uberlin

Boiler Room Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Modeselektor at Boiler Room Berlin

The Berlin outpost of the world’s leading underground music show, Boiler Room, has been broadcasting from the unique space of Stattbad Wedding for about 18 months now. During that time, the former swimming pool has hosted some of the best DJs and electronic acts in the world, including Carl Craig, Richie Hawtin, DJ Hell and ĂĽberlin faves Modeselektor (celebrating above), Objekt, Redshape and Ellen Allien.

Boiler Room Berlin

Boiler Room Berlin is strictly invite-only, and we’ve been lucky enough to get into this Thursday’s CTM festival special. The frankly ridonkulous lineup includes Kangding Ray, dub master Pole and Mr. Digital Hardcore himself, the mighty Alec Empire! If you can’t physically be there, tune into boilerroom.tv at 8pm (7pm GMT) to catch all the action. In the meantime, I’ve tried to pick some favourites from the archives, in which pretty much every set is a highlight, for your home viewing pleasure:

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Another Year in Berlin: überlin’s Highlights of 2012

by James and Zoe

Wow, what a year! It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Berlin two years – because it feels like we’ve lived here forever, yet sometimes it’s like we’ve just stepped off the plane. That’s the enduring freshness of love, I guess. Too sappy? Then maybe we’ll just skip to our highlights of 2012: our favourite moments and places, most awesome blog posts, and all the other (furry) little things that made the year our best yet.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: January

The Loxx Miniature Railway version of Berlin is probably the city’s best-kept secret, or at least it was until our photos ended up on the front page of The Guardian website. Small world(!) – on our second visit to the mini-Berlin on top of Alexa mall, we ran into Dave from the blog Andberlin – who also named Loxx as one of his highlights of the year. This is the perfect place to go on a rainy winter’s day.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: February

To celebrate Zoë’s birthday we went to Stockholm and Copenhagen and while we were there, visited the most beautiful and inspiring place we’ve ever been. Looking back at our post about the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, I feel like my words fail to live up to Zo’s stunning photos, and even those can’t capture the breathtaking beauty of the museum and its coastal environment. We thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Scandinavia, but the Louisiana was the hands-down highlight.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: March

The first of our articles to appear on The Guardian, 5 Apps Berlin Really Needs, was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the buzzy, bubbly startup capital of Europe. Our iProtest app concept gamified civil disobedience, while Angry Berliners turned German bureaucracy into an addictive platform game. Our Buskamatic app aside, March was a great month for music – Modeselektor released the iconic video for their “Berlin” anthem, and we discovered Big Stu’s comedy rap tributes to Hühnerhaus and Kottbusser Tor.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: April

Our personal highlight of the year has to be getting our hands on this little ball of cute. In fact, Olive is probably many readers’ main reason for visiting the blog – we might be better off training her to work a camera and a laptop and leaving her to it! The unofficial überlin mascot, Big Ö is recognised way more frequently than we are, and has turned up in the unlikeliest of places – including an Instagram tutorial video and a conversation with a Bully-obsessed stranger at my cousin’s wedding (“you own Olive the dog?!!!”). Apart from welcoming our fuzzy daughter to the fold, we also ate the meal of the year (with matched cocktails!) at Rollin Restaurant.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: May

If our May pick was a movie it would be the überlin prequel, Escape from Newcastle. While our home toon stands for everything we hate (or is that the other way around?), we still have a soft spot for the football-loving Stella-downing lads and lasses we grew up with – something we hope came across in our “origin story”, From Geordie Shore to Germany. Back in Berlin, visiting friends introduced us to the Ramones Museum, the only such institute devoted to the Detroit proto-punks in the whole world, the personal collection of a Berliner who must be their greatest fan.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: June

It might seem obvious, but our What I Know about Germans post is like David Hasslehoff’s “Looking For Freedom”: ubiquitous, infectious, and every German loves it ;) . Credit for our “greatest hit” actually goes to writer Liv Hambrett, for her keen observations about her adopted countrymen, and illustrator Mischief Champion who’s busy bringing them to life for WIKAG – the book! Photo op of the month (year?) had to be Berlin Gay Pride 2012 – so many queers! So many colours!

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: July

It seems like a long time since Zoë spent a boiling Berlin Fashion Week maximising her time in the air-conditioned tent, and occasionally popping outside to photograph slebs like Fashionbloggerin Miggy. Lucky for us, she braved the heat long enough to get these impressions of Berlin Fashion Week SS13.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: August

While Peaches was never exactly a reason for moving to Berlin, we’ve never been able to think about the city without picturing her merkin. Since we arrived, we’ve been lucky enough to see her twice: “doing herself” live on stage and orchestrating a protest/video shoot in support of Pussy Riot. We weren’t the only starstruck fans following this freak parade into Mauerpark, and it was impressive to see Ms Nisker whipping up a storm to publicise an important – and still ongoing – cause. Less colourful, but no less eye-opening, was guest blogger Russell Dornan’s look behind the closed doors of Berlin’s Natural History Museum.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: September

You Know You’re a Berliner When… you pose for a photo pretending the TV Tower is your penis, which then becomes a lightning rod for critics of hipsters, expats and archisexts (I made this one up). Having regular “Berlinergasms” was just one of 11 sure-fire signs that you’ve become a Berliner, along with dancing in a U-Bahn station and witnessing at least one daily act of crazy. Zoë saw more craziness at London Fashion Week SS13 – here is just a taste.

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: October

October was a month of light and dark. The gloomy nights provided the perfect backdrop for the Festival of Lights and (we think) our animated GIFs were the perfect demonstration of the event’s kaleidoscopic displays. Far less joyful was Berlin Crawling: 10 Halloween Horror Films, a list of creepshows shot here in the Haupstadt, ranging from the slick (the neo-Giallo short Yellow) to the just plain sick (corpse love story Nekromantik).

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: November

We’re so glad Phia agreed to be the first subject in our series of Berlin portraits. We’d heard the Australian singer/songwriter/thumb-pianist at an intimate concert in a fellow musician’s house, and loved her stories and songs about her granddad, a Berliner, and what it meant to live in his hometown. We spent a beautiful, crisp day discovering her Berlin, and sharing our love for the creative, open city we now call home. Oh, and we celebrated two years of überlin/living in Berlin!

ĂĽberlin's highlights of 2012: December

As we entered our third winter in Berlin, we thought we should share the survival skills we’ve picked up with expats who’ve recently arrived from warmer climes. With the help of Josh Bauman’s awesome caricatures of us (and Olive!), our more-or-less practical tips about How to Survive a Berlin Winter helped to restore calm among the panicky sun-botherers freaking out at the first sight of snow. I wonder if anyone’s quit their job or grown a beard on our advice? And giving away €250 of Berlin-themed swag was a great way to end another awesome year of überlin.

Join us in 2013 for more Berlin love and LOLs. Happy New Year!

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Music Montag: Best of Berlin 2012

by James Glazebrook

Music Montag Best of Berlin 2012

What have Roxy Music, Depeche 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 Bill, Pan-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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Music Montag: Puppetmastaz

by James Glazebrook

puppetmastaz

HIP HOP PUPPETS! Only in Berlin could these plush motherfuckers and Modeselektor collaborators make a living doing this!

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Playlist: Best of the Berlin Festival 2012

by James Glazebrook

Is it too early to get excited about the Berlin Festival? Butbutbut… the line-up this year is actually pretty good! Gone are the Britpop hasbeens of 2011, and in their place are the hottest young indie-dance crossover bands, cutting-edge electronica, and a clutch of homegrown talent. The German scene is well-represented this year, by The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble, Digitalism, Raop (Rap + Pop) group Cro, and new blood Frittenbude and Etnik – as well as Berlin’s own Modeselektor, Dumme Jungs, I Heart Sharks and Paul Kalkbrenner.

All of that, plus Little Dragon, Grimes, SBTRKT, Orbital AND MORE will make for some difficult choices, but you will definitely find me front-and-centre when Sigur RĂłs hit the Tempelhof stage, with tears streaming down my stupid emo face. In order to get you as prematurely excited as I am, I’ve compiled a Spotify Playlist: Best of the Berlin Festival 2012 containing some of the guaranteed highlights. Click to listen or grab the link – and GET YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!

Berlin Festival 2012
7th – 8th September
Flughafen Tempelhof, Berlin
berlinfestival.de

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Music Montag: Modeselektor with Thom Yorke

by James Glazebrook

What was I just saying about my obsession with Modeselektor and their labelmates’ output? Well the new German kings of the music video have just released the follow-up to their cutesy “Berlin” promo, with something altogether darker and more spectacular. Featuring vocals by Thom Yorke, a dancer/puppeteer resembling the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and psychedelic animation, here is “This”:

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Music Montag: Phon.o

by James Glazebrook

Phon.o

Modeselektor should just go ahead an sponsor our Music section, we feature their releases so often. This time we bring you the new album from Phon.o, out this Thursday on the monkeymen’s 50 Weapons imprint. But before we get into the new shit, here’s a classic Phon.o track – one that Modeselektor expertly blended into Radiohead’s “Idioteque” at the end of their Boogy Bytes Vol. 3 mix CD:

Phon.o’s new album Black Boulder is a few evolutionary steps down the line from pounders like “Ridin’ Dirty”, as the one-time Berlin resident filters the best of contemporary bass music through the dub techno aesthetic of legends like Basic Channel. Check out snippets below, and listen out for Bodi Bill frontman Pantasz on the beautiful “Twilight”:

Black Boulder by Phon.o is out on May 18th on 50 Weapons.

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Music Montag: Lazer Sword

by James Glazebrook

Lazer Sword

BANGER!

Lazer Sword’s deep roller “Sounds Sane” is back, on the San Francisco/Berlin duo’s debut album, Memory, out now on Modeselektor’s Monkeytown Records. Listen to snippets of the warm, club-hazy album below, and click here to buy.

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Music Montag: Modeselektor feat. Miss Platnum

by James Glazebrook

Modeselektor

We’re always on the lookout for the best Berlin song, and local boys Modeselektor may have released their hometown’s ultimate anthem. “Berlin”, a Miss Platnum collabo from last year’s Monkeytown album, has been given a new lease of life thanks to this awesome animated video from one of the band’s biggest fans. This clip full of Berlin icons (the TV Tower, kebabs, ravers) started when graphic designer François Chalet contacted Modeselektor with the crazy dream of persuading them to perform at his wedding. We’ll let him tell the rest…

We want to get married, and we want Modeselektor to play there … They’ll NEVER come and play at a wedding … And we wouldn’t be able to afford them … Weeks later I emailed Monkeytown Records in order to prove to Meike, my future wife, that this idea will always stay an idea … One day later at the phone – Monkeytown: “You contacted us at the perfect moment – we urgently need a good video because someone flaked on us!” One Skype conversation with Modeselektor … 3 weeks of hard work and little sleep … cardboard everywhere … lots of computer crashes and … Modeselektor will play at our wedding – hurray!


Monkeytown by Modeselektor is out now on Monkeytown Records.

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Pick Berlin’s Best Song and Win Headphones Worth €200

by James Glazebrook

Achtung: this competition is now closed! You can find out who won here, and listen to a playlist of Berlin’s best songs here.

Behind on your Christmas shopping? Well never fear, because our homies at DefShop Streetwear Store have given us a pair of swanky Nixon headphones to give away to one lucky reader. They’d make the perfect gift for a loved one, even if that loved one is yourself – once you’re encased in these genuine leather ear cushions, you won’t need anyone else!
Nixon Master Blaster headphones

All you have to do to win these sleek “Master Blaster” cans, worth €200, is name Berlin’s best song. It can be as obvious or as obscure as you like, as long as it says something about this great city – it could have been produced here, by a Berliner, or simply reference the place… get creative! I’ll build a playlist from all the entries, put it on random, and the first song I hear will be our winner!

I’ll start you off with an ĂĽberlin favourite: “Rusty Nails” by Moderat. This collaboration between Berlin producers Modeselektor and Apparat is one of the most emotive works ever to have come out of the city, especially when coupled with this stunning video from local visual collective Pfadfinderei:

Get the idea? Then leave us a comment below with the name of your favourite Berlin track, and the artist that produced it. (If you’re feeling inspired, tell us why it’s so great!) The winner will be chosen at random on Monday 19th December which should give DefShop time to ship the prize in time for Christmas Day.

Excuse us while we shelter from the cold and shop for cosy Winterjackets online! Good luck!

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