Beyond Welcome!

BTT 1502CD BTT 1502CD

Beyond Welcome! is an album of music that didn't exist before, made by people whose collaboration is altogether rather improbable, developed out of political-performative interventions in public spaces, and created against the backdrop of the recent migration movements to Europe. Beyond Welcome! is about border regimes, jazz, post-punk, electronic Afro-kraut music, the Germans and the non-Germans, about an encounter that goes beyond the "welcome culture", about staying strong without legal papers, about social dances and NATO, about Yoruba gods, about Eurocentrism, about ingenious dilettantes and the impossibilities of even imagining a different world, let alone wanting to push for it. Schwabinggrad Ballett, a political and performance collective that was founded in Hamburg at the beginning of the new millennium, began, in the spring of 2014, to work with Lampedusa activists living in Hamburg - a conglomerate of people from different African countries who fled to Germany prior to the outbreak of war in Libya, and who are still fighting for their right to stay. Raw musical ideas arose from their various performances and political interventions in Vienna, Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen and other cities. These ideas created a framework around agitprop didactic plays and confronted the demonstrators and demonstrations with experimental dance music played on instruments that were mobile enough to be carried on the street - old drum kit parts, analog synthesizers, melodica, xylophone, congas, a nineties sampler or the Böhmat, a Brechtian organ machine from the '70s. Much like Schwabinggrad Ballett's debut in 2006 (STAUB 061CD/LP), this album was created in a commune-like camp atmosphere that brings to mind the marathon sessions in Sun Ra's Sun Studio in New York or Can in their studio in Weilerswist. In the winter of 2015/16, Schwabinggrad and Arrivati, a performance group that arose from the Lampedusa movement, rented a converted barn in Gut Reichenow in Brandenburg. After seven days and nights, 16 songs were finished, ten of which made it onto Beyond Welcome!. Three further tracks were recorded at the Art Blakey Studio in St. Pauli, Hamburg. Schwabinggrad Ballett and Arrivati are: Dieudonné Eboth, Jeano Elong, Ted Gaier, Charalambos Ganotis, Sylvie Kretzschmar, Latoya Manly-Spain, Heiko Marn, Heike Nöth, Peter Ott, Liz Rech, Christine Schulz, Oumar Traore, Margarita Tsomou, Christoph Twickel, Asuquo Udo and numerous other people who took part in their interventions, performances and concerts over the last years.