The Long Now

Last night one hour was missing, as we switched to Summer Time. It would not be anything unusual, but it is worth mentioning that between 28th & 29th March, a very special, 29-hour event took place in Kraftwerk Berlin. This ‘literally powerful place’ in the Mitte was built alongside with the Wall that tore the city apart. It was a power plant supplying Eastern Germany with electricity. Abandoned after the democratic fall of the Berliner Mauer, this building was reinvented around 2006 as a setting of the new location of the Tresor club. It is also hosting the famous Berlin Atonal festival each year in the summer

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This weekend Kraftwerk hosted various artists for The Long Now event, a part of the MaerzMusik festival. The purpose of the Long Now was to create time and space bubble filled with the latest experimental sounds. One could walk in and out during 29 hours of the event, seeing the audiovisuals, film productions, concert and live sets. While I am writing this entry, the set of Actress is most likely to start off and will be followed up with an after party. If it wasn’t for me being tired and having heard him live in some other occassions, I would probably be there!

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The highlights of this event would definitely be: the 16-hours-long documentary from Burkhard von Harder together with his Live-Sound Performance, Kassem Mosse’s Chilling the Do (just when I was enjoying the coffee for breakfast) and Thomas Köner‘s Tiento de las Nieves. This artist, representing Denovali Records is especially close to my state of mind, with its cold, yet very melancholic sound. Thoughts about relativeness of time, presence in space and other dimensions of existence match these sounds perfectly.

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All in all, it was worth visiting at least for a while this amazing space filled with the unique music installation, just to feel that no moment of the shortest day in the year was missed.

Photos: taken from the official facebook The Long Now, I wouldn’t take better ones.

Le Sacre du Printemps

Das Frühlingsopfer – this the German title of Igor Stavinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’, a masterpiece which pictures best by far the uncertainty and drama of the current season. Spring as a process within human minds and the slow rebirth of the nature can be painfully difficult. It is a struggle when sometimes there is no energy left to overcome the drastic changes. There are no better words and sound notes to illustrate this moment in my life, so I’d love to dedicate this post to my dear friend I suddenly lost few days ago in tragic circumstances.

Thinking about the loss as a process of life can be helpful till certain extend to accept its dark shades and harsh moments. I give myself time to think about the value of pain, grief and irreversible flow of time and space. I question the things I take for granted. I keep the moments I happily lived with him and think about the values he appreciated the most. In search for the answers and gathering the thoughts, I find it Stravinsky’s music especially close to the state of mind I am in. Not without sense, Le Sacre du Printemps is a musical journey through the idea of the sacrifice, the reinventing the seasons and yet, the usual process that takes place each and every year.

Knowing that my friend loved theatre, art and whole range of earthly pleasures and beauty so much, I would love to dedicate him Das Frühlingsopfer in this revolutionary Berliner Philharmoniker version directed by the living legend of the Kammermusik, Sir Simon Rattle. He didn’t make it to pay me a visit in my new city and I did not show him my favourite places that I promised him in my last e-mail. There is nothing else left now than appreciating the beauty of life while we are here and now in this amazing universe.

Smell the flowers while you can.

Bird is the word!

Just a quick note on the inventory that made my heart melt today: das Birdhain. Now my troubled mind can rest, as I know where will hyperactive Vögelchen go after party. Maybe for once, they will stop bothering me at unearthly hours of the day  (5-6 am?) when I normally try to sleep like an usual, full-time working person.

Melte Jansen – the author of the Birdhain, cared so much about the little bros’ comfort that the birdie replica of Berghain has a lot of room to offer, including the darker spots or the main floor with some awesome lightning. Not sure about the menu inside though.

It went viral today in Berlin and I am positive that in this utterly caring city, no one should be deprived of socializing- and party spots. Wait, but speaking of which… who will replace the infamous Sven in the birdie’s reality?

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A Dark History of Tresor

Sounds brought from Berlin has always inspired not only myself, but also klein aber fein electronic music groovement in my city of origin: Poznań. When I turned enough old to enter clubs in the early 2000s, my journey through the inspirational genres of house, techno and broken beats started and never really stopped, just the amount of time I put in the search for it, had to somehow decrease.

Back in a day the scene in Poznań seemed the most open-minded, at least comparing to other Polish cities. Shortly before the times of conservative backlash that obviously influenced the music scene too. I realized it is coming back to its interesting shape again nowadays, but all this would not happen if it wasn’t for the Tresor club and the influence of the capital city of techno nearby. And I am obviously not thinking about Warsaw.

So back when I was still considering my ‘career’ as a DJ, the natural consequence after getting to know where all the vinyl goodness had come from, was to step on the train and within 2,5 hours reach Kreuzberg to spend a couple of hours in the hottest vinyl stores at the time. Sometimes I was quite lucky to get a permission from my rather liberal parents to come back a few days later, so I could experience just a little bit of what now often is considered a history, like Tresor club, Maria am Ufer or Bar25.

This is where I discovered the sounds from another inspirational city: Detroit and fell in love forever with this crazy, dark deepness of the most organic of the electronic genres. Juan Atkins, Anonym Huisman, Jeff Mills, Theo Parrish and more recently: Fred P, Mike Huckaby are to be named as at least a few who shaped my taste for today. And the Detroit influence over Berlin deserves at least a separate entry!

So last Friday, 13th March 2015, Tresor celebrated its 24th birthday. The new location after re-visiting for a while now did not feel the same magic as the original one. Also, I am no longer such a reckless and restless clubbing aficionado. However, what should be said is that Tresor keeps on bringing deep and still interesting sounds to a wider audience in times when techno turns kind of mainstream and recognizable.

When writing about the history, it is also important to mention its impact on the current happenings. In my humble opinion, the dark and stark sound and vision of the technoworld can be represented by the 29th Nov movies channel with regular uploads of a very surprising content. I always discover the new artists while watching 29th Nov’s new productions. For instance, on a gloomy Sunday like today, these tracks can definitely reflect the bleak Berliner moods best Endlec – Darkness Approaches and Iñigo Kennedy – Plaintive.

Um:laut

Another interesting week has passed in the Augenblick, as would Germans poetically call ‘the moment’. As I am happy enough to live just between the most interesting spots of Friedrichshein, Mitte and Kreuzberg, I decided to visit the mysteriously-named Radialsystem V. This former water pumping station turned in 2006 to a ‘creative space for arts and ideas’.

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Yesterday I went to one of the Um:Laut sessions – dedicated to experimental music with the presence of British pianist Tom Hodge and producer Max Cooper. In the first part they both presented works from the ‘Piano Interrupted’ and ‘Fragmented Self’ EPs, and in the second part, Max Cooper debuted with his world premiere of the ‘Emergence’ visual performance. While the first part was full of experimental piano-electronic klang, the second part was a 90 minutes DJ & VJ set. Even though I’d probably cut out all of the dubstep-ish parts from the ‘Emergence’, I have to admit I was struck by the logic, story and musical vs. visual diversity. The logic of the visual was representing the chemical participles as a part of the universe, cities and human bodies, that eventually coexist and create one living mechanism.

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The radiant-looking Radialsystem V last night seemed to perfectly match its surroundings: Spree river, the moon and the first spring time night in the city. As far as I am concerned, Radialsystem V is famous for hosting multiple pieces of the renowned dancing company from Berlin: Sasha Waltz and Guests but also, various workshops dedicated to the contemporary dance and expression.

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