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…

Music Montag: Kareem

by James Glazebrook

Kareem on myspace

Mysterious Berlin producer Kareem popped up on my radar last week, when Boomkat dedicated their 14 Tracks selection to him. I can’t decide if I prefer their description of the Zhark Recordings chief…

Since 1996 Berlin’s Kareem has forged a steely, blackened body of work spanning Industrial Techno, Hip Hop and Drone… minimal and broodingly cinematic feel… girder-strength, pneumatic pounders… set his sound with a resolutely gloomy and dystopian mood

…or his own…

the Zharkesthetic lies in conveying a claustrophobic state > an atmosphere of threatening sound architecture and almost static soundwalls

Whichever way you slice it, this isn’t easy listening. Kareem’s hip hop work is scowling and downcast, his industrial productions suitably hard-line, and his techno tunnels deep. But while his back catalogue drills seams between the Tresor old school and Berghain’s new breed (Emika, Tommy Four Seven), his experiments with different styles are too varied to ever feel like actual punishment.

Check out this Zhark video – which must date back to the label’s early days – and, if you’re feeling brave, visit Boomkat to download 14 Tracks: The Unheimlich Manoeuvres of Kareem. Stay strong.