October 2, 2017
From the murkier outer edges of post-punk emerging to alternatingly vibrant and brooding dancefloor and techno grooves…a DJ sampler from Berlin Atonal ’17.
Following my Anna Meredith ‘VapourIsED’ remix, selected by DJ Stingray for Tresor’s Kern compilation, I was booked to play a DJ set at Berlin Atonal ’17, to take place in the Kraftwerk venue in the Mitte district of Berlin, also home to the legendary techno club, Tresor.
I found myself strolling around the vast interior of a venue that seemed the ultimate materialisation of all my feverish Brutalist, industrial imaginings. As if all my wanderings before had only been intimations, digressions, preparatory visions for what was to come. Entry into the powerstation, coolly neutral on the outside, revealed a concrete-scape innerland of dizzying proportions. Monolithic pillars rise to an unseen summit. Chasms and antechambers fizzle blackly at the perimeters. Metallic dust hangs cryptically in the air and lights crackle and flare intermittently, as if the structure itself was alive. Stairwells and split-level platforms high up into the apex are dotted with Christiane F and Seventh Seal type figures; they roam like transfixed citizens of this grandscale solid hallucination.
Not a sombre place, but inviting and exhilarating. Thrown to the lions’ den in the sweating intensity of the packed, red-lit OHM room, I commenced a 2-hour set at 3am, convinced my commitment to murky post-punk would clear the room (it was after all an electronic festival)..but it didn’t. The mood change was noted and enjoyed..the understated first part emerging to rigorous and beat-driven longer second part. Fear and fatigue faded and in that red room was only uncontrived dancing among severe-looking yet amicable nocturnal strangers.
I stumbled out onto the daylit street at 7am, and walked the short distance to my hotel for breakfast, energised by happy, cement-coloured visions and reverberating beats.
Tracklist: (selections, not full set)
Seconds Too Late – Cabaret Voltaire
Charnel Ground – Section 25
What I Wouldn’t Give – Pink Industry
Try Again – Isolation Ward
Black Honeymoon – Richard H Kirk
Alone – Colin Newman
Night Vision – Vanishing
Easy Lee – Ricardo Villalobos
Its The Mind – The Hacker
Coma – Ghost Culture
Fever(KiNK Remix) – Tiga
Discofiasco – Roman Flügel
Tease – Beserk In A Hayfield
Sabotage – Underground Resistance
VapourIsED (LoneLady Remix) – Anna Meredith
The Quarry (In The Wilderness) – Cabaret Voltaire