Formally implemented on November 28, a novel noise reduction initiative in Berlin will seek to remedy an infamous issue in the context of the city’s nightlife: venue noise leakage. Berlin nightclubs that are unable to afford the necessary soundproofing to prevent the sound bleeding that has repeatedly caused resident unrest in the past will newly be able to apply for state-funded soundproofing via the Berlin Club Commission. The fledgling noise-buffering program is an imitation of an existing program in Hamburg — another location where club culture is a central component of the city’s economic fabric.
Berlin venues that have been in operation for a minimum of two years will be required to participate in a two-part application process. Preliminary application documents are currently available online and accessible to nightclub organizers who wish to apply for the state-subsidized support. An independent jury will begin meeting in February 2019 to determine which establishments will receive grants. The public grants can extend financial support of up to €50,000 to each regular applicant and can additionally offer a maximum of €100,000 to “projects of extraordinary importance.” The nightclubs that are approved for the financial backing will be expected to contribute anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of the total soundproofing cost. Venues that receive the funds must return the money if they are unable to remain open for a two-year period following state extension of the monies.
Attendees of deadmau5‘s November 8 show in Berlin were in for a treat.
The mau5trap head honcho used the Verti Music Hall performance to crowd-test some new music, which one Reddit user captured to share with the world. The ID begins slowly, building anticipation with a warm, ethereal melody before exploding abruptly into a bright burst of synths. Backed by a dramatic progressive beat, this ID is purely mau5 in every way.
Though deadmau5 has been using the past several weeks to focus on his mental well-being, he promised fans he’d be in attendance at his Europe shows this month, which include performances in Dublin, Edinburgh, London, and Bristol in the coming days.
Amazon studios have released a new drama series titled Beat. The show follows promoter Robert “Beat” Schlag, who embodies the essence of the deepest depths of Berlin’s underground techno scene.
After Beat is recruited by the European Secret Services for his connections, he discovers how dirty the floor is when the lights come up. The show, which is entirely in German, appears to aim to be an honorable depiction of the Berlin underground, while adding all the gunfire and suspense viewers have become accustomed in today’s streaming series.
According to Amazon Prime Video’s description, “Beat works as a promoter in Berlin’s most famous techno club and does not miss a party himself.” The promoter is forced to push his mental and physical limits to expose a human-organ trafficking ring and the true extent of corruption in his immediate network.
As of November 9, the first season of Beat is available for free to Amazon Prime members.
A new limited edition calendar extends immortality to some of Berlin’s now defunct but nevertheless celebrated techno clubs. Entitled “Places 2019: Berliner Cluborte der Vergangenheit,” the calendar spans the last three decades in its reflection on the landmark techno clubs that contributed to the rise of the genre in the world’s techno capital. “Places 2019” features illustrations of closed iconic Berlin venues like Bunker, Tresor, Exit, and Stattbad Wedding, done by German artist Tine Fetz.
Berlin residents can purchase a copy of the calendar at the Archiv der Jugendkulturen at Fidicinstraße 3 in Schöneberg. Those who live elsewhere can still obtain one of the exclusive calendars by emailing email@example.com, but with just 250 total copies on sale, tech lovers who hope to live out the year through a techno-inflected lens will want to act quickly.
A teenager in Germany has been arrested for suspicion of planning an Islamist extremist attack on a gay night club and a Catholic church. Frankfurt prosecutor spokesman Sinan Akdogan confirmed the arrest of an unnamed 17-year old in connection to the plan set for September 1, where thereafter a judge ordered the suspect to be held in custody further for planning the serious act of violence. According to US-provided intelligence provided to Hesse state police, the teenager had obtained instructions on how to make explosives, as well as ordered chemicals online. While the intended locations of the thwarted attacks has been kept secret along with the suspect’s identity, the investigation continues to be ongoing.
The power of techno may have been used for its greatest good yet, as recent rallies in Berlin found far-right protestors thwarted by club beats as they marched through the capital. The self-proclaimed anti-immigrant, anti-Islam political party Alternative for Germany won its first seats in parliament last year, and the recent march marks the first public show of strength by the far-right group since it became the largest opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Luckily AfD was met by the resistance of thousands of counter-protestors including a union of different advocacy groups, civil and student organizations, as well as political parties, lead by an alliance of over 100 clubs from across Berlin.
Packing the River Spree with boats and floats as well as a caravan of DJ-equipped trucks in the streets, Berlin’s legendary club circuit came together to “bass away” the far-right, drowning out “we are the people” calls with proper warehouse fare and “the whole of Berlin is against the AfD” chants. Counter-demonstrators waved rainbow flags, touting signs with messages like, “no to racism” and “No dance floors of Nazis.” A joint statement from the coalition of clubs reads,
“The Berlin club culture is everything that Nazis are not. We are progressive, queer, feminist, anti-racist, inclusive, colorful and we have unicorns.”
Thousands of counter-protestors reportedly joined in the action and police were deployed to keep the demonstrations peaceful. Berlin reportedly deployed 2,000 officers and eventually closed bridges across the city to section off protests throughout the weekend. Don’t make us deploy the unicorns, Nazis. We won’t hesitate to use them.
Thom Yorke has transferred his talents to audiovisual art.
Entitled “City Rats,” Yorke’s audiovisual art installation is a collaboration with composer Tarik Barri, and will open in Berlin on April 21. Yorke and Barri designed “City Rats” for the ISM Hexadrome, a structure outfitted with 54 speakers and six screens, and located in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau museum.
The art installation will depict sounds as objects in 3D space. Fans can get a glimpse of the 360° project ahead of its Berlin debut via an exclusive preview that demonstrates how the installation works.
Berlin’s Ultramajic record label is set to release a rare collection of late-90’s electro tracks from an unknown Detroit artist named Ashtar Lavanda.
Not much is known about Ashtar Lavanda, whose tapes Jimmy Edgar — the founder of the label — found after receiving a tip about a storage unit being auctioned off in East Detroit that contained boxed techno artifacts.
Ashtar’s Lavanda’s tapes boast a jaw-dropping Detroit electro exudence from an artist who is believed to have never released any music under the moniker, comparable to acts like AUX88, Ectomorph, and more, according to Edgar.
Edgar’s discovery has consequently led to a present-day six-track release — the artist’s first EP, aptly titled Unsolved Mysteries via Ultramajic — and will also include continued releases to honor the artist’s work.
“I just wanted to see my music on The New Dance Show, I wanted to hear it on 97.9FM but I didn’t have the hustle to get the music out there”, Lavanda said when speaking about his long lost tapes. Despite Lavanda’s doubts, Edgar believes Ashtar Lavanda will soon be revered as “one of the true pioneers in late 90s Detroit Electro alongside artists such as AUX88, Ectomorph, Dopplereffekt, and Drexciya.”
The Berlin government has pledged to invest €1 million in sound protection for various nightclubs throughout its city limits, according to Berlin based publication Tagesspiegel. The announcement comes in light of recent complaints from city residents about noise generated at large scale nightclubs.
Around 170 Berlin nightclub locations were forced to shut down from 2011 to 2015. Typically, when residents complain to city officials, the officials err on the side of caution, favoring residents over nightclub owners.
Now, Berlin’s city officials are taking preemptive measures to effectively soundproof its nightclubs, thereby mediating the concerns of residents and club owners.
The recent investment will fund renovations such as the placement of sound absorbing installations in venues, noise barriers in outdoor areas, and soundproofing the windows of local residents.
“The club culture has given Berlin so much that the city now has to save the clubs,” says Georg Kössler, club spokesman for the Green Group, who helped to arbitrate the funding approval.
How the money will be distributed is still unclear, but Tagesspiegel reports that a possible reference model would be the Hamburg model: wherein a charitable club foundation allocates funds as they see fit.