Introducing Pasha ‘Interpaul’ Linke. The co-founder of the renowned Berlin club Hangar 49 and now leader of MIRMIX Orkeztan as well as him being a radio editor and moderator.
Pasha arrived in Germany in 1994 after his parents, who were living in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan decided to leave due to tensions after the collapse of the Soviet Union. After having resided in Berlin for three years. Pasha’s father found a job as an engineer in a small town near Karlsruhe and the family relocated to Southern Germany.
Pasha said that his father advised him to follow suit in his career of engineering, but after completing vocational education and even few semesters at the university, Pasha came to the realization that he would rather pursue his passion, which is music. “I found out that I need to do what I really enjoy such as as organizing concerts, booking bands and actually performing myself,” he smiles.
He reflects back at the cultural scene in Karlsruhe, saying it was very patchy, vivid and international and that they all were hanging out together. As Karlsruhe is certainly not known as the party capital of Baden-Wurttemberg, Pasha decided to organize a party, where beats and cultures could whirl together. For him, it was a mix of an alternative music, with touches of jazz and hip-hop, soul and funk – something special that would be summed up as akin to ‘global beats’.
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In 2009 Pasha made the decision to move to Berlin, if not because his elder brother and lots of his friends were already living there. The aim was to found a booking agency, so that Russian and other Eastern European bands could open up to and reach a Western audience.
In the meantime he set about looking for an office alongside two of his partners who were also searching for a place, a place which would later become a bar and a concert venue. Fortunately, the perfectly suited place was discovered under an S-Bahn line, which commutes the west and east districts of the once-divided city. While it took some time to establish the licenses for the bar and the stage, it was in this time that Pasha was able to realize a number of songs that he really wanted to share with the public.
“That is actually how the band was born. I found two beatboxers and trumpeter – we played a cocktail of hip-hop, reggae, drum and bass, then we picked up steam and over eight years, we expanded to eight band members”.
Over this period of time, the musicians stepped back from the beatboxing concept, yet meanwhile a drummer and bass guitarist also joined MIRMIX.
“It was now the time for us to present our first studio album! There was a crowdfunding campaign and, speaking of it, I believe all musicians should be supported as artists. In regards to our album – it achieved great heights. Among tracks in Russian, German and English, its repertoire is enriched by the songs in Kyrgyz, Georgian, Serbian languages, which reflects the motto of the band,”Global Grooves”.
Two musicians in the band have a similar background as Pasha – they moved to Germany from the former Soviet Republic, and their ancestry ancestors traces back to Germany and Kazakhstan.
At the same time, Pasha has been busy organizing concerts with numerous Russian and Ukrainian bands, among those are Tequila Jazz, a former musician at the famous Ukrainian project 5nizza, Sergei Babkin, Svetlana Surganova and many more.
“Among Ukrainian artists, we had Oleg Skripka, who DJ’ed at the party and Dakha Brakha, before they were so popular, Lyapis Trubetskoy … frankly speaking, we’ve had so many high-level bands performing here, however when you see this place, it’s hard to believe,” Pasha adds.
He believes that one thing about Berlin remains special: the promise of freedom. “When we just moved to Berlin in 1994, I was too young to fully realize it, but my brother and I had already been hanging around, in this special time where there were a lot of squats, so I’ve still got this feeling, this feeling that there is something special about this place. I value this a lot, and the fact that this feeling of freedom or liberalism still exists, people are open to everything new, a lot of subcultures and the bars like Hangar, which are hidden away and might look not so tidy and fancy, but they still exist beaming with their own charm and energy”.
For more information about Pasha and his music go to MirMix Orkeztan’s Facebook. You can also meet him and his band in person at of the many MirMix Parties held at Hangar49 every 4th Saturday of the month.