Music Montag: Best of Berlin 2014

by James Glazebrook

There’s nothing like a Music Montag end of year playlist to make you realise just how diverse the Berlin music scene is! Bookended by classic Zo√ę favourites that drive home the dominance of the city’s clubbing industry, elsewhere this year’s Best of Berlin runs the gammut of genres. There’s electro pop, indie, weirdo synth explorations, progressive metal, a healthy chunk of Bowie covers… even a hilarious advertising jingle and a track from a rock opera for kids! Hope you enjoy this pick-and-mix of the most interesting music (mostly) produced in Berlin this year. Boom.

Want to walk your ears down memory lane? Check out the Music Montag: Best of Berlin 2013 and the best of 2012.

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Music Montag: Billie Ray Martin and Aerea Negrot

by James Glazebrook

Billie Ray Martin and Aerea Negrot

Two of our favourite divas together on one track! “Off The Rails” unites legendary house singer Billie Ray Martin with A√©rea Negrot, one of Hercules and Love Affair’s rotating cast of characters, on an old-school, dance-around-the-handbags club track. If you like this, you should buy it on BRM’s Bandcamp, and also check out this great Electronic Beats conversation between the two singers.

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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 ‚ā¨250 (!) and includes:¬†exclusive √ľberlin 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 ‚ā¨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 Ch√Ęteau 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 √ľberlin 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 √ľberlin tote bag¬†- another exclusive!

1 x t-shirt from AKA, the place we got our matching √ľberlin 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 Рfor the ladies Рa 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,¬†‚ÄúFive Takes (A Song About Andy)‚ÄĚ,¬†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 Petal, featuring exquisite hand-drawn snowflake designs.


How to win (it’s easy!)

Just tell us what you’d buy √ľberlin for Christmas. Find the perfect gift for any or all of us – James, Zo√ę, Olive, Iggy and Otis – and we’ll pick our favourite.¬†Be creative, and be generous – remember, we’re giving you something worth about ‚ā¨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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Win a signed Bodi Bill art book and other goodies!

by James Glazebrook

Heads up¬†Bodi Bill¬†fans: we have a signed, limited edition copy of their new “MERK:WHAT” book to give away. Scroll down to see how you can get an intimate look at the guys behind beautiful Berlin music like this:

The “MERK:WHAT” project existed in the minds of Bodi Bill for a long time.¬†Berlin photographer and¬†good friend¬†Rosa Merk joined the band on tour last year, and took a series of intimate pictures of them both on- and backstage. She was there to capture the joy, the tears, the ecstasy… and the rain! The result is a 96-page, limited edition, hot pink book – and we have a signed copy to give away! If your German’s up to it, you can read about the book and the glamorous Berlin launch party on the Disaronno blog.

Bodi Bill on stage

Reading “MERK:WHAT” is so much like actually being there, that we thought you’d need some extra goodies while you’re fantasising that you’re on tour with the band. We’re throwing in a luxurious Traveler’s Notebook to record your memories (“Fabian just winked at me – swoon”), and a suitably sophisticated DVD to watch on the tour bus – (in your head) the guys *will* be impressed!

Bodi Bill grand prize

The complete GRAND PRIZE:

1 x Bodi Bill “MERK:WHAT” book, signed by all three band members and the photographer. Limited edition (32/500).

1 x Midori Traveler’s Notebook, passport size,¬†in handcut leather complete with set of inserts (ruled, grid and plain paper; zipper and cardfile; alphabet stencils; and a limited edition Traveler’s Passport).¬†Worth over ‚ā¨60 in total.

1 x¬†¬†Billie Ray Martin DVD, “Five Takes (A Song About Andy)”¬†in 8 panel deluxe silver metallic packaging.

Plus Billie Ray Martin DVDs for 2 lucky runners-up

To be in with a chance of winning these sweet prizes, just leave us a comment below. You have until the end of Sunday 9th September, when we’ll pick our winner and two runners-up. Good luck!

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The Weekend in Berlin, August 2nd – 5th

by James Glazebrook

The Weekend in Berlin, August 2nd – 5th

Incoming! EPIC weekend on the way here in Berlin – so I’ll cut the crap and skip straight to the awesome. Viel Spa√ü!

Storified by √ľberlin · Wed, Aug 01 2012 22:51:28

Thursday 2nd August

Too Young To Be Old @ Idrawalot Gallery
Spanish graphic designer and illustrator CH√ćA opens her solo exhibition at Neuk√∂lln gallery Idrawalot.
Artist Spotlight – CH√ćA (Luc√≠a Walter)ADRN
Jonah Matranga @ White Trash Fast Food
Former frontman of post-hardcore legends Far gets acoustic and emotional at WTFF.
Jonah Matranga – Livin’ Small – http://jonahmatranga.comjonahmatrangadotcom
live: JONAH MATRANGA (onelinedrawing/newendoriginal, singer/songwriter, US) + PETULA (postsomething) – White Trash Fast Foodat the Restaurant JONAH MATRANGA (onelinedrawing/newendoriginal, singer/songwriter, US) Jonah Matranga is essentially unique. His music i…
Y‚ā¨$ 1 ‚ā¨UROSHOP @ Retramp Gallery
Curious art happenings at this ”discount pleasure dome and the future of shopping!” Until Sunday all (redundant) items can be bought for ‚ā¨1… used once and then thrown away.
Y‚ā¨$ 1 ‚ā¨UROSHOP | Facebookundefined
Billie Ray Martin live show / DVD release party @ Art’otel City Centre West
Berlin’s “queen of electronic soul” pays tribute to Andy Warhol in five films, screened for the first time, alongside a live performance and DJ set.
Billie Ray Martin X Andy WarholWe’re big fans of both Billie Ray Martin and Andy Warhol, which is why we’re looking forward to the latest project from Berlin’s "queen o…

Friday 3rd August

Berlin International Beer Festival
Three days of sampling beers from the Baltics… PROST!

16. Internationales Bierfestival 2012The 16th International From August 3rd to 5th , 2012 The motto of 2012 is " Beers of the region of the Baltic Sea " The festival beers of…
Coffee Academy’s Grand Opening
Coffee Circle’s cafe, with its admirable philosophy “Life is Long Enough for Hand-Made Coffee“, finally opens its doors.
Coffee Academy’s Grand Opening | Facebookundefined

FUZI UVTPK meets Salon Renate

Idiosyncratic “ignorant” ink artist does all-night tattoo sessions in Neuk√∂lln’s Salon Renate.
FUZI UVTPK meets SALON RENATE | FacebookSign Up Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

Saturday 4th August

Berlin Slowlympics
Come down to Tempelhof to see our team “Slow Runnings” disgrace ourselves at Slow Travel Berlin’s silly alternative to the Olympic Games. It’s for charidee!
Berlin SlowlympicsAs some of you already know, on the 4th August 2012 we will be hosting the Berlin Slowlympics. Timed to coincide with the London Olympics…

Sunday 5th August

Traditional Sunday Roast @ Agora Collective
Meat and two veg (and Yorkshire puds AND gravy!!!!!) at Berlin’s coolest co-working space.
Traditional Sunday Roast | Facebookundefined
Nowkölln Flowmarkt
Neuk√∂lln’s raddest flea market sets up along Maybachufer.
Home | Nowkoelln Flowmarktmehr Info: http://intiche.bandcamp.com/
The Istanbul Sommer Tee Garten

The opening of a unique summertime eventthat aims to bring people from all walks of life together to share Turkish tee, games and conversations in Neukölln.

Istanbul Sommer Teegartentriage live art collective
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Billie Ray Martin X Andy Warhol

by James Glazebrook

Billie Ray Martin Andy Warhol

We’re big fans of both Billie Ray Martin and Andy Warhol, which is why we’re looking forward to the latest project from Berlin’s “queen of electronic soul”, Five Takes (A song about Andy). BRM is unveiling Five Takes at a very special event at the Art’otel (Warhol Hotel) Berlin, who are offering a discount room rate to anyone in town for the event. But first, a few words from the artist behind the work:

Billie Ray Martin releases this 8 panel deluxe DVD, featuring five movies inspired by Andy Warhol‚Äės Screen Tests and printed in colour and silver metallic. The song “On Borrowed Time” deals with Andy‚Äôs fictional confession, in which he reflects on his existence and a life he always experienced as less than real. With music by electronic producer and soul singer Waterson, who is riding high on the airwaves with his single “When You Tell Me That You Love Me”.

Why not join us to see this intriguing work revealed on Thursday 2nd August? For more details, and for a peek behind the scenes of the making of the films, join the Facebook event here. To book a room at the Art’otel City Centre West for just ‚ā¨60, just give them a call and mention this event. See you in there. Did we mention that Warhol wigs are compulsory?*

Billie Ray Martin black and white

*no, not really

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Music Montag: Mode, MOTOR and the Martins

by James Glazebrook

Depeche Mode, 1993

What a great week for Depeche Mode fans! Firstly, Martin Gore has added vocals to the title track of MOTOR‘s brand new album, Man Made Machine. Check out his contribution below, and visit Amazon to pick up a silver foil-packed copy of the album (which also features our other favourite Martin, Billie Ray – Berlin’s queen of electronic soul).

Then on Friday, I’ll be DJing at Feeling Modey, Feeling Gloomy Berlin’s Depeche Mode party. Click here for full details, but all you *really* need to know is that I’ll be playing back-to-back classics from Mode and their offshoots, and that it will be five times as awesome as my already-pretty-awesome playlist below. It’s going to be MORE THAN A PARTY! (yeah?)

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Music Montag: Billie Ray Martin

by James Glazebrook

Billie Ray Martin
Too much man-ass.

That’s my only criticism of the artful new video from “queen of electronic soul” Billie Ray Martin. High concept, high drama, with washed-out colours and abstract cinematography, “Anatomy Of A Plastic Girl” tells the tale of

a young wannabe actress in L.A. who reflects on her facial surgery that has left her scarred and punctured with holes inside and out

…but, thankfully, not all that graphically.

Equally inventive is Martin’s new album, Hollywood Under the Knife, a co-production with Norwegian musician Robert Solheim – together, The Opiates. Wrapped in Wolfgang Tillmans imagery, it contains intricate character sketches of nine different misfits, each given voice by the singer’s pristine, powerful vocals. It might sound odd and off-putting, but some hack’s description of The Opiates as “the electronic Carpenters” is pretty dead-on.

Ignore Martin’s past as frontwoman for S’Xpress, The Grid etc. and treat this not so much as a new chapter, as a whole new storybook. Turn the page…

This article originally appeared on Bang Bang Berlin.

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