Fists punch the air, some launch into ska moves and others do the pogo. The band gives its all onstage, as if they were to be playing their last gig. And their playing is wild! RotFront is the resident band at Berlin’s Kaffee Burger, which is also the birthplace and home of the legendary RussenDisko. RotFront has come flying out of the starting blocks, showing how Eastern European sounds (Polka, Klezmer) can be pumped up with hot southern sounds (Ska, Cumbia).
RotFront is the brainchild of two Berlin emigrantskis. One half of the RussenDisko is Yuriy Gurzhy, who joined forces with Hungarian musician Simon Wahorn, initiator of the HungaroGroover Soundsystem, to create the Emigrantski Raggamuffin Kollektiv RotFront. Founded in 2003, it played its way almost overnight to ranking as Berlin’s ultimate party band. Whether there are seven, twelve or fifteen musicians on stage at any one time – nobody is going to be alone on the dancefloor for long. Right from the start, with the opening songs, the boundary between stage and dancefloor dissolves into nothingness. Rolling back boundaries is RotFront’s mission – and in that sense they are a political band. They may not talk the talk, but they certainly walk the walk: instead of singing about politics, they actually live the easy-going, harmonious interaction of nationalities, ethnicities, musical genres and cultures. And it works. A Ukrainian, two Hungarians, an American, an Australian and five Germans mix Ska, Reggae, Dancehall and Cumbia sounds with Klezmer, Berlin’s own in-your-face brand of Hiphop, Eastern European Turbopolka, Mediterranean melodies and rock riffs. Russian, Hungarian, German and English lyrics tell of life in Berlin and the adventures of immigrants in the city.
Even without a recording contract, the band has already played many international gigs (incl. Lowlands Festival (NL), Fusion Festival (D), Accordion Festival at WUK (Vienna, A), Moods (Zurich, CH), Stadtgarten (Cologne, D), as well as countless festivals and clubs in Hungary. But now things are really heating up.
Updated tour dates for Rotfront in 2012