AY 030CD AY 030CD

This is the second full-length album by Emigrantski Raggamuffin Collective, Rotfront, produced and recorded by Kraans De Lutin (known for his work with Culcha Candela, Flo Mega, Tiger HiFi, Irie Revoltes) in the Phlexton Studios in January/February 2011. Each track embraces a different subject, with winking statements ranging from the oppression of minorities in Eastern Europe to single mothers and ex-wives of notorious secret agents, to smoking in space or wild weddings in the multi-cultural suburbs of Berlin and of course, some hilarious stories from Rotfront's tour diary. How to describe the sound of VisaFree? Imagine Naftule Brandwein jamming with Nirvana, while Lee "Scratch" Perry works the controls, mixing the session, making some songs sound like disco and others like heavy metal. These are sounds as full of sweat and emotion as good sex, as strong and crystal-clear as Bulgarian home-brewed liquor, and as refreshing and full of color as Berlin itself. The immigrant choir sings in their different languages and several genres are proudly displayed equally. VisaFree reflects the biographies of the band members, presenting hip-shaking music with lyrics defying boredom, prejudice and discrimination against foreigners. Rotfront wishes not only to entertain -- the band's multinational line-up demonstrates how exciting and successful a cultural interchange can be and how profoundly ugly racism is. This is global pop, which is open to diversity where narrow labels such as "world music" do not apply. A Ukrainian, two Hungarians, an Australian and five Germans mix ska, reggae, dancehall and cumbia sounds with klezmer, Berlin's own in-your-face brand of hip-hop, Eastern European turbo-polka, Mediterranean melodies and rock riffs. Guitarists and vocalists Yuriy Gurzhy and Simon Wahorn were joined by bombastic brass/woodwind trio Max Bakshish (clarinet and saxophone), Dan Freeman (saxophone) and Anke Luchs (trombone) with drummer Jan Pfennig (a legend on the Berlin drum'n'bass scene, with a band called Human Sampler), fabulous female vocalist Dorka Gryllus and Mad Milian, who is a name to watch out for on the Berlin hip-hop scene.