25.5.11

Review: Where Was I...?

I once read a column in a well-known Berlin magazine, in which the columnist attempted to review an illegal, underground venue. Though the article was well-written, the description of the venue was so vague and uninformative that I may as well have been reading an ancient Egyptian document without the aid of the Rosetta Stone. The article exemplified a dilemma that I face on a regular basis: namely, how do I report on the places I love best without giving too much away? To do so would be to expose them to the trend-hunters, thereby killing their edgy status.

The conundrum of reviewing parties in Berlin is that the best ones must remain un-reviewed and unreported-on. They would be destroyed or, at the very least, seriously degraded, by the approval of self-appointed arbiters of taste (of which I am one). That's because reviews are written for people who wish to catalogue and cross-reference their pleasures in a clinical way. Meanwhile, the appeal of Berlin's best parties doesn't lie in cultural significance, worldwide renown or even in aesthetic charm; it lies in the knee-jerk, emotional response that they evoke from Berliners. It lies in the chemistry created between random strangers and random self-expression, resulting in explosive new scenes. The 'best' parties exist in that wonderful state of oblivion where image is unimportant, approval is unnecessary and the only thing that matters is being in the moment. It's difficult to measure that sort of thing with words.

For the above reasons, I have decided not to tell my readers where I went this past weekend. It was a great party and I can highly recommend going to it but if they want to find it, then they will just have to guess where I was. To be fair though, I am going to provide them with the following five clues:

1) The music reflected the sound system's extreme 'policy' - a heady mix of techno, Balkan beats, dub n' bass and chaotic trance.

2) The venue was located between two rivers, one overhead and one underfoot. It had previously been used as a homeless shelter, an art studio and a fishing dock

3) It was dusty enough to be the desert and yes, there was a giant man present... but he won't burn in a fire of less than 2000 degrees!

4) The location changes every time so the only way to find this party is to open your ears and keep it rollin'

5) #1 and #4 are the most important clues

Hope I see you there next time ;-)

Thanks to Mr. Peter Bijl for letting me use your fantastic pics!!

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.