Music Montag: Best of Berlin 2012

by James Glazebrook

Music Montag Best of Berlin 2012

What have Roxy MusicDepeche Mode and Thom Yorke all got in common? They’re all in our epic “Best of Berlin 2012″ playlist, a collection of (most of) the tracks I’ve posted on every Music Montag for a year. But what have they got to do with Berlin? Well, you’re going to have to read the original posts to find out, which you can get to via the epic list of tags at the bottom of this post.

Or you could just listen to the playlist, which features more obviously Berlin acts like Alec Empire, Bodi BillPan-Pot and Modeselektor, plus local expat stars Emika, IAMX and Phia. You’ll notice that some of the more underground artists I covered haven’t yet made it to Spotify (sorry!), but otherwise this is a pretty well-rounded, surprisingly danceable mix, interrupted by the odd short, sharp metallic shock ;) One for Silvester, maybe? Enjoy…

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New Year’s Eve giveaway: win 2 tickets to Horst Kreuzberg’s Star-Spangled Silvester

by James Glazebrook

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we're running any open competitions] 

We love New Year’s Eve! Whether we spend it dodging fireworks on Oberbaumbrücke or tearing Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke a new k-hole, we love the excuse to get together with friends and get wasted! This year we’re planning to end up at Horst Kreuzberg’s Silvester spectacular and we have two pairs of tickets to give away to lucky readers!

Scroll down to find out how to get yourself and a friend into this awesome party (Facebook link), where Emika collaborators Brandt Brauer Frick will be DJing back-to-back, alongside Peter Van Hoesen, Evian Christ and the spectacular Objekt. To get you in the mood, here is the latter on Electronic Explorations, mixing up Jeff Mills, UR and Surgeon classics with contemporary bass tracks from Actress and Shangaan Electro.

Good luck, and Guten Rutsch!

NYE at Horst



Leave a comment below, telling us your full (real) name and one of your New Year’s Resolutions.

You have until 2pm on Monday 31st December to enter. Good luck!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
2. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner.
3. We will announced the winners via our Facebook page on Monday 31st December.


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Music Montag: Iggy Pop, “White Christmas (Dubstep Remix)”

by James Glazebrook

Iggy Pop White Christmas Dubstep remix

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The Museum of Things

by James Glazebrook

Lulu Museum of Things

The Museum of Things (Museum der Dinge) on Oranienstraße works on a couple of levels. On one hand, it’s a miscellany of stuff, grouped into cabinets of Star Wars toys, Smurfs, computer parts, things that look like boobs - all under the watchful eyes of the creepy mannequin from the cover of that dodgy Metallica/Lou Reed album, “Lulu”. On the other hand, it’s a testament to the efforts of the Deutscher Werkbund, the German Work Federation, founded in 1907 to bring the country’s product design up to speed with its competitors in England and the USA.

creepy head Museum of Things

norks Museum of Things

Also known as the Werkbundarchiv, the collection tells the story of German design in the age of industrial manufacturing, and its progression from decorative to functional design. Early cabinets show what the Werkbund was up against. Actual kitsch, devotional kitsch, home and hunter kitsch – who knew there were so many varieties of kitsch? As the years go by, it’s easy to see the federation’s influence, through success stories like its member Weck’s glass containers, which became synonymous with home canning. Quite literally – its products spawned the verb einwecken: to can, pickle or preserve something.

praying hands Museum of Things

devotional kitsch Museum of Things

The Nazis, elected to the Werkbund steering committee in 1933, greatly favoured figurative decoration and decried the abstract spray-painted ceramics of the day as “Communist crockery”. They shut down the Werkbund in 1938, but it was reestablished in 1949 to rail against the worst excesses of the postwar era. The best showcase of the federation’s aesthetic is an überminimal Bosch TV, featuring a single button, stood on a plinth in front of its polar opposite: the mammoth wood-panelled Komet combination TV/radio/phonograph, a best-seller when it was introduced in 1956.

Nazi blimp Museum of Things

little Hitler Museum of Things

The Museum der Dinge celebrates a very German phenomenon: an institution established to impose efficiency, functionality and rational design on an industry and a public, whether they liked it or not. Looking back, the Deutscher Werkbund was clearly right – we wanted to break the glass on a few cabinets and take their contents with us! And even if you’re not interested in the history of design, you’re bound to get a kick out of the strange objects crammed into the “open storage” cabinets. Mona Lisa mug, anyone?

Mona Lisa Museum of Things

glasses Museum of Things

eyeless Museum of Things

eye Museum of Things

yellow and black Museum of Things

typewriter Museum of Things

Nazi soldiers Museum of Things

assorted military Museum of Things

Barbie Museum of Things

toys Museum of Things

cabinets Museum of Things

Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge
Oranienstraße 25
10999 Berlin

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Ding dong! Win LOADS of Berlin Swag in our Big Christmas Giveaway

by James and Zoe

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we're running any open competitions] 

Check this out! As a thank you to all our loyal readers and fans, we’re giving away LOADS of Berlin swag this Christmas. Lots of kind folk have contributed to a grand prize that is worth nearly €250 (!) and includes: exclusive überlin merchandise, t-shirts from local designers, a luxury cheese and wine gift box, and some other lovely stuff produced here in the Haupstadt. Scroll down for full details of this epic prize, and to find out how to get your hands on it. Good luck, little elves!


The grand prize in full (worth nearly €250!)

1 x cheese & wine gift box from GiftsforEurope.com. This bestseller includes three distinct Primello cheeses – fresh cheese in elegant roll form with salmon, pineapple, and pepper – a gorgeous red wine from Château des Tourtes, tangy Japanese crackers, and nuts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: we can only get this prize shipped to these EU countries - if you win, and live somewhere else, you’ll just have to send the gift box to some lucky European!

1 x überlin t-shirt lovingly hand-printed here in Berlin by Mother Drucker, in our classic white-on-black colourway. Exclusive – you can’t even buy these yet!

 1 x überlin tote bag - another exclusive!

1 x t-shirt from AKA, the place we got our matching überlin tattoos. This Philippe Fernandez anatomical heart print is only available in the AKA store in Berlin!

1 x either: Bowie t-shirt or Björk t-shirt from SAY IT. Your choice of a tee featuring the most famous Berlin expat, or – for the ladies – a tank top inspired by our favourite ice queen, both hand-printed here in the city. 

1 x 2013 calendar featuring panoramic streetviews of Berlin, created by Panorama Streetline and published by archimap.

1 x Notes of Berlin book. Joab Nist of the fabulous blog Notes of Berlin has collected his favourite witty, pretty and sometimes crazy notes submitted by locals, into a book. Read more about it here.

1 x music DVD from Berlin-based “queen of electronic soul” Billie Ray Martin, “Five Takes (A Song About Andy)”, in 8 panel deluxe silver metallic packaging.

2 x free tickets for C/O Berlin photographic centre, for when you’re next in town and feel like seeing some inspirational images.

1 x set of beautiful greetings cards from Berlin-based illustrator Petal to Petalfeaturing exquisite hand-drawn snowflake designs.


How to win (it’s easy!)

Just tell us what you’d buy überlin for Christmas. Find the perfect gift for any or all of us – James, Zoë, Olive, Iggy and Otis – and we’ll pick our favourite. Be creative, and be generous – remember, we’re giving you something worth about €250!

Enter by posting a comment below, by 6pm on Christmas Eve. We’ll announce the winner our Facebook page on Christmas Day, and send out the prize shortly thereafter.

So has Santa got a bunch of Berlin swag in his sack for you? Find out by entering our Big Christmas Giveaway NOW!


The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
2. The cheese & wine gift box from GiftsforEurope.com can only be shipped to these EU countries - if you win, and live somewhere else, you’ll just have to send the gift box to some lucky European!
3. You have until 6pm (Berlin time) on Monday 24th December to enter.
4. We will announced the winners via our Facebook page on Tuesday 25th December.

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Music Montag: Carpet of Horses

by James Glazebrook

Carpet of Horses by Greta Riondato

by Greta Riondato

This picture tells you two things about this man: 1) he is from either Canada or the American Midwest, and 2) he makes folk music. Indeed, Canadian (right first time!) Tobin James Stewart makes beautiful pastoral music that delights even the most reluctant user of the f-word. His Carpet of Horses project, which started as a recording experiment in his Toronto bedroom, has travelled with him to his Berlin base via Tel Aviv, drawing in international collaborators and growing in ambition and production scale. The new six-track EP It’s Only Light, recorded across the three cities, embraces ambient atmospherics, swelling post-rock experimentalism and down-home plucked acoustic guitars. Listen to it below, buy it at the Carpet of Horses bandcamp, and make it the soundtrack to your winter.

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Fashion Freitag: Festive Fluoro

by Zoë Noble

Well Berlin has finally gone full force into scary winter and as much as I love the pretty white streets, my wardrobe has gone into survival mode in response. This unfortunately means wearing clothes to match my mood, so it’s black, black and a little bit more black for good measure! To cheer myself up I’m posting some of my favourite neon pieces to get me out of my funk. Please be warned though that only ONE item of neon should ever be worn otherwise you may be mistaken for a cyber goth or mentally unstable person. Enjoy!

Nail varnish: Illamasqua | Jacket: ACNE | Ring: Joomi Lim | Shirt: Equipment | Bag: Alexander Wang | Bracelet: Givenchy | Bag: Alexander Wang | Bag: ACNE

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Voodoo Market

by James Glazebrook

Try as we might, we just can’t get into the traditional Christmas market spirit. Sure the food and drink (Glühwein!) is great, but the stuff on sale is either crafty, or just plain crappy, and the vibe is just too… merry. Maybe we’re being Grinchy, but we’d rather spend our snowy Saturdays at one of Berlin’s many alternative Weihnachtsmarkts – like Holy Shit Shopping or, last weekend’s highlight, Voodoo Market.

Billed as “not your ordinary fleamarket“, this was our first chance to explore the new Urban Spree space at Warschauer Strasse, and catch up with some of our favourite Berlin people. We saw the studio where Mother Drucker printed up our überlin merchandise (on sale soon!), Linsey from VentureVillage getting tattooed by the AKA lot, SAY IT selling their geometric Bowie and Björk t-shirts and Josh Bauman, who was as stoked as we were about the response to our “How to Survive a Berlin Winter” collaboration. Other highlights included Berlin Cakes’ delicious cupcakes and Chop Chop Graphics, who were letting people print their own t-shirts and tote bags.

Stay tuned to Voodoo Market’s Facebook Page to find out about their upcoming events.

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Music Montag: Converge, Touché Amore

by Guest Blogger

Mike T West brings the pain.

The sound of Oranienstraße salivating is audible this week as legendary punk hotspot SO36 hosts the end times a little early with the one-two dragon-punch of post-screamo future heroes Touché Amoré and their hardcore über uncles, mothershitting Converge!

Converge European tour poster

Los Angeles five-piece Touché Amoré are back in support of last year’s blistering and confessional second album, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me. Recorded live in a mere five days it’s as close as home listeners can get to witnessing the raw, tightening tension of their concerts.

Meanwhile Converge are simply one of the most engaging and remarkable heavy bands of our times. Blending possibly most, if not all, of the “cores” into a whirlwind of noise violence, these scene veterans invented metalcore a decade ago and dumped it in a ditch with a note saying, “please abuse repeatedly”. Theirs is a sonic attack that guarantees bloodshed.

So forget the upcoming yuletide apocalypse as Kreuzberg is already hosting the after-party! Expect high-kicks, two-steps and headbanging aplenty as two of Planet Earth’s most confrontational live acts tear December in half.

FYI the nationwide emergency number for the fire brigade and emergency medical services in Germany is 112.

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Music Montag: IAMX

by James Glazebrook


The best thing to come out of the storm-in-a-teacup over *that* New York Times Aussie-slacker-in-Berlin blog was the knowledge that Chris Corner is still producing music, in Berlin – his base since 2006. Buried at the bottom of The Local’s critique, “Struggling with Berlin’s artsy hype”, was a link to IAMX, the alias under which Corner has just released a video, “The Unified Field”.

I hadn’t heard anything from the Sneaker Pimps co-founder since their largely-overlooked second album Splinter, for which Corner took over vocals and steered the trip-hop group into darker, more emo territory. That was back in 1999, which feels like a long time ago, but the singer, multi instrumentalist and video artist is still ticking all my boxes, from his motto ”electronic sex and emotional strength” to his choice of collaborators and remixers: to name a few, Combichrist, Terence Fixmer and Imogen Heap.

IAMX’s brand of electro-pop resembles a dark, twisted version of Hurts, the kind of sleek beat music that Matt Bellamy clearly wishes Muse was making. Given the industry support it deserves, the album from which “The Unified Field” is taken wouldn’t be in the crowdfunding stage, it would already be finished and finding its way into you mum’s Christmas stocking. But we sympathise with Corner’s sentiment that “Berlin has given me the spirit to care less about the music industry and take an independent route” – his creativity is clearly thriving as a result.

Go to Pledgemusic and help make the new IAMX album and DVD a reality.

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