deutsche Version
migrating sounds in and out of europe
globalisation, identity, metropolises, multi-culturalism, pop-culture, racism, ritual, subculture, tradition, youth
The UK Bollywood Phenomenon
Birds Thirsting for Happiness and Freedom
Goodbye Manu Chao, Hello Scorpions?

popdeurope takes a look at europe, and from there into the world. 50 years of musical pop culture have produced traditions and functions that are, one the one hand, a global communication platform but, at the same time, offer a local point of reference. This dossier presents portraits of some artists who live in Europe but through their work as musicians elucidate the diverse global influences on European pop music. Furthermore there are essays on the turning point in Algerian popular music, from French Raï to Algerian rap, the structural difficulties and legal barriers for the music industry in Germany and on the influences of Bollywood on Asian pop music in London.

Popwelt 2002: Nowadays it’s perfectly natural to hear DJs and Tabla drums onstage together, in a club or on a track, just as Arabic melodies can be found on the French charts. Cuba’s major exports include the young hiphoppers as well as the old Soneros. And one of the biggest revolutions in British dance-floor culture came from musicians with Indian or Pakistani roots. Maghreb musicians such as Khaled and Rachid Taha have long since become a part of the French pop world, while turntables and talking drums are among the most popular instruments in African hiphop.

popdeurope picks up on these developments. popdeurope is a summer concert series which will premiere in June 2002 at the House of World Cultures in Berlin and will then be held annually. popdeurope is designed to be a platform for the diversity of pop music in Europe and to highlight its connection to traditions, sounds and artists from other continents: In concerts, DJ sets and workshops on summer weekends, popdeurope will use the idea of pop as a global language whose local slangs and dialects differ widely.

popdeurope takes a look at Europe, and from there at the world. popdeurope observes the developments in the pop city of Berlin and tracks down the international sources of Berlin’s pop languages. popdeurope will expand on the usual structure of a pop festival – a loose series of live concerts – to include workshops, films, lectures, discussions and work with children and young adults. popdeurope will place emphases by highlighting the musical universes of individual artists, examining the programmatic concepts of other European festivals and letting artists work together beneath its "roof”.

Like pop music itself, popdeurope is anticipated to reinvent itself every year, constantly calling into question and altering its own structures. However, the concrete themes of the festival will remain the same; the global developments of the past year have lent them a new urgency:

How do the traditions and pop styles of migrants, temporary guests and immigrants influence a country’s musical pop culture? How does multi-ethnic pop music define itself within Europe? Is this music exchanged within Europe? What connections to non-European musical forms can be seen? How are "foreign” developments reinterpreted to arrive at an original means of expression? How can the festival help non-European artists find their way into "Europe’s pop market” and develop professional structures in Europe?

But despite all these weighty questions, popdeurope 2002 will manage to start feet tapping as well with the Berber breakbeats of the Moroccan-British band MoMo, the Indian-French dance-floor fusion of Senses, the radical hiphop of the Algerian band MBS, the Cape Verdian roots soul of Sara Tavares and the bossalectro sound of the new French-Belgian-Portuguese superstar Helena.

Author: Björn Döring