The Sound of Berlin, politics and six fresh new Labels

The global view on the sound of a city is hard to get when you´re talking nowadays about a patchwork mecca like Berlin. Just to make clear: i am living here, feeling native and this should not be an article about how hype Berlin is. Sure you know the colder coca 80ties with the big Wave on Synth-Pop all around europe, but Berlin Territory was no LaLa Land and more darker Hardboiled D.A.F. was build to protect ya necks with this specific industrial rhythm creation served by The Normal with T.V.O.D. from England to Kas Product from France. Creepy moves worldwide inspired places you did not expect in Europe. One of the deepest hearts & yards has always been Sao Paulo, that in fact always been Techno, even before time zero, when mad max electro warriors controls Buenos Aires. And Rio is Samba pocha. Now you know.

In Germany big players like Rammstein, little electro princesses like Miss Kittin or bushy Peaches irritate your value system and spit nonconformisms like our first big child Nina Hagen. She started to change styles each year educating with own rotten attitude open for new like end of the 80ties when the wall crashed and the punks started to wear like dressed to kill, down the fact that being a punk is a state of mind that don´t include to live on the streets or looking like Sid ... this lifestyle has no excuse. So development in a no future movement create Avantgarde with Rap, Blocks, Yards, Art and more Druqs. When it comes in form on dub to a ultra wixen like Grace Jones you boogiedown to, it´s just because the dread jams with disco and Madonna was always just to Pop, even she expressed yourself.

Berlin is connected trough the underground with industrial motortown Detroit since that city is the mirror exchange in architecture and hard working people that know all crisis. So the axis Detroit-Berlin been made early true a simply soul formula that is deep rooted in technology mixed with human power. The industrialised city Detroit reshaped the Motown Era with superheavy monster Bass and music for Robots that been first served from Kraftwerk till Cybotron understand how to multiply black power that is coming straight from the dark ancient future. Down by the fact that Motown was a Golden Time Big Money Business, Techno is still in progress and if you talking about paying Bills, ask living Legends like Underground Resistance.

Berlin opens his gates. The destroyed and under construction space has always being large, too big for a nation. The non-nation focused artists started first to move here in 1990 with big balls reclaims Berlin to this what it is. Techno City. Is that so? Or is it an Island? Or even just a Vision of Visionaries?

Hold on! The Free Raves from France and UK brings the Prodigy & Spiral Tribe vibes from the outlands in form of trippy breakbeats into the city and the Love Parade was born. On wheels of steels the bombs over Berlin comes in form of soundsystems. A movement that claims with a mix of political slogans to make clear that beside the industrious german mentality our life is not just about working and strictly rules. Just to live in a city doesn´t mean to work as fuck. In the City you have more publicity in comparsion to the outlands. Reclaim free spaces and here you go. The sound that you call Techno been born. So pioneers and extraterrestrial beings like A guy called Gerald moved here and make it to a Techno Manifest. Gerald was one of the pioneers who knows from the source that Techno is an Political act with a different voice. Music always had a message because its a communication form. So Techno is NOT just about a BIG BASS and a monotone rhythm pattern, nope, it had a groove and soul as long its build on machines by human knowledge.

A small Electro movement in the 80ties make the Empire understand that what comes up must come down, so as soon the darker era will need more publicity Electro will come back. But let´s go back to 2000, Drum n Bass, Jungle is gone... 2 Step is born to die fast, the tricky Germans all over the country started to minimalise the typical Techno Punchlines and an era of Minimal was all over the City of Berlin. Sweet. But that was 10 years ago and we are living in a astro super hyper time tube that even hold the conglomerat of gypsy artistic elite. Who is still pushing things forward on the next level or just go back to the oldschool or who brings more thrash to the city?

When even in Tibet the TV controlled people that see and feel global, want to be like the others, we really have to be protected for a big capitalism crash. The city of Berlin is a massive focal tank for the nomad youth of today but the punks are no more mad, but drunk as fuck. Who is mad in Berlin and why he should? Not only european but also people from all over the world seems to act smart and find an apartment. Most people are here for party, but there are a few that are doing proper things global and sustainable, feed with their influences the hummus of moorland Berlin as long we are many and the clubs allow us to test the latest music legal. But look around. A few clubs are closed or will be soon because land is poor and getting sold superfast, so if you want to survive here in a nu hippy happy cloud get rich, get a sponsor or ask mom and daddy because to get paid here … well stay clever, find a nice work and start your career first at home. Should you been a born player and act like being boss, like she and he and we and everyone that is written on the guestlist. Welcome to Restrealität.

So at the surface the sound is Techno. Well and that´s a stamp!

But to the left you have the big Rap & Bass Business with the violence and street attitude, the aggression is croped now with a sense of self humour what is important in the city to get on stage. So hold the mic and prove what you are here for, political lyrics, battle or just Party & Bullshit to impress the ladys? Well there are getting just too hot. Being bold and street is fine in Berlin.

The left hand is streched by the middlefinger Bassline Providers that comes with Brix-tonised Ghetto Skills pressed on superheavy 12 Inches that have so much punch. The dark enlight index finger likes to punish you with Noise and Drone energy that is making you scream inside. The Berlin Hardcore and Metal Scene is very strong especially in X-Berg, in F-Hain more Punk.

The balance wise one re-think Dub Pressure to get in deep medi has always a place, at least at home.

Wait a Minute! To the right you have now the creative Hip Hop, the House, the garage, the afro and the disco/nu disco movement with the dance and friendly block partys, Graffiti, Street Art, Gypsys allover, Nu-Folk Hippies, Vibes from different Tribes, mind expanding drug experiences like Peyote from the deserts of Texas, to Ayuhasca from the south american amazonas where fitted or crazy Elfes, nerd princes and princesses share a ritual with your positive businessman yoga and bio homies.

Yes indeed Berlin is the big laboratory in the European Union, especially for artists, but please don´t believe the Hype and concentrate on now. 

I like to show a few possibilites beside the known, hyped or spoiled and successful Labels.
But what is success nowdays? To buy 20000 likes to start a company and probably see every week 300 likes less? Or sell 300 copys of a record with understatement?

I picked up SIX interesting Music-Labels that are not so easy to find. To get a better image I like to classify each Label a colour and consistance.
Beside every Label is a philosophy that is based on a human idea, like there is no market and banks their is just the maker beside your companys ideal. 

How a Label comes to life and gets responsible for the common originality; this is what i am looking for as a DJ and Music Lover.

Moniker Eggplant

Media: CD & Digital and Vinyl
Sound: Eclectic, Experimental, Skweee, Dubstep, Bass Music, Mash-Up
Colour: Violett
Consistance: raw glitchy egg
Special Gimmik: every release has a recipe to cook with style
Maker: Lorenz Erdmann

To talk about music is like to dance to architecture. But we don´t die, we just get high and are able to point the several perspectives of this young experimental label that is serving us with a glitchy attitude. Experimental Music is a large term of use and should be splitted at least in two categories: Mature and immature. With Karl Marx Stadt or LXC you are already at the core of a few german artists that are serious with killing and chopping beats as scientists. Even Memory 9 comes along with the latest „Sonic Carpaccio EP“ where he is described by XLR8R as „exceptionally high end … a confident slice of futuristic beat work“. So should you been a future head with a sense for affectionately handmade artwork don´t forget to register Moniker Eggplant as a serious Experimental Label that pushing things forward fresh´n´ ripe. 

Weevil Neighbourhood

Media: Vinyl-only
Sound: Drone, Illbient, Industrial, Creepy Dub & Bass Music, Dubstep, Drumstep
Colour: Black, Grey, Silver
Consistance: mercury
Special Gimmik: very limited & handstamped / each record has a different bettle genus not number
Maker: Martin Heinze

Let´s continue the focus on Berlin´s Underground that is alive like our wet and creepy basements. Nowadys it´s simple to get in touch with the unknown, at least you need to be a nerd so you can slip easily into something that please your curiousity at least for one needlefix. The other case is you need to be a supernerd to get a hit by time. Everything that is going to happen in the Weevil Neighbourhood will be limited or deal with the idea of limitation and will have a distinct name instead of a number. Vinyl Only is a natural course of action here. Should your extreme limited brain didn´t know about the dark side of your heart yet, don´t sleep now to wake up chosen beetles that are armed to step in dirt and scary us to death with your grave rave soundsystem.

SUPERB recordings

Media: Vinyl-only
Sound: Deep/Dub Techno & House, Future Garage & Bass, Experimental
Colour: various marbled
Consistance: liquid MDMA
Special Gimmik: to each black vinyl release there are added 100 limited marbeld inc. handstamped & signed poster plus label sticker
Maker: Stephan Blachnik (Labelowner/founder) & Philipp Czulowski (co-owner until 2014)

There are hundreds of labels in Berlin, but this is SUPERB recordings. Since 2012 six records have been released yet. The philosophy: Listen & understand, not everythings counts in large amounts. Understatement on the edge of quality. Mike Banks from Underground Resistance once said: „If Pop-Stars would sell 500-2000 records they propably would commit suicide, because they think that no one loves them. The reality of electronic music is different.“ But how can their sound be recognized and played in other countries like Japan or US when this young label don´t promote? The musical Output is selected very carefully and guarante quality music that resists time and trends. That is proved and supported by the nowadays dons of the scene like Tiga, DJ Rum, Ryan Elliot, Axel Boman, Subjected or DJ Jus-ED just to name a few. So grab these unique & timeless label releases as long as you can.

Box aus Holz (BAH)

Media: Vinyl-only
Sound: House, Garage, Ghettodisco, HipHop, Funky Comedy
Colour: brown
Consistance: woody
Special Gimmik: Instore release partys in the notorious Record Shop Oye
Maker: Markus Lindner & Max Graef

To open a recordshop is simple. Especially in Berlin. To keep the clients satisfied and make sure to let them out the store hungry even after a huge plastic bag is a other formula. Oye records is a well grown recordshop packed with a delicious selection of deluxe music and BAH is their own little weapon to let the world know that this crew is on fire. Especially Max Graef knows how to please Deep House Headz with the special Medlar dose of oldschool detroit vibes and pass the joint to Chicago, New York and Paris. Without coping or repeading check their latest V.A. Vinyl Number 008 that comes with some eclectic Broken Beats and a few intrumental HipHop. Vinyl Number 001 & 002 never came out. So make sure to order your copys in the near future.

Project Mooncircle

Media: Vinyl, CD, Mp3
Sound: Glitch, Blip Hop, Juke, Trap, Footwork, Ambient, Future, HipHop
Colour: rainbow
Consistance: plastic fantastic organic
Special Gimmik: Superheavy special deluxe Vinyl and ridicolous good music
Maker: Gordon Gieseking & Aine Devaney & Malte Tarnow & Paul Cooper

Hip Hop perfect days been maided yet, but it seems like that Project Mooncircle could still be a real B-Boy Label that is involving visual artists, freezing the pops and organic robot moves to heat them up with freshness ready for next levels in music. Serve with zeitgeist not attitude. Is this sound of the future that Universal HipHop we been looking for?
Project Mooncircle starts to exist with HHV since 2002 and should be the prototype of an independent upfront working music network testing Glitch, Blip Hop, Trap, Future Bass, Juke, Footwork, Dubstep even Nu-Folk to a never ending sound Collage. If you don´t believe the hype what´s next big thing you should listen to Project Mooncircle what´s propably Berlin´s most interesting Label these days.

Hidden Hawaii

Media: Vinyl-only, Dubplate
Sound: Dub Techno, Breaks, Sub & Bass Music, Ambient, Drum & Step, Drum `n´ Bass
Colour: gray, black & orange
Consistance: Glass Splinter
Special Gimmik: Superheavy limited Vinyl with ridicolous deep cuts, Various Sublabels like: Gilga, Hidden Hawaii Digital, QNS, Solaris Series, SUB
Maker: Felix K 

If you are wondering why many copys are sold out immediately at Hardwax it could be down the fact that this shop is ordering a few copys of even very limited labels like these conglomeration of splitted Felix K aliases. Any copy comes just stamped or chromed directly from mars. We are entering the sphere of 100/150 maximum 199 copys worldwide that are just sounding to deep for the masses. Especially Meze on SUB comes with a extraordinary Sub Bass Future Dub Sound that will knock you out like a smooth criminal. All stuff is worth money and comes faceless at night.

Welcome to Berlin . . .

Text by Phil Barbee (responsibility for the content)

more interesting labels

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