FolkWorld article by Michael & Christian Moll:
Lecker Sachen, translated ‚Tasty Things', have created a new music style that builds bridges between the Irish Folk scene and German Hiphop scene. Called Folkhippop, it is the sum of Folk + Hiphop + Pop. And there are many communities between both scenes, as Lecker Sachen's Lisi states: "The music comes from the people, it comes from the very heart - both Hiphop and Folk." In both scenes, you can find puristic attitudes, and even for them there are enough parallels to discover. Lecker Sachen want to build bridges with their music.
The recipe for these Tasty Things is to have a solid base of drums and bass, add a strong flavour of folk music with fiddle and whistles, with a bit of sax to add a cool groove and characteristic sound, and finally - to complete the tasteful music - add on its top a German Hiphop speaking singing. It is quite a unique mixture that has had already quite a bit of success in Germany. Just existing for a year, Lecker Sachen have already gained several prestigious awards, including second in Germany's national 'Deutscher Rock & Pop Preis 1997' (an award for young rock and pop bands). At the same time, they remain true to their folk roots. When we spoke to Lecker Sachen, they played a concert in one of the best and most established German Irish Folk Music pubs, the Sonne (‚Sun') in Herne, celebrating the pubs 21st birthday. Still, in the German folk music scene Lecker Sachen have become one of the most controversial bands - either you like it, or you hate it.
Irish Folk has its very special role in Lecker Sachen. "Hiphop is especially the drums and the rapping, but folk is the soul of our music - the instruments (fiddle, whistles etc.) and the reels are an important base in our music."
Both Markus Brachtendorf, founder, lead singer and whistle player of Lecker Sachen, and fiddler Lisi Schirrmacher have a background of Irish Music. Markus is the founder of the German Pogues-ish Irish Folk Rock band Mahones. The Mahones were founded 10 years ago, and after ten years they still play their music the same way as when they started. Like many other German bands, Mahones' music is more party folk than music to listen to, drawing a lot of fans to their concerts. Lecker Sachen is very different to the Mahones' music.
"Irish folk music is very close to the hearts of both of us. On a longer term, we might also take some World Music/Ethno influences into our music - we will see." And, surprisingly, Lecker Sachen show that it is possible to join Hiphop and Irish Folk.
How did this idea develop, to mix Irish Folk and Hiphop? For a long time, Markus - like most folk music lovers - was convinced that Hiphop is not music. "But deep inside myself, I thought: these grooves are just tremendous - but of course I could not confess it to myself, me being from the folk scene."
Until he once was in Ireland. After a party night with friends in Tipperary, he slept too long, and with his hangover, he needed to get a quick lift to the airport. Finally he found a guy - a grave-digger - to drive him down to the airport. And during this drive they listened to a tape of the Irish Hiphop band ‚House of Pain'. With his headache, Markus heard House of Pain, and found the music tremendous. And since then, thanks to his hangover from Irish beer, he thinks Hiphop is great.
Another experience of Markus was to see Eileen Eivers with Paddy a Gogo at the Ballyshannon Festival: Eileen Eivers, as a respected personality of the Irish fiddle scene, appearing with some rappers from the States on stage, making a mixture of tunes and Hiphop. "Many people left angrily the tent, but I was totally blown away, I found the music great."
Out of these experiences grew the idea of Lecker Sachen, bringing together Irish Folk and Hiphop, with a blend of Jazz.
Lecker Sachen's audience shows already in these days that both Hiphop and parts of the Folk scene are attracted by the music, and the scenes come nearer to one another. Which is also for Markus still quite an adventure. "Today we play in the ‚Sonne', an old established Irish folk music pub I have known for a long time, where I have seen Andy Irvine on stage in the good old times. Last week we played in a youth club in Dülmen at a Hiphop jam, with all these Hiphop kids with their caps and trousers - a totally different audience. And both enjoyed the concerts."
Sometimes both scenes also meet each other. At the CD launch concert, Lecker Sachen invited the respected German uilleann piper Johannes Schiefner as well as DJ Lifeforce of the well-known Cologne Hiphop band ‚Coole Säue' on stage, playing together music that builds bridges. "It seems that we are lucky - both camps do not divide. We do not want to divide, but to bring together."
Their music does not divide age groups as well - Lisi: "Starting already with 9-year old kids, our music is also liked by my grandparents who obvously enjoy listening to our music."
One of Lecker Sachen's future plans is to come over to play in Ireland. They are optimistic to receive positive reactions over there as well. Say Markus, "Our friends from Ireland regularly visit us here, and some of them have also seen a Lecker Sachen concert - and they found it really cool. They said: Just come over! The guys I know in Ireland, they would come to listen. When people hear our music, they like it. It is often a prejudice in Germany, that the Irish would not like to listen to German music. Germans have always the feeling that everything in the folk scene comes from Ireland, from the English-spoken countries to Germany, and this is usual. But it's also possible the other way round. For Germans, it is sometimes different - if foreigners play German music in their home country, Germans sometimes feel it as a parody, or at least strange, just because Germans have a discrepant feeling about their own culture. But especially in Ireland I have often experienced that the Irish feel it as a compliment if you take their culture and develop something new out of it. Or if you just express with your music ‚I like your culture'."
Finally back to Markus' vision of the Hiphop fans playing Irish tin whistles. "My vision is - and I will soon start with it - that we sell at our concerts Tin Whistles and song books with our own Tin Whistle- and Tune School. It's a totally new thing for the guys of the hiphop scene - we come there with all these colourful whistles and instruments - electric fiddle etc. - while the music itself is eletrified. We want to get people back to playing music themselves. The great thing about a tin whistle is that it is cheap and the basics can be learnt easily. Anybody can start to play it, and then he feels again as being a musician himself." Their own tunes, but also traditional session tunes will be found in their songbook, added by some advices and introductions on how to play the whistle. Maybe they will also offer workshops.
At the same time, Lecker Sachen have also a message to folk music fans: "There are still enough people in the folk music scene who think Rap and Speaking Singing is not music; and we want to show them that this is not true. As soon as people have come to see us, they experience soon enough: Irish Folk and Hiphop are closely related..."
Photo Credit: All Lecker Sachen Photos by The Mollis
Latest published CD: 'Im Tal der Infrorotlurche'
More Infos on Lecker Sachen and their CD at their homepage, or from Markus 'Herr B'.
WIN Lecker Sachen CDs and Socks!:
You can win one of two copies of Lecker Sachen's interesting debut CD "Im Tal der Infrarotlurche", and a pair of original 'Tasty Socks' (Lecker Socken). The CD and the socks are - if you do not win - available directly from Lecker Sachen's Markus
Question: What is the name of the prestigious German national award that Lecker Sachen made the second place in 1997?
This competition is out of date, for new competitions look in the latest issue.
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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 12/98
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