Music Montag: D E N A

by James Glazebrook

The long-lost Music Montag! Someone sent me this when it came out in June, and I immediately lost and forgot all the details. So a big thanks to Ruth, who tweeted this just as Berlin is getting chilly, which seems to be the right time to listen to it:

walking in the cold, and imagine that it’s hot / winter’s long and summer is too short / nothing in between, I’m always wanting more

Other reasons to love Bulgarian-born D E N A‘s “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools”: the video was taped at the Turkish market, which lends it a fun cash-in-hand, reverse-bling aesthetic; “special guest” Erlend Øye‘s dork-dancing; oh, and the music, which is a little like M.I.A, only without the politicking that makes you want to eat your own fingers. Raise your Feuer up!


Ask überlin… ANYTHING!

by James Glazebrook

We know that a lot of you come to überlin for practical advice about moving to, and living in, Berlin. That’s why we started the Ask überlin series, where we publish reader’s questions and our responses. But, Schade on us, we’ve slipped back into answering people’s questions by email – which is no good for the rest of you, now is it?

As a way of helping as many of you as possible, we thought we’d collect everyone’s questions here. Then we’ll attempt to answer as many of them as possible in one or more upcoming posts.

So jump into the Comments box below and ask us ANYTHING!

Obviously our “expertise” is Berlin – what it’s like to move and live here, and things to see and do when you visit. But feel free to get “off topic” and ask us about our other interests (music, fashion, coffee…), our day jobs (Zoë loves the camera kit questions!) or everyone’s favourite subject, Olive. She’s all ears.

Gratuitous puppy photo

Gratuitous puppy photo

Also, feel free to chip in with answers for other people’s questions. A lot of the things we’re asked are a matter of opinion, and anyway, we don’t have all the answers!

We’ll start you off with some questions we were sent recently. Have you got an opinion? Or a question of your own? Drop us a comment below…

  • How does Berlin compare to London (in terms of creativity, music variety, peoples’ attitudes, etc)?
  • Does having an English degree carry any sort of advantage when applying for jobs?
  • What are some of the best sites to look for jobs?
  • Is there a Drum ‘N’ Bass/Jungle music scene out there?
  • As English people, do you feel like you fit in, or is there a sense of being REEALLY far from home?
  • Can anyone recommend a shipping company that caused you medium-to-low trauma (from London to Berlin)?
  • Does anyone know if there are nursing/healthcare jobs available in Berlin? And what level of German is required to work in them? And is it true that Germans don’t think much of their nurses?
  • What would you say the minimum amount needed to survive in Berlin for a year?
  • What are your thoughts on renting houses as opposed to apartments? Is it easy to get garden flats? Do you know of any areas where it might be easier to find them or a house? Or as soon as you hit areas which have houses does it suddenly turn boring?! 
  • In which area should I stay when I visit? Where should I live when I move here? 

Berlin, Expat Life and Happiness

by James and Zoe

We were recently interviewed for the LIVE HAPPilly newsletter all about Berlin, our life here as expats, and happiness. We thought we’d publish it here, as a nice introduction to us and to überlin. Look out for more moments of happiness as we share them on our Facebook page.    

James and Zoe, please introduce yourself!

We’re a couple of English expats who left London nearly two years ago for a fresh start in Berlin. James is a writer and social media analyst, and Zoë is a fashion and streetstyle photographer, whose clients include Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Dolce & Gabbana. We run a blog called überlin, all about cool things to see and do in Berlin, the city’s music and fashion scenes, and living here as expats. We live in Kreuzberg’s beautiful Graefekiez, with our two cats Iggy and Otis, and our French Bulldog puppy, Olive.

James Zoe and Olive überlin


What brought you to Berlin?

Probably the same things that bring everyone else here: the (relatively) low cost of living and high quality of life, the space and openness (physical and psychological), the sense that change happens fast here, and the opportunities this offers. The city has changed a lot since we fell in love with it on our first visit six years ago, but our feelings towards it haven’t. Oh… and techno!

What’s your definition of ”Happiness”?

Happiness is the freedom to do what you want to do. Just moving to Berlin made us happy, because it allowed us to step off the career ladder and pursue work that fulfils us, spend the rest of our time exploring this wonderful city, and to meet like-minded people who are finding their own happiness.

What does a ”HAPPilly Moment” mean to you?

Our happiest moments always include some combination of the following: each other, our bikes, coffee, cake, sunshine (even if it’s cold), good food, good company and good music.

Do you have a hint where our readers could enjoy a moment of happiness in Berlin?

One of our favourite, and most quintessentially Berlin, places is Prinzessinnengarten. A community-built urban garden in the heart of Kreuzberg, it features a beautiful biergarten selling food made the produce grown there. If you like the sound of that, please sign a petition to protect the land on which Prinzessinnnengarten sits: see their website for more details.

Berlin Hyper-Lapse

by James Glazebrook

This jawdropping video was produced by b-zOOmi, who describes the time-consuming process behind it on Vimeo:

This video shows the result of a photographic journey to berlin
from 12 may – 18 may 2012.
I´ve spend 6 days in Berlin with excessive work, but the last 4 months
were even harder. Whenever I had some time,
I had to import and customize the NEF files before I
equalized them with the great LR-Timelapse from Gunther Wegner. (Adobe Lightroom is necessary)
The observed jpeg had then to be droped into virtual dub and were rendered as avi.
When this was done, I had to stabilize the sequenzes manually frame by frame (AE motion tracker)
out each of them in 3 different sizes: (4928×3264 pixels, 1920×1080 pixels, 1024×768 pixels)
Last but not least the snippets were edited fitting to the beautiful title “Diving Through The Blue” by
the respectable composer and musician Valentin Boomes.

A BIG thank you @micafilipa for bringing this to our attention ????

Music Montag: Radio Friendly Unit Shifters

by James Glazebrook

Nick Catchdubs by Ian Meyer

Nick Catchdubs by Ian Meyer

Music Montag bonus beats WHAT? While burning CDs for Feeling Gloomy Berlin’s 2nd Birthday Party this Friday, I discovered that my favourite mixtape is actually a SERIES of mixtapes. Nick Catchdubs and Mr Drucker’s “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” cuts up classic grunge (Nirvana, Temple of the Dog), Tarantino movie samples (“dick dick dick dick dick dick dick”), one-hit wonders (“Detachable Penis”!), live hip hop (Cypress Hill at Woodstock ’94, A Tribe Called Quest at Free Tibet) and that most 90s phenomenon, the hidden track. And the best thing about it? It’s just one of FOUR slacktastic alternarock compilations!

Why am I telling you all this? Well, because I’m planning a set just like this (although mixed more poorly) at Feeling Gloomy Berlin’s 2nd Birthday Party at Roter Salon in Volksbühne. Expect 90s grunge, indie, Britpop and assorted miserabilia. If you have any requests, pop them in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do ????

Music Montag: Jean Jacques

by James Glazebrook

Jean Jacques by Mick Morley

Mick Morley

Anyone who’s got drunk with me knows that I don’t care about politics/activism/issues/anything. But when it comes to Jean Jacques, I’m totally drinking his sweet sweet Kool Aid. The Berlin-based singer, songwriter and producer seems to have a “what have you got?” attitude to the causes he backs – describing himself as “an activist for Greenpeace, other environmental groups, human rights, animal rights issues” – and his unique brand of electro-punk has me reaching for my petition pen.

Combining the bug-eyed dogma of Jello Biafra, the schizophrenic pop of Sebastien Tellier, an ickly bitty dubstep and… something a little more measured (Apparat? Radiohead?), the Fuck That Shit EP is out now on Jazzsteppa. Listen to it below, and get it on iTunes.