Music Montag: Classical Going Underground

by James Glazebrook

This edition of Stay True Germany, produced by the Boiler Room crew, focuses on the connections between classical and electronic music, which are particularly strong in Berlin and Deutschland as a whole. The beautiful mini-doc includes some of our favourite producers, including Carl Craig, Francesco Tristano and Berlin’s own Brandt Brauer Frick, so it’s well worth a watch. Also, look out for Klavírní, the forthcoming classically-influenced album from Emika, . Check her Facebook page for updates.

Emika Klavirni

Win 2 tickets to Berlin Atonal 2013: Forming Space

by James Glazebrook

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

Berlin Atonal flyer

There’s no shortage of summer festivals in Germany, but few of them have the legendary status of Berlin Atonal. The festival for sonic and visual art, first held in SO36 in 1982, hosted innovative and experimental acts like Einstürzende Neubauten, Psychic TV and 808 State before closing in 1990, when founder Dimitri Hegemann went on to open the iconic club Tresor.

Back after a 23 year(!) hiatus, the 2013 edition of Berlin Atonal is relaunching with an intriguing theme, “Forming Space”, an exciting new venue – the labyrinth former industrial complex of Kraftwerk Berlin – and a jaw-dropping line up. The stunning six-day programme includes techno founding father Juan Atkins performing alongside Basic Channel’s Moritz von Oswald, überlin faves Brandt Brauer Frick and Francesco Tristano, as well as Kanding Ray, Raime, Actress and a host of other great artists. Tune into the acts on Last.fm, and scroll down for your chance to win 2 x one-day passes to Berlin Atonal 2013.

Kraftwerk Berlin


Want to win 2 passes to the day of your choice, at the Berlin Atonal 2013 festival? Just answer this question in the comments below:

Simply go to the Berlin Atonal website and tell us which day you would like to attend. We know it’s a difficult choice, but one worth making – because you and a friend could win the chance to catch the artists of your choosing!

You have until 6pm on Friday 6th July. Good luck!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
3. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winners.
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 Saturday 7th July.

Music Montag: Strings of Life

by James Glazebrook

Derrick May
Ahead of this week’s panel discussion The Detroit-Berlin Connection I wanted to post the best track ever to come out of Motor City. Easier said than done, with friends suggesting everything from Motown to the MC5, J Dilla to detroit techno. Struggling with what @RichardKovitch called an “impossible task” (“Difficult to think of any City in the 20th C with a musical legacy quite as immense as Detroit”), I went with the obvious – techno anthem Strings of Life:

Rather than trying to describe the track and its impact, I’ll leave that to creator Derrick May and fans Doves and Hacienda DJ Mike Pickering:

Strings of Life has been reinterpreted many times, but the closest I could get to a Berlin version was this take, from Munich producer Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson. I know, not very close at all (sorry Germans!), but still – shuffling jazzy goodness:

But my absolute favourite version of Strings is this solo piano version from Francesco Tristano Schlimé, who has also covered Jeff Mill’s The Bells and recorded at Planet E Communications, the studio owned by current king of Detroit techno Carl Craig:

If you want less plink-plonk and more donk-donk, check out this “Detroit Berlin Mix” from Nat Alexander, which features tracks from Motor City maestros Mills, German counterparts like Basic Channel, and cross-pollinations between the two cities:

The Detroit-Berlin Connection is a panel discussion on urban renewal in post-industrial cities. RSVP here and join us.