Music Production

Robert Smith and Quadrophenia.

I grew up listening to Abba, Boney M., and German schlager music while riding in my parents’ Ford Taunus in the ’70s. But it was during the ’80s, with my older brother’s record collection, that my actual musical socialization happened. Back then, young people had this strange urge to define themselves and differentiate themselves from one another in various scenes: Punks listened to The Clash or the Buzzcocks; Teddy Boys and Rockabillys were into the Stray Cats; Psychobillys, on the other hand, were fond of The Meteors; Rude Boys admired The Specials and so on. All of this could be found in my brother’s record collection.

So one day, I decided to become a mod. Although I had been idolizing Robert Smith and The Cure one week earlier, I now inevitably had to start listening to African American soul from the ’60s – whether I wanted it or not. As a mod, it was now mandatory.

At the time, we were probably among the first to discover the music from our parents’ generation. The term “retro” was not common at that time – and to enjoy music from the ’60s in 1986 was one of the craziest things you could do.

Recordings with “The Smashful Shapes” (1991)

Basically, to this day, I still listen to Marvin Gaye with the attitude of the Sex Pistols.

And yet, when I saw Arthur Conley perform “Sweet Soul Music” for the first time at the age of 16 in the NDR documentary Mods – It’s All a Question of Style, something happened to me. I’ve always had an extraordinary relationship with music, but Conley exuded such energy – a mixture of ecstasy, almost madness, paired with deep pain and at the same time a zest for life – which I can still feel today. It was important for me to get access to this music through a subculture. I always felt closer to Jackie Wilson than Otis Redding; Alice Clark was just a little dearer to me than Aretha.

Soul music has always been Chocolate Factory (“World of the Lonely People”) to me. This mod band from Hamburg released a small number of copies of their first LP in 1987 under a friend’s indie label. Always indie, never with the music industry – we swore by that back then.

Basically, to this day, I still listen to Marvin Gaye with the attitude of the Sex Pistols. As to the artistic aspect, Motown represents one of the highlights of human history in my view. But at the same time, it also stands for the beginning of the end of any art, regarding, for instance, Berry Gordy’s completely exaggerated idea of ​​the recipient as a consumer, a target group, and a customer.

with Anna Gaden, 2013 (photos: Fabian Stürtz)

’60s soul was just the beginning of my journey. Later on, I also discovered my love for the genre’s “brothers and sisters”:

salsa, Latin jazz, bossa nova, highlife from Ghana, afrobeat from Nigeria, Ethiopian jazz, etc.

Suppose you have been working with soul music artists in Germany for decades. In that case, you inevitably come across life stories that swing back and forth between cultures and, as a result, often have to cope with particular challenges along the way.

Suppose you have been working with soul music artists in Germany for decades. In that case, you inevitably come across life stories that swing back and forth between cultures and, as a result, often have to cope with particular challenges along the way. Eventually, I began asking myself questions about identity and where I felt at home musically. In general, I find that art is only exciting when someone tells me something about themselves. Anyone who puts on a mask or remains trapped in a cliché bores me. But what was it like in my case? As the son of a German-Austrian marriage, I know about these challenges, although to a lesser degree.

When Stefan Schwietert brought his great film Heimatklänge to the cinemas in 2007, this inner dialogue gained momentum. For example, I learned to appreciate and love the music from Alma in Vienna. I began to value musicians like the South Tyrolean Herbert Pixner. In addition to his magnificent technique, Pixner also has an incredible musical talent, which reminds me of Jimmy Smith, at least in my very personal musical cosmos. And yes, somehow, Alma and Pixner helped me make peace with my parents’ and grandparents’ musical tastes.

Back on the Right Track.

However, with a few years having passed, I can now say that my excursions into alternative, Austrian, new folk music were somewhat forced. Possibly because I simply like to flirt with the “Austrian part” of me. Soul music have always remained fundamental to my love for music. Today I am convinced that it is possible to have two “homes”: one is the biological, family-related, and geographical home, and yet another is the musical home. And they don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other.

“My deep love for music created by African Americans, Latinx, and Africans was a sort of gateway for me. It has enriched my life in all possible directions and continues to do so – far beyond music.”

Discography

1991

The Smashful Shapes „Turn it On“

7inch, Unique Records

1993

Family Vision Care Same

CD, Unique Records

2008

Family Vision Care Careful

CD / LP / Digital, Unique Records

2009

Shareholder Tom Emotional Value

CD / Digital, Soulplex Recordings

2009

Shareholder Tom feat. Fijori „Single Warrior“

7-inch, Soulplex Recordings

2009

Shareholder Tom feat. Travis Blaque „The Promise / Lisa, you have to Change“

7-inch, Büro.9 Music

2011

Shareholder Tom Havanna, Asmara via Colonia

CD / LP / Digital, Büro.9 Music

2011

Shareholder Tom feat. Alison Degbe „Wanna Dance / Cool Jerk / Ishhaga“

10-inch, Büro.9 Music

2012

Shareholder Tom 45 Minutes Out Of 25 Years

CD / Digital, Büro.9 Music

2012

Shareholder Tom feat. Gary Harrison „Moving in Conjunction“

7-inch, Büro.9 Music

2012

Shareholder Tom feat. Gary Harrison „Vision of a Family / The Road“

Digital, Büro.9 Music

2013

Shareholder Tom feat. Dirk Schaadt „Highway To Hell“

7-inch, Büro.9 Music

2013

Batida de Colónia Same

CD / Digital, Büro.9 Music

2013

Shareholder Tom Im Garten des Alltäglichen

CD / Digital, Büro.9 Music

2015

Shareholder Tom Ethiopian Girl

CD / Digital, Büro.9 Music

2015

Batida de Colónia „Happy Hour“

Digital, Büro.9 Music

2015

Travis & Tom The London Cologne Journeys of Travis Blaque & Shareholder Tom

Digital, Büro.9 Music

2016

Shareholder Tom feat. Phyllis Funksoul „World of the Lonely People“

Digital, Büro.9 Music

2016

East African Krautjazz Alliance feat. Sami Gebremariam „Zemitaye“

Digital, Büro.9 Music

2017

East African Krautjazz Alliance feat. Sami Gebremariam „Tezeta“

Digital, Büro.9 Music

2018

Batida de Colónia „Boys Don´t Cry“

Digital, Büro.9 Music

2021

Shareholder Tom Paint Afresh

LP, Digital, Büro.9 Music