Simon Schaefer has been paying attention to fashion since he was a hip-hop obsessed pre-teen wilding in the streets of West Berlin. He vividly remembers the divide between the underground-savvy Charlottenburg crew and the youth who grew up in the GDR. "Kids would come in from the East and they were [visibly] identifiable: white as white could be, almost see-through, and their pants and jackets were about 10 years too late," he reminisces. "Can you imagine what it would be like to not be exposed to marketing culture? Read more »
It's noon on a sunny Sunday. While half of Berlin sits down to brunch, this is the first time some of these people have sat down all weekend. Six shirtless men who look like Russian G.I. Joe figures–matching boots, crew cuts, and grey acid-wash jeans–rest against one another; next to them, a group of exiled Detroit ravers share a cigarette and three German girls loll on perfectly manicured grass, laughing. The whole effect is one of falling down the rabbit hole, only to end up in an adult raver's paradise.
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Berlin's nu-dub scene: Its lineage can be hard to trace, but it involves members of groups The Tape, Al Haca, Tolcha, and Jahcoozi, as well as sometime collaborators like Stereotype, Modeselektor, Data MC, and DJ Maxximus. A tight-knit gang, these musicians ride the rough edges where hip-hop, glitch, dub, electro, and pop intersect, making waves in Europe and beyond. Read more »
Berlin-based producer Jan Jelinek has always presented himself as a sound designer; he's even gone so far as to say he's "not a musician." Hacking away at tiny, clicking samples and carefully arranging them over deep, slow basslines, he made a name for himself as a master of the sequencer with 2001's Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records, an album that definitively shaped techno in the early Aughties. But recently, Jelinek's love affair with the sequencer seems to have waned; on his new album, he does away with it altogether.
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Christian "Fussi" Fussenegger, a video journalist and one of the six heads behind Berlin's Grimetime, has no problem rattling off ridiculous stories about the UK grime MCs and DJs that have played their event. "DJ Twister of Fire Camp only ate his dessert after Lethal B had tested and approved of it," writes Fussenegger. Read more »
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