View: Ein Bisschen Bass @ M-Bia

"A journey thru techno, techhouse, minimal noize and industrial techdub..."

When I get to M-Bia on Sunday morning it's late by yesterday's standards, and early by today's.   Half a dozen door staff are sitting outside, smiling tiredly and ushering me past the door, out of the chilly sunshine.  A very different reception than you'd get at Berghain, Kater Holzig, Salon Zur Wilden Renate.

Like the inside of an industrial air vent, everything's warm, dark and metallic on the other side of that golden door.  Aside from the warmth, the darkness and the odd metallic gleam, no other features are visible till my eyes adjust.  Even the faces behind the decks are spectral half-visages, silhouetted from beneath by a smouldering orange glow.

The dancefloor has black tiles, black tables, dark risers, dark walls, and the only light comes in gaseous spumes, descending like inverted flames from a dozen mini-spots that are dotted around the ceiling.  I don't dare put down my black jacket and bag in here; it would be like putting camouflage gear down in the jungle... I'd never find them again (note to self: wear colour next time).

There are a number of survivors on the dancefloor. A couple of chicks in oversized, off-the-shoulder knits and leggings with asymmetrical haircuts.  Then there are the staple proles: one in dungarees & covered in tats; a pair of prolettes in matching two-tone, Lycra twin sets.  The women wouldn't look out of place in a hardcore aerobics video, with their dancefloor-crossing, elbow-thrusting, on-the-spot-marching moves.  Between them, the girls in oversized knits whirl around, lost in an entirely different world.  DJ Zin Lumi whips her gaze between one track and another, strands of swag dangling from her headphones beneath her ears. It's a female-friendly place - a rarity in the techno world.

The music bats the dancers from a number of different angles, flinging their bodies this way and that.  Soon it switches from breakbeats to deafening techno.  One girl sways past me off the dance floor, giggling blindly & blissfully to herself.  A very drunk (British?) tourist looks contentedly puzzled, his feet still shuffling to the last tune's vanished beat.  He suddenly decides that it's time to pull and shuffles in my direction - my cue to head to the bar.  The barmaid is someone I recognize from a previous entry...  I shout an order to her, realizing at the same time that all I can hear is ringing and bass.   

A cheery lad leaning on the bar counter nearby offers me a shot of Jaegermeister, out of the blue. I shake my head but he's undeterred.  Leaning closer he yells, "You must! I am celebrating because I just got out of jail!"

I stare at him speechlessly.  What am I supposed to say to that... congrats?  Deciding that my reaction should depend on the nature of the crime, I ask what he was put away for.

"Possession!"  he beams.  I relax; that's a relatively victimless crime.  "They just moved me here from a high security prison after two years," he burbles contentedly.  "Now I am in an open one, and they let me go clubbing again!"

Well, I can certainly drink to that!

The next Ein Bisschen Bass is on November 3rd.

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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.