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Anja Schneider: Maximum Mobilee

It's somewhere in the wee hours at Barcelona's Raum club, and Anja Schneider helms the turntables, grinning ear to ear. She has reason to smile: tonight's party, a pre-Sónar showcase for her Mobilee imprint, is packed wall-to-wall and going wild. The fledgling label is less than two years and two dozen releases old, and none of its artists are household names, even for die-hard techno insiders; nevertheless it's built its rep–as one of the bright lights of the new generation of "minimal"–into a pretty maximal buzz. Read more » 

Sasse: Multiple Personalities

Amidst the influx of electronic music producers claiming Berlin as their new home, Sasse Lindblad is what you might call an early adopter. The 33-year-old producer moved there in the late '90s to take advantage of what didn't exist in his native Finland: low rents, great clubs, and a thriving, diverse culture. "The most important thing is the chilled surroundings where I work," he says. "Prenzlauer Berg, where my studios are, is more like a village inside a huge city. Very nice and relaxed, but still very productive."


Ocean Club: Uncharted Waters

Berlin shot through the electronic music ranks during the first half of the decade, rising from vibrant outpost to the scene's global epicenter. With a tight-knit community of producers and labels, it suddenly seemed like every digitized beat emanated from the once-divided city.


K.I.Z.: Girls, Grilling, and Hip-Hop

K.I.Z. seriously loves hip-hop, but their hip-hop is anything but serious. On "Hurensohn" ("Son of A Whore") they rap "I'm gonna party on your grave/You try the crip walk once again and I'll rip off your legs." "Riesenglied" (which translates as "DickCock") is a remake of Absolute Beginner's 1998 German rap hit "Liebeslied" ("Love Songs") with a psychedelic phallocentrism that would make Too $hort blush; a sample lyric: "Met up with your daughter at night in the forest/I dressed as a tree, she had my branch in her throat."


Native Instruments: Tweak and Twerk

Ten years ago, audio engineer Stephan Schmitt and software developer Volker Hinz created Generator, one of the virtual world's first modular synthesizers. The pair (both native Berliners) had oodles of creativity and computer know-how, but very little business acumen. They turned to Daniel Haver, an erstwhile manager of a graphic design firm who was passionate about music but, admittedly, not very musically inclined. In lieu of a salary, Haver accepted a two-year engagement in exchange for stock in the company, and Native Instruments was born.

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