On November 13th, !K7 Records will release Mudhoney: Live In Berlin, 1988 on DVD. The footage, filmed at the 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.
Mudhoney: Live In Berlin, 1988 presents 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.
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.”
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 Weidenmüller, whose crew filmed a number of performances from that year’s Berlin Independent Days festival. Weidenmüller recently rediscovered the Mudhoney footage.