Echo under pressure: price supporters distance themselves from the company

Echo under pressure: price supporters distance themselves from the company

The criticism of the music award echo does not rub off. In the wake of the anti-semitism headlines, pianist igor levit and conductor enoch zu guttenberg also parted company with their trophies.

The president of the german cultural council, christian hoppner, withdraws from the echo advisory board. The panel had decided against the exclusion of a controversial rap album. This was a "mistake," hoppner said in a statement on tuesday.

Last thursday, rappers kollegah and farid bang received an award for their album "jung, brutal, gutaussehend 3". It contains lyrics like "my body more defined than by auschwitz inmates" and "do another holocaust, come on with the molotov". The fact that this music is eligible for the echo award has triggered fierce criticism and a debate about anti-semitism.

The award to the two rappers is for him "a completely irresponsible, inconceivable misstep by the echo jury and at the same time an expression of the current state of our society," wrote levit on twitter. "Giving anti-semitic slogans such a platform and awards is unacceptable"."Levit had received an echo klassik in 2014.

"After such an award is now in 2018 also awarded to authors of repugnant anti-semitic schmahtexten and still from the ?Ethics council" of their association was released without hesitation, we would consider it a disgrace to continue to hold this prize in our hands," wrote guttenberg and andreas reiner of the orchestra klangverwaltung to the organizers. Guttenberg and the orchestra had received an echo klassik in 2008.

Earlier, the musician and graphic artist klaus voormann had received the echo for his life’s work, which he had received just a few days ago. The notos quartet from berlin also declared that it would return its echo klassik from last fall. The singer peter maffay demanded the responsible persons to resign. Other musicians and cultural workers also gave vent to their displeasure. In view of the protests, the federal music industry association announced that it would revise the concept of the award.

The echo is germany’s most important music prize, a kind of german grammy. It will be awarded according to sales figures and jury recommendation. In controversial cases, an advisory board is called in. In the case of the rap album, it said before the award that artistic freedom was "not so substantially infringed" in the text as to justify exclusion.

The spokesman for the advisory council defended the decision. "Crossing borders is not acceptable, but it is a part of music culture," CDU politician wolfgang bornsen told the deutsche presse agency. The advisory board made the decision together, said bornsen. The panel found the rapper’s lyrics unjustifiable and unacceptable.

At the same time bornsen underlined: "we lack self-responsibility of the artists."He wants to steer the discussion forward. Lessons to be learned. "A new value system is needed."It is also about issues such as hatred, misogyny and sympathy for terrorism.

He found campino’s echo performance "impressive," according to bornsen. The frontman of the dead pants had explained during the show that when it came to misogynistic, homophobic, right-wing extremist and anti-semitic insults, the line had been crossed for him.

SPD federal politician martin rabanus said, according to "t-online.De", the organizers of the echo had failed. "The echo has to be relaunched altogether. Obviously, the criteria of this award ceremony are not suitable to exclude anti-semitic, xenophobic and inhuman works."In youth culture, right-wing extremist ideas have obviously become socially acceptable.

The grunen federal politician erhard grundl said according to "t-online.De" that politics should "hold back" on regulating music. "Anti-semitism like kollegah’s doesn’t need to be supported by an award – that’s for sure," grundl said. "But i advise restraint. It is a sensitive area of tension between freedom of art and the protection of minors."The echo is a self-congratulation of the music industry and a commercial award. "The self-conception of the music industry is that what sells well is good. This must change."

Echo co-developer thomas M. Stein told the portal that in rap, you can’t put everything on a pedestal. "I don’t think that farid bang and kollegah are predestined antisemites. I believe that a lot is being read into this now that wasn’t planned beforehand. But now they have sung it, now it is interpreted that way and now they have to deal with it."

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