Poor Casper: Preis für Popkultur 2018 in review

An evening awash with exciting new talent, relentless mockery and bold sartorial choices – of course, we’re talking about the 2018 edition of Preis für Popkultur’s annual awards ceremony. Whittled down from an eyebrow-raising 566 artists, works and contributions, the evening saw awards being handed out within twelve categories, in addition to the prestigious lifetime achievement award.

We the people were treated to a knockout set by nominee Kat Frankie to kick off the show, in addition to stellar performances by the Berliner Kneipenchor, as well as fiery rapper Haiyti; acapella trio Laing and brother-brother duo Klan. There were questionable items of clothing and innovative instrumentation – this wasn’t an evening dedicated to anyone who wasn’t willing to push the boundaries of what is considered ordinary.

The big winner of the night was no surprise to anyone:

Saxon hip hop wizard Trettmann, who won three of his five nominations. His #DIY album was widely acclaimed by the audience and the voting jury – something of a labour of love, this record avoided using standard major label marketing practices, a risk which certainly paid off in his favour. Awards were presented to those who had shone in their field and weren’t afraid to experiment. Pioneering campaign concepts were acknowledged and champagne was popped to a chorus of revolutionary production techniques – household names such as Beatsteaks and Die Fantastischen Vier brushed shoulders with artists who were there off the back of their first EP.

In the face of endless teasing and gentle ridicule from presenter Tommy Bosch, German-American rapper Casper took it gracefully on the chin – and appeared to remain in good spirits despite not receiving a win within any of his five nominated categories. Alongside the twelve aforementioned groups, PFP presented the family of late publisher Rolf Budde with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement award in a poignant and bittersweet end to the evening’s festivities.

…sharp and intelligent in their criticism of right wing propaganda, often to rousing applause and standing ovations

Despite the celebratory tone, the evening addressed a handful of prominent issues within Germany’s artistic landscape. Panel discussions featuring a number of notable members of the media and music scenes tackled uncomfortable subjects head-on, such as the rise of anti-Semitism within hip hop, the recent intensification of neo nazi movements, and the refugee crisis and its position within the arts. The presenters, guests and attendees were by no means afraid to voice their support for displaced persons, and were sharp and intelligent in their criticism of right wing propaganda, often to rousing applause and standing ovations.

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In past years, Preis für Popkultur has been on the receiving end of disapproval concerning the distinct lack of women involved in the project. Taking note of this, a number of steps have been taken to create a much fairer gender balance, with far more female figures adopting active roles within the organisation than before – an announcement which was met with a wealth of praise and appreciation.

Artists were commended for work which rejected right-wing values; Feine Sahne Fischfilet, for example, who have been partially banned from public network television due to their unashamedly outspoken critique of the ultra-conservative agenda. Winner of the most promising newcomer award, Sam Vance-Law, delivered a stirring speech reflecting on his closeted upbringing, and applauded progressive attitudes towards LGBT figures. It was rather refreshing to see so many artists wholeheartedly support and promote these messages with such a blatant disregard for any potentially negative consequences.

It’s very easy for awards ceremonies to get swept up in a sea of glitter and self-importance

It’s very easy for awards ceremonies to get swept up in a sea of glitter and self-importance, and to neglect to confront key issues because there’s seemingly limitless free beer at hand and we’re, like, totally there to party, right? This certainly wasn’t the case at Preis für Popkultur 2018, and their extremely vocal rejection of racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-refugee sentimentality stood obviously as the very backbone of their ethos.

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The evening’s events made it abundantly clear that this is an organisation within the heart of Germany’s musical community, and we’re curious to see how the Association for the Advancement of Pop Culture will evolve and act towards such issues over the next twelve months.

The categories, nominees and winners in full are as follows:

Lieblings-Solokünstler/Best male solo artist:

Winner: Trettmann

Casper
Drangsal
Get Well Soon
DJ Koze

Lieblings-Solokünstlerin/Best female solo artist:
Winner: Kat Frankie
Dillon
Haiyti
Helena Hauff
Mine

Lieblingsband/Best band:
Winner: Beatsteaks
Feine Sahne Fischfilet
Die Nerven
Tocotronic
Zugezogen Maskulin

Schönste Geschichte/Best story:

Winner: Charly Hübner & Sebastian Shultz – Feine Sahne Fischfilet (Wildes Herz)
Casper & Drangsal für Diffus – Mit Verachtung Podcast, Folge 9 (Grimace Squad)
Viola Funk für den WDR (Die dunkle Seite des Deutschen Rap)
Visa Vie für Spotify (Das allerletzte Interview: Eine Crime Story von Visa Vie)
Jens Balzer für die Zeit (ECHO: Jetzt ist er implodiert)

Lieblingsvideo/Best video:
Winner: Beatsteaks vs. Deichkind – L auf der Stirn
Die Fantastischen Vier feat. Clueso – Zusammen
Kettcar – Sommer ’89 (Er schnitt Löcher in den Zaun)
Fynn Kliemann – Zuhause
Trettmann – Grauer Beton

 
Spannendste Idee/Kampagne/Most exciting campaign:
Winner: Kraftklub and Donots – Clubtausch in Köln
Mine & Fatoni – Alle Liebe nachträglich (campaign)
Trettmann – #DIY (campaign)
Feine Sahne Fischfilet – Unschuldig wie immer: mit dem Nightliner zum Gerichtstermin in Güstrow
Drangsal: #DRANGSAL4ESC2019

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Lieblingsproduzent/in/Best producer:
Winner: DJ Koze
Markus Ganter
KlitschKrieg
Tobias Kuhn
Moses Schneider

Lieblingsalbum/Best album:
Winner:  Trettmann – #DIY
Casper – Lang lebe der Tod
DJ Koze – Knock Knock
Mine & Fatoni – Alle Liebe nachträglich
Die Nerven – Fake
 

Gelebte Popkultur/Lived pop culture prize:
Winner: Birgit & Horst Lohmeyer – Jamel Rockt den Förster
Laut gegen Nazis – Campus Open Air Cottbus
Donots – Zu Ehren des Underground Köln: Spontanes Guerillakonzert auf den Trümmern des legendären Clubs
Feine Sahne Fischfilet – Wasted in Jarmen
Matthias Hörstmann u.a. – Intro, Verlag und- Magazin

Lieblingslied/Best song:
Winner: Trettmann – Grauer Beton
Beatsteaks – L auf der Stirn
Casper feat. Drangsal – Keine Angst
Kat Frankie – Bad Behaviour
Kettcar – Sommer ’89 (Er schnitt Löcher in den Zaun)
Mine & Fatoni – RomCom

Beeindruckendste Live-Performance/Most exciting live performance:
Winner: Beatsteaks & Gäste (Die Ärzte, Deichkind, Tocotronic)
Casper
K.I.Z.
Kratklub
Tocotronic

Hoffnungsvollster Newcomer/Most promising newcomer:
Winner: Sam Vance Law
Brett
Das Paradies
SIND
Antje Schomaker

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