Music Montag: OY

by James Glazebrook

We’ve seen some weird shit in Berlin, but someone dragging a medicine ball-sized clump of dreadlocks through the streets? Hardly ever. The short and sweet video for Swiss-Ghanian vocalist Joy Frempong’s “Halleluja Hair” is fun, memorable, and also a pretty good advert for African Beauty Bazaar in Charlottenburg! Currently based in Berlin, the singer’s OY project is a vivid blend of “her kaleidoscopic voice, changing color palettes and variegated textures and styles. All blended together with mechanical utterances from samplers and other sound machines.” You can catch the awesome OY live show at Privatclub this Sunday – get tickets here, and get down!

Metal Montag: Funeral for a Friend

by Guest Blogger

By Mike T. West

Schieße mate! We’ve barely recovered from the ruination that was last month’s letlive. gig (black eye and severe neck trauma), and now the 40th largest minority in Berlin can rejoice as Welsh screamo legends Funeral For A Friend are back in town to remind us exactly how old we are.

Earlier this year, FFAF released their crunchy sixth album, Conduit, on which they avoid stagnation while cocking an occasional glance back at their hardcore roots. Basically, riffs. RIFFS! Here they are rockin’ a song from said record in Berlin earlier in the year:

Did we mention riffs?

It’s also the tenth anniversary of their landmark debut, Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation (CDADIC), AND next month their long out-of-print demo EP, Between Order And Model (BOAM) is being remastered and re-released. Here is a reminder of how cool people looked in 2002:

Main support comes courtesy of righteous Brighton punkers, Gnarwolves, who are bloody brilliant and super nice lads to boot. Lubricating the mosh are fellow metal Brits, POLAR. Capital letters. Full stop. Wicked.

FFAF will be playing songs from CDADIC, BOAM and more this Wednesday at Magnet Club, Falckensteinstraße 48, 10997 Berlin, starting at beer o’clock.



by James Glazebrook

Did you know that Strammer Max, as well as being Saxon slang for a bonk-on, is a traditional German meal usually made up of (fried) bread topped with ham and a fried egg. If we haven’t just ruined it for you, you can order this delicious dish at Engelberg, a lovely brunch spot we found near Mauerpark. Serving up other modern takes on German (or Swiss?) specialities, such as Leberkäse (meaning “liver cheese”, but more appetisingly described by an Australian friend as “meat-sausage”), and doing so with care and efficiency – even on super-busy Sunday lunchtimes – Engelberg comes highly recommended. With a dick joke on the side.

Engelberg, Oderbergerstrasse 21, 10435 Berlin.


by James Glazebrook

sugafari sweet shop

To paraphrase a noted African-American poet: we’ll take you to a candy shop, we’ll let you lick the lollipop. Specifically, we’ll let you lick a mango chili lolly from Mexico, because this candy shop specialises in importing weird and wonderful sweets from all over the world. Sugafari hopes to soon stock a candy from every country, and, judging by the bursting shelves of its cute shopfront on Prenzlauer Berg’s Kopenhagener Strasse, it can’t be far from achieving this goal. We were naturally attracted to the English corner of the Westeuropa section – Wham bars! Parma Violets! Wagon Wheels! All lovingly arranged around a portrait of the Royal Family! – but we were also tempted by cans of Hello Kitty Spinning Eyes, the politically-incorrect Spanish sweet Conguitos and the nihilistic Netherlands snack Total Loss. Check out Sugafari’s tooth-aching selection below, and let us know: what are you putting in your basket?

sugafari sweets on shelvessugafari sweets in jars sugafari pop tarts sugafari crisps sugafari cans of drinks sugafari sweets in suitcases sugafari captain america candy head sugafari packets of sweets close up

Sugafari, Kopenhagener Str. 69, 10437 Berlin. www.sugafari.com

BERG: a soundscape for Berlin

by James Glazebrook

The video that originally inspired the new iPhone app BERG, a sound collage combining elements from classic espionage and Cold War movies laid over a series of panning shots describing the architecture of Teufelsberg listening station:

BERG is a site specific sound art project and a GPS-triggered soundscape for iPhone designed for Teufelsberg, a man-made hill and an abandoned National Security Agency listening station in Grunewald forest, in the former West Berlin. The app contains an archive of manipulated audio samples. As the user walks through Grunewald, the iPhone’s GPS activates a series of overlapping tracks, radio broadcasts, spoken word, manipulated field recordings, inspired by Cold War espionage, short wave frequencies and classic cinema. While the user moves in and out of the “sound clouds” – marked on the map by circular graphic elements – the tracks are overlaid and mixed according to his location, as detected by the GPS. The user’s perception of an architectural relic, with a mysterious history and surrounding landscape, is mediated by a semi-fictional, cinematic soundtrack mixed in real time. 

Through the localization of an audio path, the application plunges the user into an evocative and estranging experience of the urban space.

Get BERG for iPhone here.