In a nicely crowded Zakk in Germany's Düsseldorf it was the duty of Niko, DJ of Munich(!)'s Budadub Soundsystem to end the warmup, and have the draw. The order of play was determined, and without much further ado, this 45 Clash (that is: no dub plates, strictly 45s) got underway after Niko introduced the first sound, Cologne's Fireball Soundsystem, where former Pow Pow member Magic is the MC who coughs up a lot of 'bomboclaats' after a fine 'Spaghetti-Western style' intro. Nice start, but they can't seem to hold up the vibe. Next up in this introduction/no-elimination round in Düsseldorf's Culture Rock, established in 1995 in Münster, but already residing in Düsseldorf for 5 years now. Their MC Manu Rankin, known from releases like his combination with Dr.Ring-Ding on Germaican Records, reviewed here and surprise stage stormer in his Münster hometown half a year ago at the Mono & Nikitaman concert, sounds like he has been taught his MC-ing by former Jaro MC Freddy Krueger. Culture Rock certainly outplayed Fireball's first set. Next was another sound from Cologne, also featured at the Germaican Link Up! 2004, Kingstone Sound with MC Rodney and Selector Lazy Youth.

Culture Rock's Double T, Sen-C and MC Manu Rankin.

Niko asking Kingstone's Lazy Youth to play the first tune of their first round.

Lazy Youth and MC Rodney.

A very solid first round, with Rodney outshining Fireball's Magic and Culture Rock's Manu Rankin. That seemed however not to be enough to claim the first round. With a selection that much more concentrated on soundboy war tunes, and Shocking Murray in excellent shape on the mic, Top Frankin were storming in the lead. It did however seem as if the biggest buses really come from Dortmund. Having in my mind the enormous amount of supporters for Do-Fire at the War Inna East Clash in Enschede on March 5th (check the News section to read my WHAT A CONTROVERSY PART 2! - Don't cover a judge by his book - SOUNDCLASH IMPRESSION and be aware that the mike-grabber mentioned in it, was none other than Top Frankin's MC Shocking Murray), it was clear Dortmund had shown up in large numbers here in Düsseldorf as well.

Magic taking Fireball into the second round.

MC Rodney trying to hype up the massive.

Lazy Youth and MC Rodney.

Top Frankin going full speed ahead.

Keeping the pace.

Culture Rock's Manu Rankin warning Top Frankin he is ready for the dub-fi-dub.

The second round had a forced mix of 5 minutes of lovers tunes, 5 minutes of ganja tunes and 5 minutes of war/clash tunes. Fireball started their second round well, in the meanwhile pointing out that Kingstone didn't play 45s only, but also albums, but once again Fireball looses its pace nearing the end of their selection. Kingstone and Culture Rock both play solid sets, but once again this was Top Frankin's round. The third round was a Foundation only round, and in my opinion the best selection played was that of Kingstone. For reasons completely beyond me, it was not what the crowd wanted to hear. Once again Top Frankin had the advantage of the biggest busloads of supporters traveling with them, but Culture Rock then was voted to enter the dub-fi-dub instead of Kingstone.

Culture Rock's Manu Rankin.

Manu Rankin, Sen-C and the other members of Culture Rock alongside Budadub's Niko, accepting the inevitable defeat at the hands of Top Frankin in the dub-fi-dub.

Top Frankin celebrating the victory.

I wondered if it would even come to a competitive dub-fi-dub (something I would have expected from a Kingstone vs. Top Frankin one-fi-one), as in my opinion Culture Rock's Foundation round was least convincing, and they seemed to peter out slowly. Unfortunately it proved to be I was right. It was just not a complete whitewash, but 1 or 2 tunes out of 10 going to Culture Rock was a kind of anti-climax. Top Frankin deservedly won. They played the best selections overall, and had in Shocking Murray an MC who really wanted to win this war, and was able to make that clear to the crowd. Big respect to Niko and all sounds for an event that certainly deserves to return on the calender.

Text & Photos : Souljah

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