From the sound rigs in the clubs of Berlin to the foundations of Babylon itself Noiseshaper leave all systems shaking. The dubwise depths of the sound plied by Axel Hirn and Flo Fleischmann was first plumbed on their ‘Prelaunch Sequence’ LP. Their follow-up ‘The Signal’ is the sound of two men submerged not just in roots and reggae but in the multitude of music those styles informed. Since forming in their home town of Vienna in 1999 the two have been forging everything from house to downbeat to soul from the dub mold. Now resident in Berlin, their gigs at the Dub Club, Subground and WMF are renowned as rough and tough dancehall sessions keeping crowds bouncing until dawn. On ‘The Signal’ Noiseshaper offer a deep selection of dub-heavy tracks with guest MCs and vocalists Juggla, Tweed, MC Spikey Tee and Farda P spicing things up in a JAH conscious way. It’s further proof that the German dub scene is here to stay. Mundovibes checked in with Hirn and Fleischmann in between gigs to get their word on “The Signal”.
Does the place you are based in impact your music and how?
Axel: Yeah definitely, in Vienna the Dj`s used to play chill out music on the mainfloor. Berlin is much more uptempo and I think you can hear this in our music.
What are the most important elements of your music?
Axel: As our music is based on Dub and Reggae, the bassline is the most important element of our music and of course echos and spaced out effects are also very essential to the Noiseshaper sound.
How has your sound evolved from ‘Prelauch Sequence’
Flo: „Prelaunch Sequence“ was much rougher and had more electronic elements compared to „The Signal“ which contains a lot of live recorded instruments like guitars, bass and melodica. We wanted to achieve an even more organic and roots-orientated sound.
You have several vocal contributors on “The Signal”. Can you tell us about them and how you collaborated?
Axel: Most of the singers featured on „The Signal“ are basded in the UK and we got in contact with them through our label. With Juggla, who did „All A Dem a Do“ we have also worked live together since.
Flo: Vido is a member of the Noiseshaper crew for a couple of years now, he already sang „The Only Redeemer“ on our last album. By the way, the track was later re-released in the U.S. as a 12“ in summer 2002. He`s playing live with us as well.
The lyrics are on “The Signal” personal, political and JA-conscious…
Flo: Yes, I think the topics on the album are well balanced this time and that was exactly what we`ve been looking for.
You blend a number of styles and instruments on”The Signal”…
Axel: You know, music offers a wide variety of styles to express yourself. As we listen not only to reggae, we are also influenced by other styles like hip hop and house. So it`s obvious to use them when we create our music. We try to fuse things because we think experimentation is the true heart of dub.
Please tell us about your dancehall soundsystem…
Flo: We are not a Soundsystem in the first place but a live act. When we perform our music we are playing drums, guitars and keys, while Juggla and Vido are doing a good job on the mic. So we never fail to keep the crowd bouncing – we just dub it a right!
Is the a problem with violence in the scene?
Flo: Vido was once stabbed at a club as he told us. But as far as I know the scene is quite peacefull inna Berlin City.
What would your dream collaboration be?
Flo: We`d like to team up with Gandhi, Buddha and Marley in order to make the most conscious album in history.
Will you take your soundsystem on the road, say to the States?
Axel: We`d love to come over and spread some irie vibes in the states. I guess some Americans need to calm down a little anyway.
What does the future hold?
Axel: We have just finished a Remix for Sly & Robbie featuring Beans from Anti Pop Consortium. Now we are about to do some gigs around Europe and we`re gonna come up with a strong new album soon.