Boom! Welcome to volume 2 of Radio überlin. This time we get to know my better half, the seldom-heard-from Zoë, as she explains when she first fell in love with Berlin, how moving here changed her life, and what inspires (and annoys) her about the city. We also answer a listener’s question about finding work and accommodation as a dual citizen of the UK and Germany, and play the very first round of BerlIN/BerlOUT *cue airhorn*. All that, plus music from Emika, Erlend Øye and Phonique, Jahcoozi, Peaches, Ellen Allien & Apparat and… Cabaret! Tune into Berlin Radio International every Thursday evening from 8:30pm to hear more.
Peaches hand picked Risiko for this showcase as part of the Expatriarch Generations project, which hooks up emerging artists with established acts for personal mentoring, support and career advice. Each month, Berlin Community Radio airs a conversation between the two, like this fascinating discussion between Sasha Perrera (Jahcoozi) and Bella Cuts. We can’t wait to hear the Peaches edition! Or see her live!! Scroll down to win!!!
HOW TO WIN 2 X TICKETS FOR LONDON CALLING VS. EXPATRIARCH GENERATIONS AT SCHWUZ ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 3RD (full event details):
Just leave us a comment below with the answer to this easy question:
(apart from Peaches and Ellen Allien) Who is the fiercest female ever to make music in Berlin?
You have until midnight on Thursday 2nd October to enter. GOOD LUCK!
The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):
1. You must be 18 years or older to enter. 2. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON! 3. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner. 4. Remember to include your full (real) name and email address, so we can contact you if you win. 6. We will notify the winner via email on Friday 3rd October.
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 überlin faves Modeselektor(celebrating above), Objekt, Redshape and Ellen Allien.
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:
An oldie but a goodie. Nearly as old, in fact, as our love affair with Berlin. Released a couple of months after our first visit to the German capital, this represents the best music then (ever?) produced in the city. A collaboration between the original Berlinette Ellen Allien and local boy Apparat, “Do Not Break” has never left my (virtual) record box, proving particularly handy at Pamflet’s legendary London parties. Its heavy rotation continues this Saturday, as we celebrate a year in Berlin and all the great stuff that brought us to the city in the first place.
one Saturday 19th November, 10pm – ? The Black Lodge, Sanderstrasse 6, Neukölln, 12047 Berlin More details here
BPitch Control’s Dillon is an artist about whom we know refreshingly little. While the singer-songwriter isn’t scared of fame, having – apparently – gained her first shows and the attention of Ellen Allien’s label with her own YouTube channel, she seems determined to communicate through her music rather than hype. As she recently tweeted: “I COULD START TELLING YOU STORIES NOW, BUT I WOULD RATHER SAVE THEM FOR WHEN WE MEET IN PERSON.”
What we do know: Dillon is based in Berlin, but with the real name Dominique Dillon de Byington, probably wasn’t born here. She plans to release her debut album, This Silence Kills, on the palendromic date of 11/11/11. DJ Koze likes her: “She sings comfortably imperfect and true. She has character.” We like her.
We think Dillon sounds like this: the whimsical naïveté and alt-folk weirdness of CocoRosie, plus the more straightforward pop sensibility of Lykke Li, with the post-club residual rushes of Glasser and Bodi Bill (see a video of Dillon covering Bodi’s “Willem” live). Album closer “Abrupt Clarity”, unfortunately not yet public, is essentially an update of Björk’s “Hyperballad”.
Venezuelan transgender diva Aérea Negrot first appeared as a guest vocalist on Hercules and the Love Affair’s last album, Blue Songs, before finding her home at Berlin’s bpitch control. Her incorporation of abstract vocals into hypnotic minimal owes much to label head Ellen Allien and sometime collaborator Miss Kittin, but Negrot has an identity all of her own, musically, visually, and, well, sexually. Gender politics are not our forté, but it’s pretty obvious what she’s referring to 11 minutes into the below live set (recorded at Watergate) when she starts chanting, “This is not the wrong body”.
Debut album Arabxilla (out on September 19th) folds techno, abstract electronica, piano house and opera into a heady, hedonistic mix – think Nôze meets Grace Jones in a Berghain bathroom. Our highlight is a German-language lounge song called “Berlin”, which we can’t wait to drop into a self-indulgent themed DJ set, but for now you’ll have to settle for an exclusive track, “Love You From The Brain”, streaming at the bottom of this post.
Phew! We’ve finished German classes! Not that we know the language now – far from it. We’ve just finished our eight weeks of 4 x 3 hour lessons (plus homework) and decided to take a breather. While we are relieved (we have our little lives back!) we’re a bit worried that, as shut-ins, we won’t practice and will forget what little Deutsch we managed to learn. That’s why I came up with the idea of combining our love of music with our eagerness to improve our language skills: by listening to songs with German lyrics. Here’s our taster course.
David Bowie – Helden
Obvious choice, but potentially helpful. Knowing the English version forwards and backwards helps make connections, especially with this sync of the original video with the German language recording. Chock full of useful personal pronouns like “ich” and “du” and practical words like “Tag” (“day”), “Zeiten” (“times”), “Mauer” (“wall”; very useful here in Berlin). Although I’m not sure I’ll ever have to tell someone that I wish they could swim as dolphins can swim.
Peaches – Keine Melodien
This version of Berlin band Jeans Team’s “Keine Melodien” by the city’s resident electroshocker is like punk rock Sesame Street. You need to learn numbers right? Well, listen to this earworm just once and you’ll never forget “eins, zwei, drei, vier”. I’ve had a quick search and it doesn’t look like Peaches has done a German version of “now I know my ABCs next time won’t you sing along with me”. Schade.
Nena – 99 Luftballons
Apart from getting into double-digit numbers (“ninety nine” = “neunundneunzig”), Germany’s most famous pop song is of limited use. With good reason, no one really remembers badly-translated English lyrics like “everyone’s a Captain Kirk, with orders to identify”, so hearing the original won’t spark flashes of comprehension. Still, required listening when you’re preparing to board the Hi Flyer, the Die Welt-sponsored Heliumballon that hovers over Berlin.
Lady Gaga – Scheiße
“I don’t speak German but I can if you like”. This song from Gaga’s new album is shocking (not in the way she hopes), but it’s a good guide to the mangled AngloDeutsch that Berlin’s international community speaks. Plus its scatological celebration of freedom is like the Disney version of the crazy shit (LITERALLY) that goes down in the city’s underground dark rooms: “I’ll take you out tonight / Do whatever you like / Scheiße-scheiße be mine, Scheiße be mine”. And, seeing as our German teacher didn’t agree that the first thing you need to learn in a foreign language is the swear words, this’ll have to do for now.
Ellen Allien – Sehnsucht
We grown-up emos need words like “longing”, and it doesn’t take Google Translate to tell you that’s what this song is about.
Peter Gabriel – Schock den Affen
The phrase “(don’t) shock the monkey” could only ever be of use in a zoo, and even then it pretty much goes without saying. Regardless, there’s something infectious about Gabriel’s love of words, English or otherwise, that we find inspiring. This was a labour of love, as Gabriel originally struggled to find a label willing to release an album’s worth of German versions of his songs. And like one of the few YouTube comments not whining about his accent says, “Peter is a genius in any language.”