Archiv für September, 2009

Some reviews of new local Berlin records

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 25, 2009 by mischalke04

These three Berlin Hardcore 45´s  came out over the past months. I have written about DISCO VIETNAM, A BIT OF BRAINDEAD and MINUS APES before, but I was still very exited to hear their first releases. To make it short: they´re all great! You can get them through Yellow Dog Records, Thrashbastard Records or some other distros. To make your decision to search for these records a little easier, I´d like to try to describe them a bit:


DISCO VIETNAM are the wildest bunch of the three, at least musically. With these  4  songs clocking-in under 5 minutes, you know what you´re in for:  fast and furious early-80´s Hardcore. They do throw in some breaks and melodies and play very tight, but over-all this is a rowdy, out-of-control,  rough-sounding record that I can´t find a thing to complain about. I love this kind of Hardcore. The chorus of their anthem goes:  My band is bad / And tonight we play here / My band is crap / And tonight…tonight we play here

Well, they´re actually pretty damn good. But I guess they don´t take themselves too seriously, which in my book just shows how cool they really are. The guys in DISCO VIETNAM asked me to do a variant cover-drawing for the record, so I sat down to do some old-school fine-line cross-hatching for them, like I used to do in the 80´s.  Kinda like this one here that I did a loooong time ago. I think that first small batch is sold-out by now.  The other design is pretty cool too, so get one of those remaining ones before they´re gone! On Search For Fame Records.




A BIT OF BRAINDEAD – Totally Wrecked EP

A BIT OF BRAINDEAD have been around for a while and played a lot of shows here locally. They are a riot onstage but this record also shows their musical side. Of these  three records, this one has the best production. The drawing on the sleeve might look simple but A BIT OF BRAINDEAD managed to get a heavy and very tight sound on these 7 songs.  But don´t get me wrong, they are still playing some damn fast and angry Hardcore.  If I  had to pin it down, I´d  say: mid-80´s Hardcore. Of course I love it, that was the time when I  got head-on into Hardcore. Some great quick guitar-breaks and melodies but none that take away from the over-all unruly energy. Plus they do have some pretty angry lyrics to go with it:  „Demonstrate“ / „Yeah“ / „But please no violence“ / I´m sorry but can´t avoid the circumstance to revolt against your systematical repression / And you´ll give me a lesson about senseless aggression? / Ha Ha Ha, what a fucking joke! (from „The Way Democracy became established“).

Get this record, you won´t be disappointed. Co-released by Rising Riot, Thrashbastard and Yellow Dog Records. Now let´s hope that their local brother-combo APE ATTACK comes up with a record soon too…




MINUS APES are the most melodic and Punk sounding of the three bands . If  DISCO VIETNAM are playing  Hardcore circa 1983  and A BIT OF BRAINDEAD 1985, MINUS APES sound like 1979. They have the west-coast Punk sound down! They also give a nod to some of the melodic Swedish Punk and Hardcore bands that have been all the rage over the past years. But they are still pretty young and they filled  these grooves with a lot of fresh now-time anger and energy to save it from being just another nostalgic retro record.    Traditions and trends / It´s all the same / Enemies and friends / It´s all the same / It´s all the same / Those goals and tries / I´m tired of being a compromise ( „It´s all the same“ )

Six well-written songs on this EP and not one dull second. Out on Thrashbastard Records. What better sign of quality do you need?


I don´t wanna see my face in the web!

Posted in BAD BRAINS, KADDAFYS REVENGE, SPERMBIRDS, THE DEPRAVED with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by mischalke04


I will not be taking any more  photos at Koma F in the future.  Some people at Koma F seem to not like photos being taken,  so I will not bring my camera any more. Nobody has talked to me directly so far but I saw this poster on Saturday and it pretty much says it all.

I feel kind of sad because Koma F is the only place I regularly go to and I always enjoyed taking photos there.  But I respect the fact that people don´t want to see their faces on the Internet. And I agree that the ways of the Internet are  weird and pose a lot of questions that I don´t have an answer to either.

Although it will make this blog at least visually bankrupt, it doesn´t have to be the end of it. There are still a lot of possibilities. I still haven´t done a lot of things that I had in mind when I started this site: interviews with local activists and bands, stories about local record stores, reviews of local records and much more. And maybe I´ll make a photocopied fanzine with my old photos,  but I don´t want to fuel some people´s paranoia any longer by holding a camera.

On the other hand the photos were the main reason to start Berlin Diy Hc Punk. Two years ago my computer broke down and killed a lot of photos I had taken at Köpi from around 2003-2007. Köpi was still  Crust-Capital back then and I was really pissed that all this documentation was lost forever. So to save at least all the new photos I was making,  I started this blog.

In late 1985 I took the first photos at  Punk/Hardcore shows  in Hamburg with a camera I had bought from the money I saved from my new job. I was really inspired by Glen E. Friedman´s „My Rules„-Photozine, that I had ordered directly from Friedman from an add that ran in Flipside Fanzine.


And of course I had seen Ed Colver´s shots of the early California Hardcore scene. Around 1985/86 the Hardcore scene in Europe was in full swing and I liked the idea of documenting our local scene. Later my photos appeared in fanzines, among them the first Trust & Maximum Rock´n´Roll photo-zine “ Welcome to Cruise Country“ that came out in 1987.


This  one below is one of my photos that was printed in that photozine. The local Hamburg band Kaddafys Revenge playing at a small bar called  Let´s Rock, that was the home of the hardcore scene for about 6 months. Taken December 2nd, 1986. Their vocalist Goliath ist still active in the Hamburg Punk scene today:


Actually I never gave away my original photo-negatives, but I once did give these to a  guy from Hamburg who collected the photos for Trust & Maximum Rock´n´Roll – photozine. I never got them back. He moved to Berlin shortly after and made headline-news because he threw his new-born baby out of the window in a drug-crazed fit. What a tragedy.

Another shot of Kaddafys Revenge from the same show at Let´s Rock, Hamburg, December 1986:


By 1986 the diy scene got more and more international and we saw groups like Ignition, Government Issue from Washington D.C. , Kina from Italy and the Depraved from England at Let´s Rock. This is from the Depaved show, February 12th 1987 at Let´s Rock, Hamburg. Some unknown kid in a Stupids shirt, that travelled with the Depraved:


For me it has never been about the artistic side of photography. I was always torn between rockin´ out and standing still to get an interesting image that I thought best captured that moment. And I still am today: I come all sweaty from the pit and then try to hold my breath to concentrate on the photography. To get right back into the action after that. I was dancing like crazy to all of these bands. I never stood on the side only to watch. I always danced and I still do. Who could´ve stood still to the Spermbirds when their classic first LP just came out? I knew all their lyrics by heart. I took this photo of  the Spermbirds when they first played in Hamburg at Störtebeker/Hafenstrasse, April 4th 1987.


My best photos were always the ones that captured the interaction between the band and the audience. I never wanted to take photos of boys with instruments. That´s just plain boring. I would really like to catch a couple making-out at a Hardcore show but in reality that never happens. It´s mostly boys. But once they start dancing and letting loose of all that anger and energy, it still makes for some great moments and images. From the same Spermbirds show at Störtebeker, Hamburg-Hafenstrasse. Störtebeker is still the home of the Hamburg Diy Hardcore Punk scene :


The special thing about this scene is, as I´ve written before and told everyone I know a million times,  the fact that the kids do it all themselves. Including the actual performance of what is the show. A good hardcore show is one, where you don´t know who is the audience and who is the band anymore. Most of the time it´s the audience who makes the show. I don´t remember where I took this next photo or what bands played but I´m pretty sure it was in 1987 and it was only local bands. We did celebrate our own little bands as much as we did the out-of-towners:


Just like all the other photos that I´ve posted on this blog over the past  year, I know most people on these photos: they were the people I danced with, skated with and hung out with. Some were close friends,  others I knew only loosely. But it was and it still is a relatively small group of people who make-up the hard-core of the scene. I always felt comfortable to document the  little games we played within that intimate group of people. From the same show. Some unknown punks circa 1987:


I will not be reduced to only shooting band members. That´s the antithesis ot what I think is great about Punk and Hardcore. I always hated these types of (mostly professional) photographers at mainstream rock- shows that seem to be occupied with capturing the sweat on the singers lips or just the right kind of shading on his face in half-profile, while all the real action goes on behind their backs. You´ve got to be real cold-blooded to stand still all the time for doing that kind of photography. You´re simply not a rocker. Or not a dancer. But this music is basically made for dancing so it comes down to the same thing: if your´re not moving you are not really moved by the music. It still puzzles me how I managed to hold that balance between getting bruised and battered in the pit and operating the delicate mechanism of the camera.

This one I took of the Bad Brains at Markthalle/Hamburg, May 22nd 1987. My friend Henna Peschel had the shot where H.R. was hanging head-down in the air, doing his famous back-flip. He stood still for a long time to get that shot. We knew H.R. was going to do it but you had to know when. There was an art to it, to anticipate just when the vocalists of SNFU and the Instigators were about to jump really  high. Henna always managed. Too bad all his thousands  of amazing photos still gather dust in his basement. It´s a real treasure that needs to be unearthed sometime.

I don´t even know how I managed to take this shot. I was flippin´out in the pit to the BAD BRAINS:


This scene has always been maintained by people who are in a transitional phase. They stay in the Punk scene from their late teens to their late twenties. Then they move on to do other things. Very few are lifers. It´s always been like that, otherwise we wouldn´t be 50 people at the show every week but 1000s. Some people always leave the scene and new faces appear. Time goes by so quickly and I think it would be a great loss if we would only be able to remember this time we spent together and the feelings we had, by some photos of some boys with guitars.

Interestingly the only requests that I did get  from people who read this blog, were not to take pictures down, but to post more images that showed them. Most people seem to be happy to see photos of themselves  at a show that they really enjoyed. The same goes for the old photos. I still get requests from people some 20 years later about some photos showing them at a time they have a lot of nice memories of. I´m pretty sure that twenty years from now a lot of people will feel the same way about the photos I´ve posted on Berlin Diy Hc Punk so far.

The funny thing is, that this blog only gets about 30 hits every day anyway. As opposed to my other blog Berlin Beatet Bestes that gets around 500. Of those 30 people a majority probably search for any kind of Punk or Berlin and leave immediately after they see all these names of bands they have never heard of.  Nobody really fucking cares about our  little insignificant scene, but ourselves. So why do I even bother to write all this?  Because I am still really passionate about this scene and all the nice people who make it. It´s still the best little scene there is.

See you at the show!

Andreas Michalke

Don´t forget to scroll further down for info on upcoming Berlin Diy hc Punk shows…

DISCO VIETNAM at Koma F 09/19/2009

Posted in DISCO VIETNAM with tags , , , on September 22, 2009 by mischalke04


On short notice, last Saturday local Berlin favorites DISCO VIETNAM jumped on a bill that also had SS 20 from Saxonia and IN DEFENCE from the US. DISCO VIETNAM have gotten a lot tighter lately and played a really energetic and entertaining set. They´re sort-of the house-band at Koma F and the people were singing to their „hits“ . disco-vietnam-1

This is them doing their anthem:

Get their first EP while you still can! It smokes!


Posted in BANDANOS, KATYUSHA, THE BLACK GRAMOLA CONSPIRACY with tags , , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by mischalke04

köpi-1A mixed bag of bands last Saturday at Koma F. I really love these kind of shows. Even if  I might not like each and every band at least I get a feel for what else is going on in Hardcore Punk in Berlin and around the World. Sticking to just one style gets boring fast.

Locals Katyusha started the evening with some brutal crust-core. Hadn´t heard them before and was surprised. They sure have a lot of potential.katyusha

Next were The Black Gramola Conspiracy from Basque Country, who I´m sure none of the people at the show heard before. They don´t support MySpace and only had a really nicely packaged, self-produced CD for sale. This I bought and you should´ve too. It was only 3 euros and it´s great! Diy or die!the-black-gramola-conspiracy-1

They immediately got the people moving. Their dual female-male vocals were very effective and despite their political approach, they seemed to enjoy the party-like atmosphere. They should work on their in-between announcements though. I was standing right in front and I couldn´t understand anything. I know most people don´t care about that but they seemed to have a lot to say in their lyrics. I would have liked to know what their songs, that were sung in the Basque language I guess,  were about. the-black-gramola-conspiracy-2

The vocalist of Bandanos had danced to TBGC, so one could guess what was coming up next. Bandanos from Brazil are a great Thrash-Metal band who do everything right. They´re Punks who like metal. Not the other way ´round.

Well, see for yourself:


Upcoming Shows!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2009 by mischalke04


Next at Koma F on Saturday, September 19:

IN DEFENCE These fun-loving Thrash-Masters from St.Paul/Minneapolis are going to be a blast! „Fuck this shit, circle pit!“

SS 20 are doing super-fast and heavy, aggressive modern hardcore. From Saxony. And they sing in German! Cool!

Also playing will be DISCO VIETNAM, one of Berlin´s best Harcore bands right now! Get their EP before it´s gone! It shreds and they destroy live!

Looks like a show that´s not to be missed!!!


October 5th at  Koma F:

SIEGE OF HATE (Brazil) and  INTO SICKNESS (Mexico)

Tuesday, September 8th:

ANTIMASTER from  Mexiko


HELLO BASTARDS from London .

Remember, week day shows at Koma F start early around  10 to 10.30 pm!