12.12.11

Preview: Rave Upon the Midnight Clear

At this time of year, when the solar cycle gets to its darkest point, I empathize deeply with the angst that our ancient ancestors felt about the winter solstice. They saw midwinter as a time when the sun almost died. As darkness edged up on both sides of the day, they thought the light might disappear for good and frantically paid homage to their goddesses and gods in the hopes of bringing it back. When the days finally stopped getting shorter, a frenzy of celebration ensued - hence the traditions of Silvester, New Year, Hogmanay, et al.

Logically, I may understand that the 'death of the sun' is caused by the Earth tilting on its axis; I may also understand that the solar system is still functioning and the summer will return, but I still feel my ancestors' creeping dread as the days get shorter. Clearly there is some deeper, primal consciousness inside me that can't be reasoned with. This embedded instinct only seems to recognize the fact that the light is missing and it won't let me rest until I've 'found' it.

That must be why I keep on getting up at the usual summer sunrise time, woken by an abstract tension that robs me of sleep until the sky starts to lighten, again. It's only when the day breaks that I can fall into a relieved sleep and get some proper rest before the alarm goes off. Or maybe I've just been partying for so long that my body's clock is set to a nocturnal rhythm - who knows! Whatever the case, if I am not sleeping properly then I may as well make use of that time by clubbing. Here is a list of the places where I plan to go if I find myself craving something to take the edge off of these restless, endless, Solstice nights. Enjoy!

A new-ish club that is modestly promoting itself is Ressort near Hauptbahnhof. It's hosting a matter-of.factly named 'Just Techno' party this Friday Dec. 17th. The venue is over Heidestrasse 14, 10557 Berlin and it's 5 euros in.

Also on Friday the 17th is psytrance night called Northern Lights at RAW Tempel. If one squints at the psychedlic decor by Illumated Lights one can probably just about imagine that they are Christmassy... but why do that? The RA page lists two totally different prices for this night but given the size of Berlin's psytrance scene, I am sure that the financial ambiguity will do little to deter its fans.

The next day, the Stattmarkt opens up. This party-cum-arts market at Stattbad Wedding sounds like it will be a good place for Berlin's quirky party crowd to shop for Solstice gifts. There will be posters, stencils, comics, independently-designed clothing and accessories, X(mas)-rated products that one can take with oneself to the 'Holy Night' at KitKat club on Dec. 24th. There will also be live DJs and performance artists. The market runs from 14-22 this Saturday and Sunday.

Sameheads in Neukoelln is hosting ' a skewed subversion of Christmas carry-on' at its Mizzil Toe Xmas party at Richardstrasse 10, from 10 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 17th. It costs 2 euros to get in.

Spiral Tribe DJs are guaranteed to keep us safe from sleep when they put on their Merry Bloody Xmas party at MBIA in Dircksenstrasse on Friday Dec. 23rd: it keeps on going until 'at least noon' on the 24th. Great DJs and late opening times aren't anything special around these parts so I find the twelve euro entrance a bit excessive... although who knows, perhaps the Tribe will be laying on free prezzies to put their devotees in a Merry Bloody Mood. It may be best to play it safe and buy advance tickets at 9 euros, just in case they don't - at least that leaves you with some extra money to make merry at the bar!

For those of you who want to combine their Solstice dinner with a pre-party experience, go to Maria Peligro in Kreuzberg on Friday the 23rd. Apparently, 'Dirt Crew recording artist Elef will play a 3 hours set' to accompany your hot Mexican meal and tequila shooters.

I have heard rumblings about a new late night venue on Frankfurter Allee - Sanitorium23, and it just so happens to be hosting an Xmas 'sleep deprivation party' on Friday the 23rd. Just the place to go when one's dysfunctional family is having the kind of 'conversation' which keeps one's neighbours up at night.

Knecht.Roots.Recht at Club Kreuzberg, Skalitzer Str. 36 seems like it will be more intimate affair, for people who prefer to warm up from the cold via the direct application of body heat. For those of you who are already feeling a bit too hot, there is always the option of going to KitKat club on Friday the 23rd instead. It is one place where the semi-nude are usually able to come... I mean go.

Die Ritter Butzke Festspiele Nacht runs from Friday Dec. 23rd to the 26th. I cannot vouch for the music since no set list has been posted for this event but I can vouch for the presence of a hardy party crowd. Just remember to ask Santa for the stamina to stay up for three days in a row and you too will have a White(d-out) Christmas. BumBum Techno may have a cheeky name but their music will knock you flat on your you-know-what. Their Xmas Nite By Naktavia at Maria on Dec. 24th should put enough sparkle in your eyes to make even the shabbiest present seem to glitter.

On December 25th basically every party has a Christmas theme but here are some of the ones that stand out to me: 1) The Holy Sunday party at Club Der Visionaere on the river Spree. If could be interesting, if only to see how well Berliners cope with an open air club on December 25th. 2) Suicide Circus is still i.m.o. a fun venue so if I were a bored and lonely person with nowhere to go on Xmas Day, I would look for company at their Friends-Weinachts Special. On, the opposite end of the Xistential Xmas spectrum lies 3) the 'Fuck off Christmas' party at Potse in Potsdamer Str. 180. Ideal for people who are non-Christian (like yours truly) or simply disenchanted with the holiday (also like yours truly). Not ideal for those of you who own a sled-dog-on-a-string though... you gotta leave it at home.

So if the darkness starts to get you down, just remember: every hour of nighttime that is left between now and spring means another hour in the clubs' midnight sun!

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, streetart, left-wing activism, social media trends and green issues. Other publications that I have written for include: Urban Challenger Blog, Siegesaeule, Shlur, Alternative Berlin, Sensanostra.