Review: Heating the Beats

Much as I love the heat, it is Kryptonite to my chilly Northern blood. Since the beginning of this endless heatwave that we call 'summer', the nearest thing I've had to real sleep has been brief, feverish spells of near consciousness between 23.00 (when the last grey light disappears from the sky) and dawn.

My salvation during this sleep-deprived period has been the abundance of outdoor parties available down Rummelsberg way. The reason why I have not been recording them is due to a simple refusal to sit inside, typing entries when I could be sitting - or dancing - on the Spree. Plus, my heat-exhausted brain just hasn't been up to the exertion of creating and editing sentences.

Anyway, enough excuses. Please read on for a sample of what I have been getting up to over the past two weeks!

Right: 'Avin it corporate style at Astra Kulturhaus, May 28.

After searching aimlessly for an open-air on Saturday May 27th, a friend and I were somehow teleported into the Formaganda After Party at Astra Kulturhaus. The night featured a wicked lineup of dubstep, beat box and hip hop acts. Unfortunately, the excellent performances by Data MC and other artists were lost in the stylish chasm of a semi-vacant warehouse. Despite its high profile and glossy promotional material, not to mention its bottomless sponsorship coffers, the Formaganda 'festival' remained nearly empty until we left. The security seemed almost pleased with this state of affairs, as if excluding as many people as possible was their defacto mission for the night. A troubling idea occurred to me then: maybe overpriced, underpopulated venues like the Astra are paving the way for MediaSpree's vision of our future, where strict door policies and high prices are used to isolate the rich from the hoi polloi Berliners. Be afraid, people, be very afraid...

Dawn was breaking as my friend and I headed back towards our kiez. My friend had an appointment early the next day so I carried on alone to Sisyphos. Now, the last time I wrote about Sisyphos, I was feeling put out by its joyless clientele but I decided to give it a second chance that night, lured by the intriguing promise of a 'topless' party.

People dressed as frogs, barbarian queens, hippies, etc, were dancing on a stage that was decked out like a wedding cake. They were every bit as weird, funny and playful as Berlin's party scene itself.

My only regret is that my energy ran out so early on... but then again, 17.00 isn't exactly 'early'. It just felt that way, with the relentless frivolity still going strong and bent on carrying on that way.

Right and above: Sisyphos, May 28th

The following week saw me assuming the recovery position due to the prior weekend's exploits. Then I found out that an extra-long weekend was coming up, beginning on Thursday with the sacred holiday of Himmelfahrt. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Berliners like to mark this solemn occasion by raving.

Below: City Life Sucks @ Rummelsburg Berlin, June 2nd

Whimpering at the prospect of another four days on the tiles, I rounded up a friend and headed to Rummelsburg Berlin on Thursday afternoon for City Life Sucks. Rummelsburg Berlin is less of a club than it is a random tableau of 1930's industrial facades, stranded vintage furniture and beach-front located in a rural lot. It is an ideal place for clubbers who want to carry on the party from a horizontal position, which was just what we needed by then. If you're going to catch up on your missing sleep, why not do it in style?


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