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…

New Year’s Eve giveaway: win 2 tickets to Horst Kreuzberg’s Star-Spangled Silvester

by James Glazebrook

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we’re running any open competitions] 

We love New Year’s Eve! Whether we spend it dodging fireworks on Oberbaumbrücke or tearing Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke a new k-hole, we love the excuse to get together with friends and get wasted! This year we’re planning to end up at Horst Kreuzberg’s Silvester spectacular and we have two pairs of tickets to give away to lucky readers!

Scroll down to find out how to get yourself and a friend into this awesome party (Facebook link), where Emika collaborators Brandt Brauer Frick will be DJing back-to-back, alongside Peter Van Hoesen, Evian Christ and the spectacular Objekt. To get you in the mood, here is the latter on Electronic Explorations, mixing up Jeff Mills, UR and Surgeon classics with contemporary bass tracks from Actress and Shangaan Electro.

Good luck, and Guten Rutsch!

NYE at Horst



Leave a comment below, telling us your full (real) name and one of your New Year’s Resolutions.

You have until 2pm on Monday 31st December to enter. Good luck!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
2. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner.
3. We will announced the winners via our Facebook page on Monday 31st December.


Music Montag: Iggy Pop, “White Christmas (Dubstep Remix)”

by James Glazebrook

Iggy Pop White Christmas Dubstep remix

The Museum of Things

by James Glazebrook

Lulu Museum of Things

The Museum of Things (Museum der Dinge) on Oranienstraße works on a couple of levels. On one hand, it’s a miscellany of stuff, grouped into cabinets of Star Wars toys, Smurfs, computer parts, things that look like boobs – all under the watchful eyes of the creepy mannequin from the cover of that dodgy Metallica/Lou Reed album, “Lulu”. On the other hand, it’s a testament to the efforts of the Deutscher Werkbund, the German Work Federation, founded in 1907 to bring the country’s product design up to speed with its competitors in England and the USA.

creepy head Museum of Things

norks Museum of Things

Also known as the Werkbundarchiv, the collection tells the story of German design in the age of industrial manufacturing, and its progression from decorative to functional design. Early cabinets show what the Werkbund was up against. Actual kitsch, devotional kitsch, home and hunter kitsch – who knew there were so many varieties of kitsch? As the years go by, it’s easy to see the federation’s influence, through success stories like its member Weck’s glass containers, which became synonymous with home canning. Quite literally – its products spawned the verb einwecken: to can, pickle or preserve something.

praying hands Museum of Things

devotional kitsch Museum of Things

The Nazis, elected to the Werkbund steering committee in 1933, greatly favoured figurative decoration and decried the abstract spray-painted ceramics of the day as “Communist crockery”. They shut down the Werkbund in 1938, but it was reestablished in 1949 to rail against the worst excesses of the postwar era. The best showcase of the federation’s aesthetic is an überminimal Bosch TV, featuring a single button, stood on a plinth in front of its polar opposite: the mammoth wood-panelled Komet combination TV/radio/phonograph, a best-seller when it was introduced in 1956.

Nazi blimp Museum of Things

little Hitler Museum of Things

The Museum der Dinge celebrates a very German phenomenon: an institution established to impose efficiency, functionality and rational design on an industry and a public, whether they liked it or not. Looking back, the Deutscher Werkbund was clearly right – we wanted to break the glass on a few cabinets and take their contents with us! And even if you’re not interested in the history of design, you’re bound to get a kick out of the strange objects crammed into the “open storage” cabinets. Mona Lisa mug, anyone?

Mona Lisa Museum of Things

glasses Museum of Things

eyeless Museum of Things

eye Museum of Things

yellow and black Museum of Things

typewriter Museum of Things

Nazi soldiers Museum of Things

assorted military Museum of Things

Barbie Museum of Things

toys Museum of Things

cabinets Museum of Things

Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge
Oranienstraße 25
10999 Berlin

Music Montag: Carpet of Horses

by James Glazebrook

Carpet of Horses by Greta Riondato

by Greta Riondato

This picture tells you two things about this man: 1) he is from either Canada or the American Midwest, and 2) he makes folk music. Indeed, Canadian (right first time!) Tobin James Stewart makes beautiful pastoral music that delights even the most reluctant user of the f-word. His Carpet of Horses project, which started as a recording experiment in his Toronto bedroom, has travelled with him to his Berlin base via Tel Aviv, drawing in international collaborators and growing in ambition and production scale. The new six-track EP It’s Only Light, recorded across the three cities, embraces ambient atmospherics, swelling post-rock experimentalism and down-home plucked acoustic guitars. Listen to it below, buy it at the Carpet of Horses bandcamp, and make it the soundtrack to your winter.

Voodoo Market

by James Glazebrook

Try as we might, we just can’t get into the traditional Christmas market spirit. Sure the food and drink (Glühwein!) is great, but the stuff on sale is either crafty, or just plain crappy, and the vibe is just too… merry. Maybe we’re being Grinchy, but we’d rather spend our snowy Saturdays at one of Berlin’s many alternative Weihnachtsmarkts – like Holy Shit Shopping or, last weekend’s highlight, Voodoo Market.

Billed as “not your ordinary fleamarket“, this was our first chance to explore the new Urban Spree space at Warschauer Strasse, and catch up with some of our favourite Berlin people. We saw the studio where Mother Drucker printed up our überlin merchandise (on sale soon!), Linsey from VentureVillage getting tattooed by the AKA lot, SAY IT selling their geometric Bowie and Björk t-shirts and Josh Bauman, who was as stoked as we were about the response to our “How to Survive a Berlin Winter” collaboration. Other highlights included Berlin Cakes’ delicious cupcakes and Chop Chop Graphics, who were letting people print their own t-shirts and tote bags.

Stay tuned to Voodoo Market’s Facebook Page to find out about their upcoming events.

Music Montag: Converge, Touché Amore

by Guest Blogger

Mike T West brings the pain.

The sound of Oranienstraße salivating is audible this week as legendary punk hotspot SO36 hosts the end times a little early with the one-two dragon-punch of post-screamo future heroes Touché Amoré and their hardcore über uncles, mothershitting Converge!

Converge European tour poster

Los Angeles five-piece Touché Amoré are back in support of last year’s blistering and confessional second album, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me. Recorded live in a mere five days it’s as close as home listeners can get to witnessing the raw, tightening tension of their concerts.

Meanwhile Converge are simply one of the most engaging and remarkable heavy bands of our times. Blending possibly most, if not all, of the “cores” into a whirlwind of noise violence, these scene veterans invented metalcore a decade ago and dumped it in a ditch with a note saying, “please abuse repeatedly”. Theirs is a sonic attack that guarantees bloodshed.

So forget the upcoming yuletide apocalypse as Kreuzberg is already hosting the after-party! Expect high-kicks, two-steps and headbanging aplenty as two of Planet Earth’s most confrontational live acts tear December in half.

FYI the nationwide emergency number for the fire brigade and emergency medical services in Germany is 112.