Friday, 16 May 2008 and Saturday, 17 May 2008 Berlin, Germany
Europe’s number one party this week is an entire weekend dedicated to both the Playhouse-Klang and Spectral Sound dynasties at Berlin’s industrial beast, the Berghain/Panorama Bar. P-K label masterminds Ata and Heiko MSO divvy up day one supported by Pär Grindvik and Sami Koivikko, while day two is left to the sleazy race-car electro and techno of Raudive as well as Jörn Elling Wuttke and Roman Flügel in their Alter Ego guise. Meanwhile in the Panorama Bar, electro-turned-minimal convert Holger Zilske pairs with minimal house specialist Losoul while former indie buff Daso Franke reprazents for Spectral Sound. RA checked in with Herr Franke ahead of the event.
How are you?
A little wacky.
What is it you especially like about the Berghain and Panorama Bar?
The first time I played there was in the Panorama Bar. I was really new to this whole techno thing. They brought me to the stage from the back entrance and everything went well. People freaked out and I thought, “Okay, that’s the legendary Panorama bar”. And then I found a door and suddenly this huge hall opened up under my feet. This massive beating monster with only half naked men dancing in it. It was like a movie.
Do you see the same things when you go back there now?
Yeah but now it seems normal.
Normal is 700 half naked men dancing with tourist girls. The other thing everybody will tell you about is the opening of the shutters. When it’s light outside, they open the shades at peaks in the music. It's amazing. People go crazy. I always wait to see if some of them will turn to dust.
Vampires like techno?
Hahaha, you know the scene from Blade.
Do you get different vibes from different cities?
Sure. Zurich is never wrong. And Berlin too.
Are they different from one another?
Yes. In Zurich the Swiss party people are more relaxed and in Berlin it’s one endless party so people are more wasted.
What’s your most memorable city?
I love big cities so Tokyo's my favourite. I can't wait to go back there. You can run around with open eyes. It just feels like you are Alice in Wonderland. Everything is so strange. I would love to live there for a while.
When you're not in Germany, what do you miss?
It depends which country you’re in. You always miss the stuff that’s not there so in Mexico City I missed the clean air. In London I missed the prices. In New York the party culture.
Who are the most fashionable people?
Swedish people are really classy but I love the English hipsters with all their crazy outfits.
Have you ever been to a party where you thought "This is TOO MUCH"??
Sometimes at Bar 25 when I’ve been there for two days and start to get sober I think “What the fuck am I doing here?" and just escape back home.
Friday, 16 May 2008, Bristol, England
Bristol Bloggers Tape take over Native’s intimate 200-capacity space with a double helping of Modern Love in the form of Pendle Coven and MLZ. Expect a wonky futuristic vortex of analogue and digital from Pendle Coven, aka Miles Whittaker and Gary Howell. Plus, when Whittaker takes a solo turn as MLZ, beats shall heave deeply and bass will hang alone. Patchwerk Man returns to the stage after a decade-long hiatus.
Inner city pick: When random nights at the Mud Dock-ed Thekla club become too familiar, the best place for seclusion is the charismatic Highbury Vaults on St Michael’s Hill where the guest ales, rabbit warren aesthetics and fabulous beer garden always delight.
Friday, 16 May 2008, Barcelona, Spain
Behold, the monsters of remix. Barcelona's Razzmatazz complex is under siege from a convergence of indie rock and electronic mayhem. Between them, this fizzing clique have touched up Kylie, Chromeo, Killers, Calvin, Klaxons, Roxy Music and New Order (amongst others). Matt Edwards, aka Radio Slave, leaves the remix desk to dish up hypnotic techno and house in The Loft; The Glimmers give new album Gee Gee Fazzi an airing and Kitsuné's Guns N Bombs rock the Justice robot.
Inner city pick: A short hike from Poblenou metro station and suddenly your clothing begins to disappear - Mar Bella Beach, Barcelona’s ‘unofficial’ nudist hangout.
Friday, 16 May 2008, Frankfurt, Germany
Sven Vath resumes control of his Cocoon empire high above the crowd in the suspended pulpit. Joining him will be the pleasure-seeking commander of minimal house and deep techno, Luciano, whose motley Swiss-Chilean ancestory has developed his Cadenza Records into a true pearl of pastiche.
Inner city pick: Swanky, bijou and swathed in scarlet, the instantly funky Die Rote Bar in Mainkai is a deliciously lascivious hideout that demands intrigue even for the lavatories.
Saturday, 17 May 2008, London, England
Detroit's eminent brothers Lawrence and Lenny Burden, aka Octave One, will be putting this four-part bonanza to bed with a dollop of live techno fresh from the D in the cosy, brick-arched Corsica Studios. Prowling the middle grounds between deep house and minimal techno, Moon Harbour’s Matthias Tanzmann plonks a 3-hour groove right in the melee. Meanwhile, Ewan Pearson flaunts some of his sizeable and eclectic record collection.
Inner city pick:For dark dungeon-like explorations into fantasy, head for the small door marked Shunt Lounge right next to the London Bridge tube exit.
Saturday, 17 May 2008, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Achtung, achtung, the Germans are coming! Eindhoven's top night plummets back to earth with a stout parade of live Deutsche Männer: Johannes Heil, the robust Datapunk/Kanzleramt spinner, delivers an oily mix of minimal while the simmering techno of mighty Ben ‘Berghain’ Klock will create a sturdy transition into Gabriel Ananda's fervent, Jack-of-all-trades set. The structured blend of Ananda's tools means his ravey, melodic house and techno oozes with the essence of Väth. Quitters need not apply.
Inner city pick: Once a factory for producing light bulbs, now utilised as a gallery to house collections of art and sculpture, the Centrum Kunstlicht in de kunst devotes itself to man’s unending obsession with artificial light.
Saturday 17 May 2008, Bucharest, Romania
The big names are flocking to Arenele Romane and none are as large as Booka Shade. RA’s industrious darlings hit Bucharest smack in the midst of a 20-month tour, showcasing material from their forthcoming third album The Sun & The Neon Light plus (we hope) a few of their standards. No 'White Rooms'? Demand a refund. Get Physical’s Lopazz and local lads Livio & Roby spice up the mix.
Inner city pick: For a double-layered warehouse of beatnik intimacy, clamber into the Opium Studio on Strada Horei where music and visage exist in equal parts surreal and retro.
Saturday 17 May, 2008, Amsterdam, Netherlands
There’s those that like it deep, and there’s those that like it WAY deep. This two-part special concluding next month is a near replica of the Rush Hour vs Dekmantel gig last October barring the addition of hot techno prospect Newworldaquarium and Ra.H aka Morphosis, the mouth that speaks only in fat beats. Churning out dirty, deep-rooted house and tech is Motown Mike (Huckaby), possibly the most unappreciated top-notch producer ever to launch from Detroit.
Inner city pick: From inspirational new fashions to retro music, furniture, books and cars, the warehouse-sized emporium known as SPRMRKT is so edgy you could almost fall right off.
Sunday, 17 May 2008, Zurich, Switzerland
Label boss Triple R oversees a playful roster of Traum fiends for the Zurich pitstop of the label's 10th Anniversary tour including Get Physical transplants Nôze and UND. Expect Nôze's rude and riotous live set set to waver somewhere between sound and spectacle interrupted by deranged, vocal barks. UND, he of "fox in the box, shit in the fridge" fame should also trigger a singalong, too.
Inner city pick: Zurich's Panthera Records is a two-storey den of techno, trance, house and garage owned by Rewax Records boss Rolf Graf.
Sunday, 18 May 2008, Paris, France
Bang in the middle of a pays d'origine mini tour, Ed Banger slides into the French capital in support of their impending compilation, Volume Trois. At this stage, all that's known is the date, but the twisted list of unmixed varietals on the album (Justice, Medhi, Uffie, Oizo) might clue you in to who label maestro Pedro Winter has in mind.
Inner city pick: Join a movement that actually moves - Critical Mass is a frequent meeting of the rollerskating masses in order to take back the streets of Paris.