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Raz Ohara And The Odd Orchestra

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Biography

“I used to walk up and down the streets every day - craving sights, sensations, encounters with people…experience.”

That was 1994, when Raz Ohara had just moved to Berlin.

Raz was 18 at the time. He soon found a room to rent above a jazz club. He sat there every night, listening to the music, watching the people, absorbing his surroundings.

It was a seedy, noirish world, like something from the American movies of the 80s. Raz bonded with the club’s resident DJ, and together they founded a hip-hop crew.

Raz, however, had a lingering and persistent desire to create his very own music, music of its own kind, music beyond any existing genre. He bought a sampler and started to produce beats that he could sing over. “I had always written songs on guitar, but now I was working hard to incorporate new elements. I gave the tracks to a small record company in Berlin-mitte.” A year later the LP Realtime Voyeur was released on Kitty-Yo.

At around the same time Raz started to make his first live appearances. He got to know Dr Phelbs and Robert Defcon (No Underground) and a Canadian guy called Wolf (aka Chilly Gonzalez). Every Wednesday night for almost 2 years, they, The Nightline City Cruisers, would sit on leather couches at the Maria club, playing improvised sets – drawing on breakbeat, soul, and electro - that lasted several hours. Robert supplied the beats, Phelbs played bass, Wolf took care of keys and Raz sang.

“We jammed on and on…People dancing round and round…We smoked and drank into the early mornings. I had just entered my twenties. This was my swinging Berlin, 1998.”

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