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On November 13th, 2012, !K7 Records will release Mudhoney: Live In Berlin, 1988 on DVD. The footage, filmed by a professional camera crew at 1988’s Berlin Independent Days festival and only recently rediscovered, captures the Seattle Grunge pioneers’ first ever performance on foreign soil. Playing as representatives of Sub Pop Records to a crowd of curious punters, critics and members of Europe’s independent music community, the show was also the first Grunge gig in Europe, laying essential groundwork for the genre’s subsequent global domination.
Besides its historical importance, Mudhoney: Live In Berlin, 1988 presents one of the greatest rock’n’roll groups of all time at their very best, a glorious mess of flailed hair, acidic caterwaul, gnarly riffage and fried guitar skronk as Mudhoney tear through material from their epochal (but then-unreleased) Superfuzz Bigmuff EP and eponymous debut album.
Wild, thrilling, and funny-as-fuck, much like Mudhoney themselves, the performance captures an unguarded moment for the band, removed from the expectations and hyperbole that would later accompany the Grunge movement they unwittingly helped kick off. “We couldn’t understand quite why this was happening, why ours was the band that was flying out, or what was going on,” remembers Mudhoney vocalist and guitarist Mark Arm. “We’d only played Portland, outside of Seattle, at that point,” says Arm. “And to be flown out to Berlin to play a show, at that point, seemed almost like a joke to us.” Little did they know they know their off the cuff performance, enlightening and eye opening for the industry professionals in attendance, would have such long standing consequences in Rock ‘n’ Roll history.
A testament to the enduring vitality of the independent music scene, the release happens along side the 27th anniversary of !K7, a Berlin-based independent label and distributor with offices in New York and London, and an internationally renowned purveyor of electronic music in particular. In its early days, !K7 also served as a video production company run by label-owner Horst Weidenmueller, whose crew filmed a number of performances from that year’s Berlin Independent Days festival. Weidenmueller recently rediscovered the Mudhoney footage, realizing that he held in his hands a crucial rock ‘n’ roll document that had to be shared with the world.