hip to be happy

Kilimandscharo Dub & Riddim Society

»The chances are good, that hip to be happy is changing its good start into a flight of fancy. (Ralf Dombrowski)«

Release: 13th of March 2009
CD ordering number 12502
Distributed by brokensilence (D) and hoanzl (A)

In the beginning our music led into a kind of dark – free direction, but as soon as the African guys entered the room, the sun came with them… You simply can not escape the joy and fun we have making music together and because of that our sound is on the happy side. The title of the CD hip to be happy might sound like a clichè to some of you but within the kdr society we truly live that understanding, whenever we make music it comes straight from our hearts. (alfred vogel) It..s all about the profile: Anyone who doesn..t want to get caught in the pitfall of globalization and arbitrariness needs to be different. The kilimandscharo dub & riddim society (kdr society) has a wide open sound and diverse mix of musical styles and colors. Some of their music reminds one of soul-jazz from the sixties while some is linked to the clubbing scene of London during the ninties. Of course Africa is a part of it too: in the structure and lyrics of the songs, in the use of cyclical phrasing and themes and in the percussive instrumentation. There is also a hint of psychodelic-sound meets dance music and a pinch of sound-ethnic anarchy connecting with the joy of improvisation. Quite a lot for one band. The most important thing is “attitude”. The kdr society is made up of six individuals from 3 continents, meeting in the “Bregenzerwald” of Austria mainly for having fun making creative music. Guitarist Hervè Samb originates from Senegal while the percussionist Kofi Quarshie comes from Ghana. Peter Madsen and Michael Mondesir on Fender Rhodes and bass bring North America and Great Britain into play. Herbert Walser on trumpet and Alfred Vogel on drums complete the team by bringing in the Austrian element. Each musician adds his own special musical experiences into this stylistically diverse melting pot. Whoever listens to this band won..t hear any meaningless “academic” phrases, no normative “textbook” sound. On the contrary, the kdr society radiates with the charm of its uniqueness and open communication. When Hervè Sambs’ guitar leads the friendly African accompaniment into tart funk-rock lines, when Peter Madsen..s Rhodes transfers a spheric hovering into a cool soul-jazz improvisation and the whole band floats organically from afro-beat to samba, from off-beat to modern swing – noone can escape the musical joy of the kdr society. No concept is also a concept. Hip to be happy is the kdr societies 3rd album after “last flight from rwanda” (2005) and the live “welcome to the village” (2006). The band members have remained consistent for 4 years except for the brilliant Michael Mondesir on bass who took over from his predecessor Richard Cousins. The Austrian village of Bezau is the “base camp” of the kdr society, where Alfred Vogels’ ‘Tonschmiede’ studio is idyllically situated for recording all their hip and happy sounds. The kdr society has been busy touring much of Europe performing at festivals in Kaunas 07, Sibiu 07, Kalisz 08, Bad Hofgastein 08, Warschau 08 as well as clubs and concerts in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Lithuania, Romania, Poland and Sweden. The press has confirmed the group as being “world music with personality” (handlemedown.de), “precision work par excellence” “(rocktimes.de) and “a very unique form of instrumental music” (jazzdimensions.de). The chances are good, that “hip to be happy” is changing its good start into a flight of fancy. The musicians have kept their sound and developed it little by little into the direction of an individual pancultural sound identity. They enjoy the mix of individual preferences of styles – which they create with a souveren (or an amazing) casuality. If you want to label kdr..s music at all, “hip to be happy” was a smart pick.

(Ralf Dombrowski)

  • kdr society: hip to be happy
  • Boomslang Records (LC 09496) / ditributed by brokensilence (D) and hoanzl (A)
  • Release Date: 13.3.09. / ordering number 12502