I had no idea how smokey this joint would be… oh, joint as is place, not as in drugs. The Yoko Mono in Hamburg is one of the last few smoking bars, which I only realised as I entered it. That was in the late afternoon of a day in 2011. David Nesselhauf, a genuinely great guy, real doctor and bass player of the Hamburg Funk monster Diazpora, was already waiting. He had emailed me a few weeks earlier to ask if I wanted to help the band with their promo. During my quick search on the Internet I found this raw video taken with a mobile phone on a boat. When it hit 1 minute 34 seconds I was hooked:
I had not heard of this band, although we call the same city Our home. So when we met in the haze, David and I quickly decided that we wanted to to a Funk 45 together. In theory, my plan was to leave after a beer and return home. Instead, we ended up in David’s flat (right above a gay sex club close to the Reeperbahn), were joined by guitarist Legbo and played each other what happened to be Our favourite tunes.
A couple of months later, as the band was working on their new album Session II, Gu met the rhythm section of the band in the Monopalast studios, Hamburg, to produce two songs for a later release on Our Label Records.
The first idea of a track was a simple riff that Gu had come up with for this session, in order to turn it into a full tune with the help of the band. The basics of the song were laid down quickly, with stand-up-bass, guitar and drums. After the first take, Gu declared it a wrap, even though bassplayer David had stopped playing a few rounds into the B-Part of the track, as guitarist Legbo did not play the call-and-response he asked for when the basic idea and arrangement was discussed before. He did on the second take, but Gu insisted that take one was perfect as it was. And that’s what you hear on the release, four bars without the bass in the end. Since it was decided to not add any further instruments, the track was called „Raw Meat“ (if there should ever be a full-band version, it might just be called „Cooked Meat“). Surprised at first, the band agreed and the result is a very raw, very real and, of course, very Funky 45 A-Side:
The B-Side was the agreed cover of Blur’s classic “Song 2”. It features the entire band. At first, Gu recorded background and main vocals, but then decided that a male voice was not different enough to the original (you can still hear him „Woo-Hoo“ in the chorus, though). A female voice was needed. The first idea we had was Mayka Edjo (Sweet Vandals) who loved the idea but was unavailable. While we were toying with different ideas, David suggested Nora ‘Kinga’ Becker.
A very good choice indeed. She arrived in the studio, excused herself for having a cold but in fact we loved the throaty voice! Gu quickly wrote down the lyrics for her, we recorded three takes and quickly decided on the one we liked best. Coincidentally Take 2… a good sign. Both band and label are extremely happy with the outcome and you guys agree. Our eighth single “Diazpora – Raw Meat / Song 2” sold steady and achieved more than 22.000 views on Youtube (click here to see it)! As a special treat, here a never before published video of the final run through in the studio:
We’ll do more with Diazpora one day. That much is certain. If you don’t own it already, … sorry! Sold out 😉