The name goes back to my dj-ing days in small, smoky St. Pauli bars. In the late nineties. I used the name for the first time writing the linernotes to my surfband’s album (Looney Tunes, LP Modern Sounds of…, Gee-Dee Music / String Records) in 1995.
I grew up with rock’n’roll. Elvis, Jerry Lee and the Stray Cats were my early idols. But I am always looking for unknown musical discoveries - and soon arrived at surf. From 1993 to ’98 I had my surfband together. Unfortunately we disbanded after only three albums. But I decided to keep making music, nonetheless. Meanwhile I had expanded my horizon to easy (Bert Kämpfert), incredibly strange music (1 & 2) and obviously hapa haole und exotica. Dj-ing was a wonderful chance to engulf my beloved surfmusic in a cloud of exotic, wild, primitive, pre-psychedelic and most of all atmospherically dense sounds. Where it belongs, to my ears.
So here I was. Free as bird, having successfully harvested the trad-surf field in the years before - now I could mix anything the way I pleased. The first track to be released was Gogo Sitar. And this piece is a good example of my music. Because it connects many elements, which some might not realize as belonging together.
After Gogo Sitar I recorded another 11 tracks and called the collection in honor of my dj-nights (Kahuna Kawentzmann’s Tiki Lounge) The Tiki & The Guitar.
Then I was washed ashore in Berlin. After one of my extremly rare public appearances Jochen of Living Room Pictures asked me, if I was available to create some music for his DVD-of-Tiki-project. What a question! This music is finished for some time now, and available under the title of Tiki Traveling.
Through Jochen’s project I was re-assured, that my good 25 years of homerecording and composing, enable me to create good and on the target scores and such. Which was only a notion, before. I also offer a special guitar recording service: if a production is lacking guitar, which particular sound and style I have on offer, I record the necessary bars for small money and send them electronically to the client. Hopefully dropping his jaw when he witnesses the audio-clarity coupled with the extremely authentic sound.
If you would like to keep track of future releases, you can subscribe to my rss feeds at my blog (http://www.kawentzmann.de/wordpress/) or my homepage (http://www.kawentzmann.de). Or become my friend on MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/kawentzmann).
- Kahuna Kawentzmann has been recording surf music since 1988
- the album “Cool Surfin’” was released in 1994 with The Looney Tunes band (Hamburg, Germany)
- two more albums followed: “Modern Sounds of…” and “Beyond The Dune” (’95 and ’97 respectively)
- various line-ups of the band made small tours in Germany, until the summer of 1998, when the band broke up
- in the summer of 2002 Kahuna Kawentzmann moved to Berlin from Hamburg
The Looney Tunes were more or less a traditional surf-band, featuring the proper vintage equipment and line-ups from three to five members.
The material was about one third Kahuna Kawentzmann tunes, one third surf classics and one third oddities, like german 60s soundtrack themes channeled through Kahuna Kawentzmann’s reverbed Fender Jaguar guitar.
The range of influences in Kahuna Kawentzmann’s solo projects is a good deal wider.
While always aiming at a early/mid 60s sound impression, he incorporates spaceage-bachelor-pad-music and exotica, soul and funk, and modern touches of breakbeats and dub echos.
A few people that influenced Kahuna Kawentzmann’s approach towards his music are of course the classic surf and rock’n’roll heroes like Elvis, Link Wray, Dick Dale and Cliff Gallup, but also guitarist/producers like Les Paul, Vincent Bell, Al Caiola and Ladi Geisler.
Long running influences on the German guitarist’s production-style come from Joe Meek and Phil Spector on one side, and Jazz (f.e. Cal Tjader) and 60s big bands (f.e. Bert Kaempfert) on the other. The naturally balanced soundscapes of the latter two are increasingly reflected in the more recent recordings, while The Tiki & The Guitar sculptures each individual track more freeform.
The Tiki relation in this whole project, apart from the obvious Exotica based title track, is regarded to Kahuna Kawentzmann’s time as a DJ. In those days his Tiki Lounge nights in Hamburg’s bars (the Meanie Bar and the Komet), were melting pot style events. With the same wide scope of music that today reflects in Kahuna Kawentzmann’s own music. Tiki being the god of the artist, and thus creativity, he was the charm, the bond to 60s Easy and Surf, 50s Rock’n’Roll and Jazz, as well as Bossa Nova and any tropical music that suited the particular hot summer night in Hamburg’s red light destrict, from Dub to Limbo, from Exotica to Steeldrums.
Je t’aime (moi non plus) on Beyond The Sea, V.A. (Cordelia)
Good Morning Starshine on Hair, V.A. (Omom)
Gogo Sitar on Oriental Club, V.A. (Universal Music)
See You In September on American Graffiti Re, V.A. (Omom)
Gogo Sitar on Soul Shaker Volume 2 V.A. (Record Kicks)
Gogo Sitar b/w Road to Estoril 7'' single on Stark Reality
Gogo Sitar on Mojo Club Volume 9 V.A. (Universal Music)
The track Gogo Sitar was also used on the soundtrack to the German car chase movie “Autobahnraser”.
You see, the opener of The Tiki & The Guitar, Gogo Sitar, got it’s due recognition, with the other tracks waiting unpatiently in row.
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