machen. Aber auch aus Istanbul und Casablanca haben wir Künstler eingeladen. Wir hoffen, dass sie alle kommen können. Wenn uns die Botschaften und die Ausländerbehörde keinen Strich durch die Rechnung machen, haben wir Künstler aus Russland, Weißrussland, Ukraine, Polen, der Tschechischen Republik, Ungarn, Bosnien und Slowenien auf den Bühnen. Außerdem mit Dr. Patryk Galuszka einen polnischen Wissenschaftler, der am Kölner Max-Planck-Institut zu Netlabeln geforscht hat. Als interaktives Projekt - extra für das Festival entworfen - ist in dem Zusammenhang noch die "Berlin Wall of Sound" zu erwähnen: Die Idee ist, Sounds vom gesamten Mauerstreifen aufzunehmen und hochzuladen, so dass eine "Wall of Sound" entsteht. Jeder, der Lust und ein Aufnahmegerät hat, ist aufgerufen, sich zu beteiligen:

Beat / Auch der Veranstaltungsort ist an einem recht historischen Ort.

Raimund / Das Festival findet in der "Maria am Ostbahnhof" statt, ein ehemaliges Lagerhaus auf dem früheren Todesstreifen. Um die Ecke steht mit der Eastside Gallery das längste noch erhaltene Reststück der Mauer. Die Maria hat zudem auch ihre eigene Historie in punkto Festivals (etwa die jährliche Clubtransmediale oder verschiedene Schlagstrom-Festivals) - wie auch als Veranstaltungsort: Der Club hieß zuvor "Deli" und war in der Berliner Feierszene legendär. Hier gab es gigantische Techno- und Trance Raves mit einer riesigen Feuerstelle in der Halle! Das ist mehr als zehn Jahre oder so her. Wer das miterlebt hat, wird dies sein Leben lang nicht vergessen...

Beat / Was bietet das Netaudio Festival Musikern, die sich für die Möglichkeiten alternativer Musikdistribution interessieren?

Raimund / Wir haben ein umfangreiches Tagesprogramm mit vielen Vorträgen, Workshops und Diskussionen organisiert. Es werden eine ganze Reihe Experten anwesend sein, die man alle kennen lernen kann! Mit Whatpeopleplay ist zudem ein digitaler Distributor als Partner mit an Board, der auch auf unserer "Netaudio Fair" präsent ist. Hier werden sich zudem und hauptsächlich etwa 40 Netlabels aus ganz Europa präsentieren. Wer Kontakte zu einer Auswahl an erstklassigen Netlabels sucht, sollte unbedingt vorbeikommen. Unser Tagesprogramm ist wie immer vollständig kostenfrei!

Beat / Und wenn ich einfach nur gern Musik höre, was erwartet mich dann?

Raimund / Auf den Punkt gebracht: Acht Stages verteilt auf insgesamt drei Nächte - mit rund 100 Künstlern, Bands und Projekten: von den elektronischen Spielarten des Techno, House und Minimal über Dubstep und Drum'n'Bass, Hip Hop, NuJazz, TripHop, Dub, Techdub, 8Bit - bis hin zu Pop und experimentellen Sounds. Nur für die Spielarten der Rockmusik ist Berlin wohl nicht die geeignete Stadt. Es hat sich schlicht niemand gefunden, der das machen wollte und Ahnung hatte... Das umfangreiche Lineup, das auch noch durch zahlreiche Showcases im Tagesprogramm ergänzt wird, kann man am besten auf der Website ( ) nachlesen.

Beat / Euer umfangreiches Live-Line-up rekrutiert sich aus recht guten Namen aus der Szene. Wonach habt ihr hier die Auswahl getroffen?

Raimund / Etwa die Hälfte der Künstler kommt über unseren "Call for Entries", d.h. sie haben sich bei uns beworben. Dazu kommt ein guter Anteil an Künstlern, die wir selber unbedingt buchen wollten. Und dann gab es noch Empfehlungen von Partnern und Freunden. Bei uns im Festivalteam kümmern sich verschiedene Personen um die einzelnen Spielarten und Floors. Die Booker hatten unter angemessener Berücksichtigung der Bewerbungen aber weitgehend freie Hand bei der Künstlerauswahl. Wir haben allerdings im Vorfeld auch gezielt Künstler aus Osteuropa ermutigt, sich zu bewerben.

Beat / Gutes Gelingen für das Festival!  (AW)