Slapdash Mashed-Up Party Revue

I haven't really kept this blog up to date for the past couple of weeks but a lot of other new things have been happening in the city. I started a new job, a few new party venues opened, a few new party nights were launched and a few old faces from Berlin's party scene made fresh starts. Even though I haven't been writing about it, I've been running a mad relay race between work, home and club scene as I tried to take it all in. So here is my chaotic summary of everything that's happened in club land in the past three weeks. Read on and you'll reap the benefits of my experience, without any of the hangovers!

I visited Royal Wedding at Brunnen 70 at the end of January and it was fun as always. Even the old folks were joining in, as you can see below...
A week later on February 3rd, I dropped in to a Canadian disco at the occasional party venue Laden Kino, newly opened in Friedrichshain.

The music there was average house but the decor was baroque, and had been lavished with red velvet drapes and empire chairs. It was like a fancy-dress party venue, except that many of the Canadians had turned up dressed for the Lumberjack Skit (calm down, I'm only joking!).

The Laden Kino actually has a functional cinema in it as well and in keeping with the lavish theme, it's furnished with wall-to-wall saggy, sumptuous sofas. It would be a great place to check out a smoke-filled screening of, say, a William Burroughs flick. More info about Kino's eclectic repertoire can be found at its online program page.

A little later on the same night, I made my way to 'What You Hear Is What You Get' at WYSIWIG. By the time I arrived the place was well in the thrall of Klangsucht DJs who were playing acid house coated with a smooth layer of heroin chic. A mature party crowd was nursing their 10 year hangovers at the bar, while younger and more spirited versions of themselves danced in front of the bohemian DJ decks.

WYSIWIG (below right) looks small from outside but there is more there than meets the eye. It expands, Tardis-like, into a spacious, streamlined venue once you step inside. I never got to see its second dance floor though - it was off-limits for the night but I'm sure I'll get a second chance to to peek in over the coming weeks.

On February 8th I discovered the excellent new mid-weeker Bergfest at MIKZ (page bottom). The warehouse club was surprisingly full for a Wednesday night party which had only been launched recently. You can check Bergfest out tomorrow or any other Wednesday night in February. Like its cousin Dienstagwelt, there is no better place to chase away the banal awareness that the weekend hasn't arrived yet. The MIKZ crowd is always up for more dancing.

On February 10th I danced to Berlin's favourite acid techno DJ, Acid Maria, and her Spanish counterpart Alienata, both of whom were playing at Suicide Circus (I may have inadvertently antagonized DJ Flush of KilleKill at some point as well but hey, you can't please everybody). Unfortunately the club night, Acid Ist Fertig, was quite empty. I may have been able to keep myself entertained there for a couple of hours, taking pictures until things picked up, had it not been for a jobsworth barman who decided to appoint himself The Enforcer of Suicide Circus's pointless and arbitrary camera ban. He did imply that it would be all right for me to take pictures if I promised to write "great things" about the club but I brushed that idea off. Hasn't he ever read my blog...?

But in all seriousness, getting a visual gag order from the barman at a half-empty club is usually reason enough for me to write something scathing about a party, regardless of the quality of the night. It's a matter of principle. Unless the German Constitution has been rewritten in the past few days then no authority has the right to enforce censorship on members of the general public. To me, the definition of censorship includes gag orders and camera bans and the definition of general public also includes people in clubs. The fact that they pay money to get in shouldn't restrict their freedoms any... in many cities, it's actually the other way around. So until places like Suicide Circus declare themselves as separatist states (complete with their own martial law and Stasi-style police to 'disappear' those who deviate from norms) I won't be paying much attention to camera bans. Coolness is not a law unto itself... though it does seem to go to some people's heads quite quickly, usually via their noses.

This incident gave me a great new idea, though: after Berlin's club community has Occupied Kater Holzig, it ought to descend in droves upon clubs like Suicide Circus, armed with cameras and eager to put the 'flash' back into the term 'flash-mob'. Heheheh...

I will be back soon with more great party tips and hints for antagonizing club staff. In the meantime, have fun and remember: the only thing that Berlin's club enforcers should be fighting for is your right to party!


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