Archive for May, 2008

Babel Embassy – Concerts / Berlin

May 17, 2008

Berlin, Samstag, Mai 17, 2008 

Babel Embassy – Concerts / Berlin, May 2008

 For those folks who have had the good fortune to be in town over the past few weeks there have been several occasions to experience something new and powerful from the Berlin music scene, Babel Embassy. This Berlin based band / dance theatre, has been busy on the stage at Werkstatt der Kulturen, MyFest and Karneval der Kulturen‘s – Baazar Oriental Bühne, closing a month of prolific activity with Friday evening’s performance at Arcanoa‘s here in Kreuzberg.

 If you were lucky enough to be there Friday night you were witness to Babel Embassy‘s raw, savage power. Lead singer and performance artist, Mathias Brozio (Broziom) captures his audience, employing a throbbing guitar rhythm provided by Marcin Dworski and an intense performance of anguish and redemption, often accompanied by Eva Blaschke‘s captivating choreography.

Friday night, at Arcanoa accompanied only by Dworski’s guitar and the carpet of sound that is Babel Embassy‘s hallmark, Broziom wove an intense drama with his droning vocals and gestations. The effect was to be transformed. Broziom as a performer takes his audience with him on excursions to foreign lands, where even those things one thought one knew seem strange and alien. It is an excursion that brings us to the realization of what it means to be foreign, to be an outsider. In a moment of raw genius, Broziom grabbed a chair from the audience and working it on stage transforms it’s ribbed back into a prison cell, the bars of which he peers through to his audience. Certainly a metaphor for the unfriendly welcome, all too often afforded foreign visitors in these xenophobic times. Babel Embassy‘s performance on stage is charged dynamite, packed with political and social content, in a discourse without words, with only babble.

Berlin based Broziom (vocals, saz, and dance) started his first band, Alice Brennen playing Saz – a Turkish string instrument – in 1988 with guitarist Douglas Henderson, and Bodhran Player Noël O’Callaghan from Cork, Ireland. With their Turkish-Irish-speedfolk this band was one of the first to explore the boundary between oriental and occidental cultures in terms of rock, punk and folk music. His next project with Douglas Henderson Jakata Omelette (1999), was an electronic duo, which put multimedia aspects to the intercultural discourse. In 2005 Broziom founded Babel Embassy with exceptional Polish guitarist Marcin Dworski, who played before in bands such as SEK, Antiprogress and Be Hungry. Babel Embassy with their – Ethnotronic Dadawave – performances provides an eruption of sound guaranteed to rock you speakers. Broziom sings in fantasy lyrics he describes as dada speak, although it sometimes sounds like segments of real languages. On stage he and dancer, Eva Blaschke present a performance influenced by Laban and Butho techniques, accompanied by guitarist Marcin Dworski’s electronic beat. In his own words, “Babel Embassy is the sound life: Absurd, funny, and sometimes dark, a danceable pageant!”

In these times of chauvinism and racial intolerance, Babel Embassy breaks through the culture barriers, with a power seldom seen on a Berlin stage. Just when you think you have heard it all Babel Embassy will give you something new to hear and to experience, like a trip to the steppes of Central Asia, say Kazakhstan, Babel Embassy is an experience to encounter, a trip never forgotten.

You can view Babel Embassy performance schedule at:

 Ron Rocco