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Radio Citizen - Berlin Serengeti

radio citizen
Radio Citizen - Berlin Serengeti
(CD/LP) Ubiquity URCD196/URLP196, 2006-09-12

radio citizen
Radio Citizen - Berlin Serengeti
(CD/LP) Ubiquity URCD196/URLP196, 2006-09-12

01. The Hop feat. Bajka
02. Mondlicht
03. Everything feat. Bajka
04. Night Part I
05. Night Part II
06. El Cielo feat. Bajka
07. Birds
08. The Prophets
09. Roads
10. Voices feat. Bajka
11. Black Forest
12. Championsound feat. Bajka
13. Dust feat. Gaelle
14. Density
15. Nightingale feat. Bajka
16. Love Serenity Blues

Note: audio samples are available on

Press Release :
Strains of film noir-worthy dark jazz, chunky tropical dub, and snake-charming soul permeate Berlin Serengeti. Chanelling Mulatu and Coltrane in a dub shack studio a barrage of big horns blast blacksploitation flavors with an Eastern funk twist. Hailing from Berlin, it is Radio Citizen, aka Niko Schabel and a talented collective of Berlin, Germany-based musicians, who are behind this adrenalin-infused and spiritually-charged debut album.

Radio Citizen was brought to our attention by Quantic. "Have a listen, you might like this," he said handing over a CD-r to Ubiquity A+R rep Andrew Jervis after a gig in San Francisco. He was right. In summer 2005 Ubiquity released lead-off track "The Hop" on the Music Is My Art compilation. The mad DJ-friendly mix of dub and soul turn heads and rocked decks worldwide. A limited edition "EP1" added Afro-beat, jazz and funk to the Radio Citizen (released as Radio City) arsenal in Spring 2006. Selling-out quickly, the EP earned "single of the fortnight" from Blues and Soul magazine in the UK, and nods from DJs worldwide.

"I'm bored with lazy programming and lounge-overkill," says Schabel who glues the loose collage of textures and samples with live playing and vocals on Berlin Serengeti. "My tracks are done when everything is essential and nothing can be taken away...When it shines, when it's dark and deep," he adds.

Bouncing effortlessly between genres Berlin Serengeti switches from DJ-friendly "The Hop" to cinematic dub and moody back-room jazz on "Mondlicht." The pace quickens with the dusty-funk vibe of "Everything" featuring vocalist Bajka and the instrumental jazz journey "Night 1" and it's more explosive counterpart "Night 2". The mood swings and vibe changing continues through the twilight torch song-reggae feel of "El Cielo" and the wah wah and horn-driven Ethiopique flavored "Prophets". Manic jazz prevails on "Blackforest" and "Voices", where the crashing drum breaks take the instensity level up several notches, making way for the sparse yet intimate tracks like "Dust", "Love Serenity" and "Roads".

"I think Radio Citizen encompasses a lot of my influences. There are shades of my love for sixties jazz, funk 45s, soul, dub and reggae, hip hop, afro beat, electronica, trippy stuff, d&b, early eighties avant-garde, surf, the old school, the new school, Arabian music, Latin, boogaloo, rocksteady, whatever!" rolls out Schabel. "But the artist I admire most is John Coltrane."


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