What are optimistic pop music

Pop platform with optimism

Niemczyk: In his opening speech, Minister of Economics Clement spoke out in favor of not regulating this by law, but in view of the fact that eight of the first ten records in the album charts are from Germany this week, he took this as an opportunity, it works without and that you should kindly come to an agreement outside of the law.

Schmitz: To the first Berliner Popkomm itself. Has the fair as a fair, that is, as an economic event, left its depression in Cologne?

Niemczyk: In any case. So the first impression is that they collectively agreed to stop whining. It is a very high international quota, numbers speak between 70 and 77 percent, that is, the slightly better or perhaps more cheerful mood from other countries, such as France, Benelux, but also Canada, has a big impact on the fair. Significantly, two large German labels, BMG and EMI, are not represented and you can really tell that you actually go through national stands, even regions have their own stands. So, so to speak, the industry is skeptical, especially the German and so these export offices, which are so semi-public, are making up for it at the moment.

Schmitz: What does the industry feed off of, or should we say the trade fair first of all, its confidence, except that many come from abroad and spread a good mood. The French, for example, who have their quota, their pop quota for French music. But where does the confidence come from? Because there are many foreign stands?

Niemczyk: I think you learned that in background discussions that it took a long time to get this trade fair off the ground, so to speak, that is, to generate a trade fair space that simply had enough representatives from the stands. On the one hand, the impulses come from the better mood from abroad and, on the other hand, it has also been said that at the end of the year at a low level, if you compare that with previous figures, the bottom was over and I also have small labels with medium-sized companies In other words, money is now coming back through downloads, ring tones, etc.

Schmitz: On the other hand, one of the big music groups, Sony Music, is leaving Berlin for Munich. Doesn't that dampen the Berlin euphoria?

Niemczyk: That dampens the Berlin location euphoria, but it was once again made very clear that this has nothing to do with our trade fair, that is an international New York corporate decision and even the good atmosphere that is in Berlin can no longer do anything about it .

Schmitz: The central speech at the opening today was not given by a music manager, but by a computer manager from Apple. Does that mean anything?

Niemczyk: That was a very high-ranking person from Apple from America, who gave a kind of "joke" around his product, but also at the same time, we bring you back to the front with products like "Fourtrack", an album, what consists of only four pieces or a single where there are interview passages. Well, meanwhile it is really the case that the technology industry thinks up products for the recording industry and that is the mood, "hey, what should go, we have to go!", That could be clearly felt.

Lange: That means, it's really more about new techniques. What about the content, what does new music sound like? Are there any innovations or are you talking more about technical possibilities?

Niemczyk: You can really say that the new content, everything, whatever speed or the pop madness that always goes with it, is currently fed by technology. The opening concert yesterday was "Fourmusic", Fantastische Vier, their new value, that's solid stuff, that's German music, that's in the charts, et cetera. Only if you are talking about innovative pop music now, that is a topic from the mid-90s, which is actually very topical again, but looking for the new kick, you really have to talk to technology providers.

Schmitz: How has the character of Popkomm changed after you moved to Berlin? You indicated earlier that there are many national institutions that represent their national music.

Niemczyk: For example, yesterday I was at a reception in the French Embassy at the very highest level with Ms. Weiss and the French Minister of Culture and then, so to speak, pop was treated as a state issue. In the meantime it almost seems to me like in the film industry, where the industry is shrinking, new technologies are going in and semi-state, semi-subsidized institutions take up this field especially at trade fair events, and that's why moving to Berlin was the only possible thing. Free competition is now very strongly controlled by national interests, subsidy interests and also by EU cultural interests.

Schmitz: Ralf Niemczyk on the opening day of Popkomm in Berlin.