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Morr Music: Indie Dreaming

"Look, don't call it esoteric," says Thomas Morr gruffly. He's discussing one of the myriad adjectives often ascribed to his label, Morr Music, and is slightly irritated. "That word makes me want to kill myself, or somebody else. We are not esoteric," he continues via phone from his Berlin offices.

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Hard Wax: Marching On

In a city undergoing constant, rapid change, where the hottest party spots can radically alter in just a few weeks–either moving to new locations or disappearing altogether–the world-famous Hard Wax record store is something of an anomaly. Mark Ernestus–who, with Moritz Von Oswald, comprises techno groundbreakers Basic Channel and revolutionary electronic dub act Rhythm & Sound–opened Hard Wax in 1989. Read more » 

Getting Aggro: Rap Wars

Pronouncing the title of rapper Sido's 2004 single "Arschficksong" ("Assfucksong") is enough to put one off anal sex entirely. But it's not a lack of lube that's got the German government riled up. Multiple releases from Sido's label–top-selling German gangsta rap imprint
Aggro Berlin–contain explicit depictions of sex, drugs, and crime, with rappers B-Tight, G-Hot, and Fler unleashing lyrics that suggest violence towards women and gays.

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Trickski: Dancefloor Magic

Like a dancefloor Cerberus (the three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell) Trickski is a force to be reckoned with. Not many other acts would have the balls to take on a remix of Carl Craig's seminal "At Les," then complete it in such a way that it earns the master's respect. "It was not intimidating to produce it, since it wasn't meant to be released in the first place," says Yannick Labbé of the remix.

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Society Suckers: Maniac Music

Though his opera-singer mom despises bass and his orchestra-conductor stepfather thinks his frenetic rhythms are too African-influenced, Christian Gierden's parents still give him tips on how to improve his tracks. "All the things that go tsk tskk blblblebleb are just cheap percussion noises to them," says Gierden, who is close, personal friends with onomatopoeia. "They'd rather I elaborate on the melodies more."

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