H O M E > English
Having studied psychology and sociology, Christian Scholze then held university teaching posts, was involved in different social research projects and compiled evaluations for development projects in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. During a reflective pause in New York, his encounters with the different cultures on our planet underwent a process of effervescence, impelling him in the direction of an exciting new career: as managing director of Network Medien GmbH, a limited liability company he founded in 1980 with friends with the aim of developing a section for world music, parallel to the political publishing programme. In the decades that followed, his label was to become one of the most important in the world music sector.
Meanwhile Scholze travelled to more than 100 countries and produced music recordings in Australia, Cuba, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Colombia and Ecuador. Recordings were made in Africa, specifically in Senegal with, among others, Youssou N’Dour, and in Zanzibar, also in Europe and the Middle East, in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Macedonia, Athens and Crete, Spain, Paris... .
With his partner Jean Trouillet, Scholze oversaw the very successful series WorldNetwork (Vol. 1 - Vol. 49) as well as the double-CD anthologies Desert Blues 1 - 3, Road of the Gypsies, Balkan Blues, Gypsy Queens, Diaspora of Rembetiko, Sufi Soul, and Golden Afrique 1 - 3, among others, all presented in the unique upright format.
Well over half of all Network productions have received national and international awards. The international press praises the Network label: "Acoustic-sensual pearls for listeners with open ears and an alert mind" (Der Spiegel). "A true treasure trove of world music" (Jazzthetik); "A brilliant label" (Le Monde); "A mammoth work of world music" (Marie Claire); "An ear to the pulse of the world" (New York Times); "Acoustic discovery voyages: Sensibly sensual compilation, splendidly documented in the supplements" (Die Zeit); "Admired worldwide and showered with awards" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
The music of the label Network Medien (Desert Blues, Road of the Gypsies, Golden Afrique, Bratsch, Djivan Gasparyan, Sexteto Mayor, Melina Kana, Istanbul Oriental Ensemble amongst others) can be found on www.amazon.de, www.spotify.com, www.youtube.com
In his portrait of Scholze published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Ulrich Olshausen wrote: "Scholze never saw himself as an ethnographer, a surveyor. For him it was, and still is, all about dance, festivities, communication, passion, magic, unpredictability, about worlds of experience that we are lacking, that we dream about. It’s about the aura of faraway places, about opening up our senses and our soul. A musician with a glass of something or other close by or in his hand when singing suits Scholze’s temperament much more than one who settles into obligatory meditation."
And in a eulogy marking the 30th anniversary of the label we read: "To celebrate his very special intensely emotional, vibrant and incredibly colourful depiction of the global heritage, Christian Scholze has chosen three samplers from earlier productions: Fiesta Balkanica, Fiesta Tropical and, in a "two storey format" with over the two and a half hours of music, World Ballads, featuring names like Youssou N’Dour, Esma Redzepova, Giora Feidman, Gigi, Istanbul Oriental Ensemble, Bratsch and Sexteto Mayor. There have been several noughties anniversaries for recording companies: Blue Note seventy, ECM forty and Network thirty. Ranking? We see them all as towering alongside one another".
Christian Scholze is still managing director of Network Medien GmbH, whose catalogue is meantime owned by the Hamburg Membran company.
Scholze and his wife Isabelle (they married in Honolulu at the start of a trip to the South Seas) divide their time between Frankfurt and southern coast of Crete - always accompanied by their dog "Marley" (successor of "Satchmo" and also a retriever). The three of them can often be seen having a sundowner in the Caribbean tavern on the beach in Agios Georgios, in the background reggae and music from all over the world. Yammas!