Trashfest Brings the Ferocity and Power of African, Brazilian and Latin Music
By Kitty Doherty . November 7, 2019
On November 8th, Urban Spree will hold the 10th incarnation of Berlin’s beloved Trashfest.
Since its conception, the festival has celebrated musical diversity and inclusivity. This year is no different – the line-up encompasses African, Latin, dance, experimental, psych and punk musicians and DJs from all over the globe, as well as games, record stalls, and all the antics we can expect from ‘Berlin’s weirdest, wildest and most legendary festival.’
Freak de l’Afrique, a collective of DJs, MCs and producers of modern African sounds, are the main stage headliner and there is understandable excitement for their Friedrichshain show after a steamy performance at London’s Boiler Room last month. They perform alongside bands Conjunto Papa Upa, Scúru Fitchádu, Mfa Kera and Mike Russell’s Black Heritage and Conjunto Vaya Nacho, as well as DJs including Trashfest’s long-time friend DJ Sigourney Skywalker, DJ Anacaona and Trashfest’s organiser, DJ Jimmy Trash.
‘Psychedelic punk and trash’ to the ‘ferocity and power in African, Brazilian and Latin music’.
According to Jimmy Trash, the evolution of Trashfest has followed his changing musical tastes, from ‘psychedelic punk and trash’ to the ‘ferocity and power in African, Brazilian and Latin music’, with this year placing a greater emphasis on DJ culture than ever before. This year’s line-up ‘punctuates the links between’ music from across the globe, ‘history, and exchanging ideas between continents’.
For Jimmy, ‘At every step of migrating bodies and ideas, music fluctuates and grows and mirrors back on itself as artists hear their own music played back to themselves with different perspectives’; this is a collection of artists that can’t be categorised, and don’t want to be.
Naturally, it’s impossible to pick favourites in any first-rate line-up. But Jimmy recommends Mfa Kera, ‘a Madagascan Creole woman who moved to Europe with a dream of sounding like Grace Jones. Her records are amazing, she actually sounds like an afro Nina Hagen. She is just as ferocious and entertaining now and full of stories from a long life in the business.’
Does the name Scúru Fitchádu ring any bells? Well, Scúru Fitchádu (Sette Sujidade) assures me you will know who he is. And soon.
‘Basically, if Atari Teenage Riot were from an Ilha de Santiago ghetto, this would probably be their sound… on speed.’
Scúru Fitchádu was born and bred in Portugal, but his music is grounded in the ‘Cape Verdean tradition… Fast-paced Funana music with bass, punk and lo-fi.’ Expect the unexpected. Dark, fast energy and furious sound tunnels to find escape through. ‘Basically if Atari Teenage Riot were from an Ilha de Santiago ghetto this would probably be their sound… on speed.’
Conjunto Papa Upa keep you on your toes. The band is based in Amsterdam, but its members hail from Venezuela, Holland, Uruguay and Curaçao. Their music takes you straight to the sizzling Cuban coast along waves of percussion and riff-y reverberation.
‘It’s like taking mushrooms and suddenly ending up in a beach party in Choroní.’
As the band put it, ‘it’s like taking mushrooms and suddenly ending up in a beach party in Choroní, on the Venezuelan coast’. Their latest single, ‘El Secreto Del Metalero’, takes a more electronic tone but keeps their distinctive ‘mixture of African, Caribbean and Latin American rhythms with Funk, Psych, Surf and Disco.’
November 8th 2019 – get your tickets here.
Revaler Str. 99