März – in German ‘March’ is the long month of transition in this part of the world. In between the neverending winter and the long-awaited summer, the darkness and the light, the Berlinale and the Freiluftkino season, the CTM and the Atonal. I actually love the feeling when the first, more intense rays of the morning sun burn my face on my way to work… on my bike \o/ (I love my bike, but I am not one of these Berliners riding their bikes even when temperatures drop to a negative scale!).
Two years ago, high on discovering all the new places in the city, I participated for the first time in the event organized by Berliner Festspiele in my beloved music cathedral aka Kraftwerk called ‘The Long Now’. The concept of it is to bring a super ambitious line up of electronic musicians for a 29 hours long event of the Daylight Saving Time overnight switch, allowing the participants to indulge into the darkness, even allowing some sleeping spots at the venue.
A year ago, alongside with the event, there were corresponding installations in the neighbouring Radialsystem V and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien which were pretty amazing. ‘Extended Compositions’ showed e.g. the works of weapons transformed into instruments, shooting the music, not war ❤
In Radialsystem V, the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota together with alif created a musical installation’Split in the wall’ with music as a concept of blood running through the veins – instruments.
The dreamy Long Now event will happen again this year from 25th March 18:59 till 26th March 23:59. Emerge in the lucid dreaming while in Kraftwerk, before the spring will take over the city.
And it all makes me feel how long was my winter sleep and how great is to face spring again. Simple, but happiness is free when this feeling hits!
Kraftwerk stands for the ‘power station’ in German. And there are quite a few of them remaining in the centre of Berlin nowadays, including the overpraised Berghain. Its worship makes it for one of the strongest religious movements these days and it’s only a matter of time when the local authorities will start charging for the techno tax, in my humble opinion. But there is also an actual Kraftwerk in Mitte, used only for specific venues, such as The Long Now / Atonal or currently: CTM.
So while awaiting the Deep Web performance and Robert Henke’s concert, I decided to share the set of photos that comes from the 2015 edition of Berlin Atonal festival. During some five hot days in August last year, I was lucky to praise and dance to some amazing artists, such as Ugangan Methods (Ancient Methods + Regis), Shackleton, Alessandro Cortini, Kanding Ray, Varg, Shed, Samuel Kerridge, Lakker (who presented the amazing Tundra works), and many others. I remember the very powerful opening with the voices of the Chor der Kulturen der Welt in this mighty space, as well as the screening of ‘Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay’ by Amélie Ravalec and Travis Collins.
The light and sound installations set up in the basements and various labyrynths of Kraftwerk were also ery hypnotizing, almost sleepwalking ambience. So after all, I wonder why isn’t it a spot for regular events? I guess the overwhelming size of it, and the magical atmosphere of it just doesn’t match a regular Klubnacht. I think though that if Berghain is a parochial church, Kraftwerk is the cathedral, following the sacred metaphore.
So, see you at the black (laser?) mass on Sunday!
Special thanks goes to: Aldona Weicher, the author of the featuring photo and lately my favourite profile cover. You captured me, the place and the closing moment perfectly!
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
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!
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.
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.