Live In Berlin was recorded live at the Helmatiklange Festival in Berlin, Germany on August 8th 1997. Produced by musical director Rene Banos and his manager Poney Gross of Zig Zag Productions, everything on the recording is produced by the human voice and hands with no special effects or musical instruments of any kind.
Vocal Sampling sings some of the songs made popular on their first two albums, 'Una Forma Mas' and 'De Vacaciones', such as El Tren, La Negra Tomasa, De Vacaciones, Sueno Contigo and Que Bueno Baila Usted. One of the best moments on the album is their beautiful version of Silvio Rodriguez' Fabula De Los Tres Hermanos. Originally released on Piranha Records, Live In Berlin proves what their studio albums imply: that this group is miraculous.
Vocal Sampling is an all-male a cappella group distinguished for their amazing renditions of traditional Cuban music -- son, bolero, rumba, guaracha, salsa and trova -- while vocally replicating the piano, cowbell, conga, bass, and trumpet.
The group started off as a game, played while they were still students at Havana's National Superior Institute of Arts. In the early '90's Vocal Sampling became a six-member professional group under the direction of pianist/singer Rene Banos and their Belgian manager Poney Gross. With the help of Gross, they immediately attracted the attention of luminaries such as David Byrne, Bobby McFerrin, Carlos Santana and others, appearing on a compilation on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label.
In 1995 producers Rachel Faro and Sammy Figueroa made the acquaintance of the group while on a visit to Havana, leading to two releases on Seymour Stein's Sire Records. As the first Cuban band permitted to perform in Miami since 1959 they made history while on their first U.S. tour and since then have continued to record and tour throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. They have influenced countless other young a cappella groups and are still considered to be one of the finest instrumental vocal groups in the world.
"When we perform live we recreate the music every time. We honor it and we actually enjoy ourselves too. Being face to face with an audience is always a unique moment. That's why we loved recording this album live." Rene Banos, Musical Director