überlin

Berlin Portrait: Dolly Demoratti of Mother Drucker

by James Glazebrook

We think that the best way to discover Berlin is through the eyes of the people who live here. For our Berlin Portrait series, we’re asking artists, musicians and other interesting Berliners to introduce us their corner of the city. Discover creative Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain with Dolly Demoratti, owner of the Mother Drucker print studio.

Dolly Demoratti Portrait in her Urbanspree Studio

So tell us: how did you end up in Berlin?

I followed a girl out here. I met somebody in London, and they said they were coming here in a few months’ time, so I ended up quitting my job and coming out here. It felt like the right time to do it… as it happens, she’s back in England and I’m out here! But it worked out really well for me, and I’m glad I made that leap.

And how long have you been here?

About three or four years… I purposefully don’t keep count. I feel slightly embarrassed because I still know so little German, so people always ask me, “how long have you been here for?” and I’ve been saying “a year” for about three years now!

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Do you feel settled here?

I definitely feel like it’s my home. I’m very happy here and I think I have more friends than I did in London, and I have a much nicer way of life. I’m working on what I always wanted to work on, which wouldn’t have been possible in London. My best friends are German, so I guess I am quite integrated here.

I don’t speak good German, which does make me feel like a bit of an outsider – but there are so many people passing through Berlin, staying for one or two years, that it’s easy to not speak the language and still feel involved in what’s happening here.

What’s the best thing about living in Berlin?

That I get to do the thing that I always want to, and get to have a studio of my own. When I was about 16, I built a darkroom in my bedroom – I’ve had an obsession with printing in all its forms since a young age. So now to be here, and have a studio – with my own printing press – is just great.

Dolly Demoratti Portrait in her Urbanspree Studio

And what are your favourite places in Berlin?

Urban Spree, where my studio is, is developing all the time. It’s an art space, with an “atelier”, sharing vibe, and now a venue for gigs and parties. They asked me to move in here before Urban Spree had opened, and even knocked down a wall for me! I had the first exhibition in the main hall, which was completely trashed – of all these shiny, perfect bicycles hanging in this fucked-up space…

Dolly Demoratti Portrait in her Urbanspree Studio

Markthalle Neun on Eisenbahnstraße is fantastic. I had my first studio on that street, right when they re-opened the market. I really liked the community vibe of what Markthalle Neun did, going around the block asking everyone what they should do with the space – it was a community decision. People were proposing different ideas like – someone wanted to open a kind of Victorian swimming pool – and in the end, the consensus was to take it back to its original use: a food market. Any kind of restoration of anything, rather than scrapping it or changing or modernising it… I just love it when things are taken back to their original state.

Dolly Demoratti Portrait at Urbanspree

The Künstlerhaus Bethanien is another building that survived the war. They have the most fantastic print studio there, which so many people don’t know about. Downstairs, it’s almost a museum of old machinery to do with printing, lots of letterpresses and cutting machines, and it just smells so old! You can only get there via one lift in the print studio, which no one knows is there.

…and I go to Tempelhof most Sundays, to either exercise or just cruise around on my bike. I love it out there…

Dolly Demoratti Portrait at Urbanspree

Dolly Demoratti Portrait against Fingaz Grafitti

Dolly Demoratti Portrait sitting in front Fingaz Grafitti

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Dolly is organising Druck Berlin 2013, an art festival focused on screen printing, at Stadtbad Wedding. Check out the Druck Berlin website for full details.

Restaurant Tim Raue

by James Glazebrook

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal

If you’re in Berlin and into food, you will have heard of Tim Raue. The former delinquent from Kreuzberg is the ultimate Berliner-made-good, now running three restaurants, including his eponymous flagship – one of just four Berlin establishments to have earned two Michelin stars. We were lucky enough to be invited to Restaurant Tim Raue and sat at the chef’s table (The Krug Table), for an introduction from the man himself. Raue started us off with eight small dishes, which illustrated how he tailors Asian cuisine to fit European tastes – and in the case of the not-actually-alive drunken prawns – local food laws! Over six succulent courses, we sampled high-quality ingredients prepared meticulously, from caviar to Cantonese-style langoustine to truffle brought all the way from Australia. We aren’t the food writers to do Restaurant Tim Raue justice, so we’ll leave that to Berlin Food Stories, and jump straight into the pretty pictures – feast your eyes!

Tim Raue Restaurant Menu

Tim Raue Restaurant Starter Closeup

Tim Raue Restaurant Gurken Dish

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal Shot from Above

Tim Raue Restaurant Dessert

Music Montag: ghostandthesong

by James Glazebrook

ghostandthesong by Nils Delfmann from http://fischerfrisch.tumblr.com

ghostandthesong by Nils Delfmann from http://fischerfrisch.tumblr.com

Sometimes real music journalism puts us to shame. “Berlin art rock experimentalists ghostandthesong soundtrack many things. Long walks along the sea at night; Finding a hidden message written inside a wall addressed to your unborn child; Having Lovecraft stories read to you by a young child” – Blitzgigs. Between that and the Berlin project’s description of itself as “imploding pop”, we have little to add; instead, we’ll share ghostandthesong’s “Sledgehammer”-meets-Terry Gilliam-meets-all-kinds-of-awesome video for “ou inme” (directed by hypertrashwonderland):

Hund in Herbst

by Zoë Noble

autumn leaves and olive

Hasenheide park

autumn leaves and grass with feet

olive french bulldog in autumn

autumn red leaves

olive in Hasenheide dog park

Alberto Madrigal: A real job

by James Glazebrook

Alberto Madrigal Berlin cityscapeOne for our Spanish and Italian readers and all lovers of beautiful illustration. “Un lavoro vero” (A real job) is the tale of Javi, an unpublished comic artist who moves from Spain to Berlin to follow his dreams. Family and friends keep telling him to drop it and look for a real job, but he has no answer for them, because he hasn’t drawn anything for months. Created by Berlin-based Spaniard Alberto Madrigal, this is a very personal story, yet one that will ring true with anyone living an expat life here in Berlin. I’ve had a sneak peek at an English version, which will hopefully be out to buy in the future, but “Un lavoro vero” is already available in Italian by Bao Publishing and will be published in Spanish in December. Follow Alberto on Tumblr to find out when “A real job” is available in your language.

Alberto Madrigal Un lavoro vero cover
Alberto Madrigal Un lavoro vero boarding plane
Alberto Madrigal Un lavoro vero TV tower
Alberto Madrigal Un lavoro vero Wohnung
Alberto Madrigal Un lavoro vero Wohnung 2
Alberto Madrigal Un lavoro vero Wohnung 3
Alberto Madrigal Un lavoro vero winter

Win tickets to The Dillinger Escape Plan!!!

by James Glazebrook

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

When was the last time you saw a frontman risk concussion and third-degree tongue burns, while performing a DEPECHE MODE cover? Enter The Dillinger Escape Plan, probably the most ferocious live band in metal today:

HOW TO WIN 2 X TICKETS FOR THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN AT LIDO ON 16TH OCTOBER:

Love the smell of lighter fluid in the moshpit? Just answer this question in the comments below:

What’s the most kick-ass live show you’ve ever seen?

You have until 6pm on Sunday 13th October. Good luck!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
2. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON!
3. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner.
4. Remember to include your full (real) name or we won’t be able to put you on the guestlist!
5. We will announced the winners via our Facebook page on Monday 14th October.

Full concert details on Songkick.

Silo

by James Glazebrook

Silo Friedrichshain

We may be wrong, but it feels like there’s been no decent coffee in Friedrichshain since No Fire, No Glory moved up to P Berg. So we welcome Silo, recently opened by two Aussies bringing with them flat white-making skills and a shared obsession with all things caffeinated. They’re indebted to The Barn, which is where they source their roasted beans and borrow some of their techniques, but they beat out Mitte’s micro-café in square meterage, interior design and welcoming atmosphere. Try the filter coffee specials – I enjoyed a blueberry-imbued Ethiopian – or go on Tuesday, for one of Silo’s public cuppings (full details on their Facebook page).

Silo Friedrichshain bar

Silo Friedrichshain abstract painting

Silo Friedrichshain roasted in Berlin

Silo Friedrichshain Olive

Silo Friedrichshain books

Silo Friedrichshain Olive close up