WHAT WE DO☆☆☆
About Music from a Diaspora point of view*Diaspora is the dispersion of a population from their native land (from Greek διασπορά, “scattering, dispersion”)
Recently, scholars have distinguished between different kinds of diaspora, based on its causes such as imperialism, trade or labor migrations, or by the kind of social coherence within the diaspora community and its ties to the ancestral lands. Some diaspora communities maintain strong political ties with their homeland. Other qualities that may be typical of many diasporas are thoughts of return, relationships with other communities in the diaspora, and lack of full assimilation into the host country.With the Tropical Diaspora Roots Sound we try to make reflections on a diasporic phenomenon in the Music. This refection show us that the whole Music we select in our events and all other movements connected to the tropical term come originally from Africa. All music styles at the and come directly from there or was reinvented in an African diaspora in other continents like south America, Carib or north America.
Currently we experience the clash of all Diaspora in Europe where all people from all over the world can meet and share his own musical influences with other people. The result of this melting pot we call TROPICAL DIASPORA and fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony that happens in Berlin at the YAAM, the place in the German capital (actually before being named capital after the second World War II) where the African Diaspora in Berlin comes into being. The acronym YAAM means “Youth African Art Mark” and today is recognized as one of the most important point for many of the African communities in the city. During the 1990s several other diasporas settled in the city, the oldest is the Turkish and one of the latest is the Latin America and the Caribbean one. The reason and one of my goals with Tropical Diaspora is exactly to go out of the ghetto, colonies x or y and try to gather all in an attempt to create something new, for example, one of our event called FORRÚMBIA joining two roots dance Latin American rhythms in one stage: Forró and Cumbia with 2 Berliner local bands formed mostly by foreigners i.e immigrants with some Germans. After the concerts, the goal is to have a DJ with the musical diaspora, bringing African music, Latin American and Hispanic styles together. The main focus of Tropical Diaspora event is the live music, always reaffirming the value of the musician and good quality music. In addition, comes the DJ with vinyl records as the ultimate tool for the expression of great music.
by Dj GArRinchA – Part 1
In the 1990s I swapped the tropical concrete jungle São Paulo with another concrete jungle in Northern Europe, Berlin. An immigrant, a foreigner, a “South American guy” in another diaspora, fleeing from the economic situation in Brazil, I decided to share my passion for the musical heritage as Dj GArRinchA. Never mind the former and current politics in Brazil, let’s go back to where it all started, for me anyways.
In the early 1990s, the political map of the world saw profound changes with Germany and the once divided city Berlin at the epicenter. Before the Berlin Wall did not only divide this city, it was also the most obvious manifestation of the political crack which had been running through the world after WWII. Shortly after the wall fell the entire Eastern bloc started to totter and finally collapsed.
After the reunification, many West-Germans along with people from all over the world came to Berlin. Others from East Berlin could not wait to leave. Abandoned by their previous owners, places in the Eastern districts were squatted. Unlicensed and thus illegal bars would pop up on every corner and disappear or move to a different place within a week. A thriving art scene with newly opened galleries emerged in rundown houses. Coming to Berlin in the 1990s was like entering a laboratory with transformation taking place at any corner and affecting any aspect of life.
This transition generated a vacuum that made people feel almost like creators shaping part of tomorrow’s world by trying out new things while the old was retreating and the new was still to come. In short, Berlin became the center of the young subculture in Europe.
In this spirit a new movement was born, which I call the “Latin American Way” of the Berlin subculture. Among the first places where this yet-to-be-born scene gathered was the Freitags Bar (German for Friday’s Bar), one of the various unlicensed bars at the center of the former Eastern part of the city. To me, this place embodied perfectly the spirit of that time. Only people who knew about it would come to this gloomy cavernous place in the basement of a pre-WWII building. Each time there was the risk that the party would be called off by the police which made every single event not only slightly adventurous but all the more precious. Thanks to the Latin American affection of the host, music and drinks from South America set the tone. The DJs staging there had no names yet and put music on that nobody knew, the Brazilian cocktail Caipirinha still had the charm of novelty, its rum base Cachaça was a rarity and quite pricey.
But the most impressive personal experience for me back then was in 1996 after the concert of Chico Science & Nação Zumbi, when I met these musicians in the Freitags Bar. Yes, Chico Science was there in this very basement bar in the Mulackstraße, a place which, unfortunately, due to gentrification does no longer carry the taste of the 1990s.
To point out not only the importance and meaning of this place in the early 1990s but also its effect, I should add that the most popular Latin American events in Berlin nowadays are produced and organized by people who used to be regulars at the Freitags Bar and whom I keep meeting at those events as today at the:
TROPICAL DIASPORA, strictly vinyl with a focus on quality music, Berlin is Diaspora, Be a Tropicalista.
to be continued…
What is Dr.Sócrates definition of Tropical Diaspora?
I know Dj Garrincha for many years. We both share the love for unconventional music without labels or prejudices. We have shared many djs sessions, some good moments, some bad ones. But we haven’t given up our dream of collecting musical experiences that do not fit quite rightly what the mainstream expects for djs firing the dance floor. As Dj Garrincha told me about setting up a musical “tropical diaspora” supporting local bands and good music I couldn’t say no. For me “diaspora” means the constant movement in search for life based musical experiences, the traveling around of rhythms which are the result of suffering and exploitation as much as of a joyful sense of life.
“Tropical Diaspora” performs currently in YAAM Berlin, where we try to create a room for empathic sharing. Instead of market professionalism we like to emphasise a true naive amateurism, though not in a pejorative sense. We claim the right of being amateurs of the dance floor, that is, literally, lovers, “amadores” as we call it in Portuguese. Surrounded by an ocean of mainstreams, the “Tropical Diaspora” party is an island of, simply, music. This is a music that is born uncut from the lives of the people. It is organic not manufactured; it grows from life’s stories. We respect that. “Tropical Diaspora” means music without preservatives, but as it simply is: “Tropical Diaspora”, the place to be in Berlin.