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Friday, February 20, 2009

006° .GOODKA, a true b-boy story.

10 photography and an interview of that singular b-boy, crate digger and record dealer Goodka, from Grenoble_France.

Could you explain us the origin of your name Goodka?
Weel, it was 84 when I started, I was doing graffiti, so I had to find a little short word. I was listening to Zack Rogers, James Brown and everything, and they always says "Good God Good God! ". And I was thinking "Fuck they say Goodka, GOOODKAAA!!". It was or KSStore or Goodka, I liked KSStore very much because it was in a record, WildStyle from Time Zone ... But I finally preferred Goodka.
And I'm lucky becaufe the name was never picked, there might be a second, a Russian painter. (Laughs...)

So you did graffiti?
Exactly. On Wednesday, as we did not have class, I used to lock myself in the classroom with markers, I was a kid, I was tagging entire walls, hitting them just with my markers, I was staying 4h in the school without anyone seeing me. I swear, when I was going out, the room was smelling markers so strong!
I also made a ghettoblaster in paper! I had tracksuit, glasses that I had tampered with oranges stripes, like Sydney, white gloves and all ... I was putting my boombox on my bike and then I was riding like this! I was playing loud the big sound all around town!
I know that some people who have pictures from those days but when I ask, you know, It is like asking granny...

What has been the meeting point with HipHop? The trigger element?
I think that It has been Sydney and H.I.P.H.O.P. But I think I have something natural about it, an inner something that made me love Hip Hop. But surely Sydney, he was making me mad!

So before Sydney you had not heard HipHop?
Oh yes I did! I was listening to the radio! My mother she did not wanted, so I had to remain in my bed with my ghettoblaster, under the sheets, and then here I was listening to music and making my first cassettes. That was before Sydney. I was always afraid of being out of tape! I was recording Whodini, Grand Master Flash & SugarHill Gang. And then there were occasional some crazy stuff like T.Ski Valley "Catch the groove"! This really shocked me! It really was the musical style that I was looking for, it was huge and I was loving it!

I remember the day I listened to The Adventures on the Wheel of Steel by Grand Master Flash for the first time. It was incredible! At the time, I was even wondering if it was not punk, I did knew not HipHop then, I was thinking that I was listening to Punk music (Laughs...)

Everything was a bit messy, a bit weird ... I was 13 or 14 years old, we had our cardboard, we unfolded it and hop, it was it! We were breakdancing, doing the dome and all... It was before I got to Grenoble. When I arrived here, in my school, I was the only one that was doing breakdance! They really thaught I was crazy!

There were no enthusiasm or something?
No, nobody cared. I was a real UFO for them. You should have seen! At that time in France they were very few people interested in HipHop! If you were wearing a hat, everyone was looking weird at you.

But me, I was completely in it! I was recording Sydney's TV Shows and I had that crazy goal, I wanted to know and find the complete playlist of every show! And I found them all except one that I'm still looking but the other one that I was really looking for, I mean the information, I found it last year. I searched for 15 years, I even played it to Dee Nasty he told me "Yeah I know, it must be this". So I bought the record but it was not the good one. Sydney told me: "Oh, I don't remember...". And then I met a guy from IZB that phoned me and I made ​​him listen. He told me: "I know. I'll call you back." And 6 months later he called me back me saying "Here it is". But I had found in the meantime.
IZB, It was them who organized concerts all over Paris. BDP, Ultramagnetic MC's, etc ... They were in connection with the magazine Get Busy. And at the time there were the Zulu Letter. This was done by Queen Candy. It was the only way to have a connection with HipHop because there were nothing on that time you know, no Internet, no infos, for the records you had to refer to the cover, I could not listen, so as I saw a black guy doing a pose, I bought. And sometimes it was miserable ...
When the first Fat Boys arrived in vinyl, I really got mad, Newcleus was a shock also. Then I found Street Sounds Electro, and I think that it is what really pushed HipHop everywhere. It has been a revelation for many because it was the link to the HipHop. It was all great US HipHop; Dr Jeckyl & Mr Hide, Fantasy Three, Three High Fidelity, Arthur Baker, Captain Rock ... It was really the link to stay tuned. But it was very rare. I remember that I was ordering them at the local Fnac, they not able to have them.
The thing is that when I discovered Newcleus in this compilation for example, then I saw the LP, so I bought it and I got mad. I didn't even knew in what order to play it!

And you had some b-boy friends at the time?
Not that much. There were not a lot of b-boys in Grenoble, we had friends in common but we did not knew each other. We never met. It's later that it really started and that there were an organization. Before, you did not know where things where happening, where you could go breakdance. Everyone was on his own. And there were very few dancers on that time.
When I went to Paris, I expected to find lots of dancers but I struggled to find them. It was hot! I went to the Trocadero, where supposedly you had to go, I did not found no one. You needed to know to go into the hallways and find where the guys were, where it was happening.

When did you start turntablism?
Well, I started late because it was expensive, I had no money. I had a job and that makes ... that I was not in it. I was an executive in a company. I always digged, I always bought records, all the time. But I only had a little shitty turntablee and I never thought about mixing.
It came from seeing breakdance videos, I told myself that the music was crap. I told myself that I could do it better than them. And so I've tried to show my personality, my style.
And then it's funny because as soon as I made ​​my first mixtape I was invited United States, I've never played in France, just a little help for Paris City Breakers and boom I played in San Francisco! While all the guys who were in the turntablism and mastered better than me, they were green, they did not understood why it was me. And I played before Q-Bert there. That was in 2001.

How could those guys called you so quickly?
Beause I actually creates and It was the world's first website to reference the breaks and breaks record. I was the first. Why? Because I was looking for me but I did not found anything not so I thought "There's nothing out there, I'll do it". And I did!
I took each video. For example Freestyle Session, and I tried to find the tracks. So I put Track ; title-track, if I do not know, then I put an interogation point. And when a b-boy knew what it was, an email and that's it, we filled box. Everything was cut by song. And people could then manage to find the record.

Ok, great! And so then you began to mix, the first mixtape, etc ......
Yes exactly. And then I did the second, I was invited back. I played twice there, I met dj Leassy, who died since, but he was an extraordinary break Dj. And then we digged like crazy! Even in Oakland!
For us, digging, you start in the morning, you come to the record store and you do not go out. You do not eat. You stay, you dig, you dig, you dig, constantly. And sometimes you end up very late.
I remember this story with my friend where we go out from a shop, we had looked to every single in the shop, it was time to eat something. And then, after 10 min walking, I told him, "We have to go back, they add records!". And then my friend told me "Are you kidding or what? You're sick we did everything ", so I answer him " No, no, I feel it, let's just go back there!" And when we went back, there was a range of records that had just been delivered! That's how it was on those days!
Like when we were in Japan. There they close their shops very late, around 1 or 2am. So we digged until 2am, we were buying entire boxes!
In San Francisco we made an amazing thing! We had a little crazy and we took a casters stuff, a kind of cart. And we put the first box in it. Then we were going to another record store, like that on the other side of the city, on foot, dragging our records on Telegraph Avenue by foot ... We returned slammed!

Could you define Old, Middle and New School for us?
Oh well it's easy for me!
The Old School is a hiphop that replay well known tunes as 'Good Times' by Chic or Queen's drums, Shery Lynn's 'Got to be real', all those stuff that are replayed and rapper puts his rhymes on it, that's the Old School, from 79 to 82 more or less.
Then, the Middle School is once the machines appeared, which means that the middle school includes electro funk. Bambaataa is from middle school. This is the time of the TR808 and that kind of devices.
As soon as the samples have appeared, it is the New School. Ice T is New School. There's also a lot of rappers who have ridden over the two periods, that have evolved with the thing.
The first phase of the New School is Ice T, Public Enemy, all that rough stuff. Ir is the Fast Rap too, The DOC, Digital Underground. The second phase, which is very popular in France, is Leader Of New School, Lords Of The Underground, KMD, Rakim, etc... All those 92 to 94 records ....

Could you tell us a little about your record collection? What it she composed of? How many pieces?
Well, to me, number of records means nothing. The important thing is to have records that truly reflect your personality. Someone can have 80 records, but it' will be only killers, and then someone ccan have 5000 records, all crap. So quality prevails. Quality and personality. Personnaly, I'm more looking for breaks or Disco 45rpm singles to make people dance, it is an approach.

With which band do you identify yourself the most?
In Soul-Funk it is Mandrill. To me, It is really the most extraordinary classic band.
Because it has a very roots side but also a disco one, all under a very deep background. It's a real mixture, both earthy and airy.

Last word:
Hope is that more work is needed, there are plenty of things to learn in music as everywhere!

Ok! Many thanks Goodka!


  1. Utilise donc pour présenter l'interview durect sur le blog!

  2. hello/hi/bonjour!!!!!!!!!!

    monone hooked me up! many many thanks!


  3. bonjour, je ne connaissais pas ce blog et c'est une bonne surprise, il est vraiment cool, en plus je connais bien le "vieux" goodka de Grenoble et un peu monsieur sofa de Lyon!!

    J'habite à coté de Genève, je dig aussi et nous avons créé un petit blog avec deux autres amis,

    Si ça vous branche,

    Merci en tout cas,