Project / Event / TrIBUTE BAND — 2018 / 2020
In this tribute band project, Herren von Zzet team up with some musician friends to honor an underdog of the Berlin music scene who has been forgotten since the 80s.
West Berlin in the 80s was not only the breeding ground for new music and music careers that continue to this day, but also a place of freedom and disappointment. In a scene that enjoyed worldwide influence and where every evening could be the inspiration for an album, there were quiet heroes whose sound was fresh and formative while they themselves were being denied recognition.
Herren von Zzet and friends honour one of these exceptional musicians. The freethinker and session-hero Ronny Forelle played with his ensemble sometimes lax and groovy, sometimes weird and complex fusion music, that has clearly founded or inspired later genres and styles of music, whilst still sounding unique and independent.
The Berlin jazz connoisseur and recordist Manfred Sau has edited some of the few remaining recordings and re-released them on his label under the title Fundstücke. Hherren von Zzet and their friends Annika Hein, Stefan Bots, Devon Elaschuk and Fabian G. Knof honored this album on two tribute concert evenings in summer 2018.
Ronny Forelle was born in the mid 50s as Ronald Fischer into a working class family from North Rhine-Westphalia. Little is known about his childhood and youth - but it is said that he inherited his love of music from his grandfather, who played organ in a big band. In the mid-1970s, Fischer went to West Berlin to escape from his compulsory 1 yeah military service. There he kept his head above water in the first few years with occasional performances as solo entertainer »Ronny Forelle« - with moderate success. One of the many rumours surrounding the figure of Ronny Forelle was that »He was never able to pay off the debts for the purchase of his Dr. Böhm organ«
He spent his free time in well-known and dubious Berlin jazz bars. There he got introduced to the joys of excessive drug consumption - and to some of the musicians with whom he would later perform and do studio sessions as "The Ronny Forelle Ensemble". The Ronny Forelle Ensemble was not without controversy in the West Berlin scene. Some people ridiculed the band for their amateurish playing. Others loved the ensemble for its exuberant joy of performing and the often underestimated talent of Forelle to write such catchy and strange pieces. Despite its tremendous commitment, the ensemble was not able to achieve any real success and remained completely unknown outside of Berlin.
In August 1987 Ronny Forelle went to East Berlin to attend the concert of James Last at the Palast der Republik. Since then he has never been seen again. Three months after Forelle's disappearance, the band was officially disbanded by the remaining members of the last ensemble line-up:
James Blanque (wind instruments)
Rüdiger van Houten (drums)
Jürgen »Jimmi« Schatullke (bass)
Henning H. Hennings (guitar)
»Etwas Lachs« is the only Forelle-song for which there was already an official music video in the 80s. Although the video production was even more primitive than the audio production, it probably contributed to "Etwas Lachs" becoming the most famous Forelle-song.
Idea and realisation: James Blanque
zzet is the origin of the Herren von Zzet. In the beginning zzet was a live band for improvised electronic music. But in the meantime the improvisation has become a way of composing and producing.
zzessions are nights of improvised music. From the electronic they move in all kinds of musical directions. Coincidences and audience interactions are not only desired but are purposefully incorporated. Together with various guest musicians and artists, Herren von Zzet create evening-long shows for all senses, which are always based on a central theme.
One punk band, three simple rules:
1. Everyone plays the instrument they know the least. — 2. All songs must be written the night before the gig. — 3. Every of the 9 songs played at shows is followed up a full beer.
Under the name »Radio Sülze«, the Herren create short radio broadcasts, which they not only make up, but also freely improvise. The output is nothing short of nonsense, which is no reason for them not to do it - quite the opposite.
Herren von Zzet said »Hallo!« and made noises and music — for an animated film by Alex Gellner, which you can watch here.
Niklas Kröger — his groove, his hobbyhorse. An antelope on the tape. Dark water on the playground. Downbeat seeks electronica. Thunder and Glory. Sculpted figures. Atmospheric glider. Drifting rider. Further. Until the end. You turn the tape over again. Play. Wonderful.
Intertwined lines in waving brocade. Beats like jeans. Samples like corduroy. Funky colourful German pop skirts. Jazzy electronic triphop hotpants. Freely spread across the room. All drawers are empty. He takes off your socks in style. At the end is a naked laugh. Wonderful.
Rhythmic run over damp moss. Crackling undergrowth. Crystals in water. Alien planet. Between echo and reverb out into the thicket. Behind it is Christoph Herrmann. Beating the electrified eardrum. Feeding the cochlea with psychedelic mushrooms. You wake up with an earworm in your hair. Wonderful.