THE BERLIN EFFECT
STORIES FROM THE TECHNO CAPITAL
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall nearly thirty years ago, techno has been woven into the cultural fabric of the German capital, with its scene renowned by clubbing enthusiasts the world over. With the East and West sides of Berlin reuniting at the end of the '80s, an abundance of abandoned warehouses, power plants and basement bunkers created an ideal environment for electronic music. Techno utopias sprang into life, and combined with the newly euphoric energy around unification and a spirit of lawlessness, an enduring party ethos was formed.
It's an ethos that endures to this day, drawing tens of thousands to the city's clubs every weekend and providing a cultural counterbalance to mainstream dance music. Whether you're talking underground staples like ://about blank, or celebrated techno temples like Berghain and Tresor, the city's clubbing scene has helped define Berlin's status as the nightlife capital of Europe, as well as a celebrated centre of music, art, culture and creativity.
In this edition of Monitor we explore the music that helped shape this unique cultural sanctuary, as well as some of the new-school sounds that are paving the way for the future.
A selection of standout tracks that have dominated Berlin clubs over the years
Berlin’s next wave
Berlin's mobilegirl is a young producer and DJ whose music combines the aesthetics of post-internet fatigue, the glossiness of early-millennium pop music as well as global influences such as bass, grime, dancehall, reggaeton and beyond.
It’s a blend of sounds that while it should clash, instead it flourishes in its own contradictions. Alongside contemporaries such as PAN label boss Bill Kouligas, M.E.S.H. and Ziúr, to name a few, she’s considered part of a new generation of musicians pushing the city’s club sounds into more experimental and futuristic territory. After only three years of swishing through Berlin’s electronic music scene, she’s already appeared on multiple Boiler Room streams, toured internationally and picked up prestigious gigs in her adopted hometown with CTM Festival at Panorama Bar, Janus in Berghain and most recently, Tresor for Ableton’s LOOP festival.
Just as Berghain is instrumental to Berlin’s clubbing scene, the club’s in-house label is just as vital in representing the sound of the city. Showcasing the talent that plays both in Berghain and Panorama Bar, Ostgut Ton serves as a platform for residents and close friends alike. From stone-cold techno classics like Ben Klock’s ‘Sub Zero’ to the delicate, heartfelt deep house of Steffi’s ‘Sadness’, the label portrays the wide variety of sounds that can be heard within those cavernous walls.
BERLIN LABEL MAP
Use this map to explore the diverse sounds that emanate out of Germany’s capital and see exactly where they come from. Click the tab on the top left to filter by genre and listen on Beatport.