Reflections on Berlin Scenes
Edited By Geoff Stahl
Russendisko and the German-Russian Folklore Lineage: David-Emil Wickström
Russendisko and the German-Russian Folklore Lineage
The Russendisko is a sound-system, in other words a DJ-collective with two people, those being me and Wladimir. […] We play music, which we like. […] That is music from the former Republics of the Soviet Union. [The songs] are primarily sung in Russian, sometimes in Ukrainian or […] Belarusan.(Gurzhy, Translation by D.E. Wickström)
The Russendisko is a fortnightly music event hosted at Tanzwirtschaft Kaffee Burger, a club in Berlin-Mitte.1 Run by two post-Soviet emigrants, the musician Yuriy Gurzhy (from Kharkiv, Ukraine) and the author Wladimir Kaminer (from Moscow, Russia) the event was born in 1999 and gained in popularity, especially after Wladimir’s highly popular debut book Russendisko was published in 2000 (Kaminer). The music played is linked to the former Soviet Union and for the die-hard fans there are also music compilations, in part released by their label Russendisko Records founded in 2004, and fashion accessories (t-shirts, underwear).2
Due to its regularity, the event itself provides a space for communication between the participants, the DJs, and musicians whose music is played and the organisers, in other words it acts as a social hub providing the basis for a musical scene. This network of actors is dynamic with shifting roles: e.g. Yuriy and Wladimir play double roles as the main DJs and organisers (Yuriy even a third role as a musician), the ← 43 | 44 → featured musicians also function as guest DJs and visitors...
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