Unfortunately i haven't really been able to get into the Chinese rave scene. It - like pretty much anything good in this country - is completely hobbled by government regulations, and as a result only the well-connected can get a scene going. And it just feels weird to go to nightclubs where half the attendees are expats and the other half are nouveau riche.
I'm not going to pretend the rave scene in other countries isn't heavily attended by middle class folks, but i still find it uncomfortable to try kick back and enjoy myself amongst so many monied people in a country where the vast majority are still very poor.
I think Berlin destroyed me for being able go clubbing anywhere else.
An interesting thing about watching coronavirus lockdowns hit other countries is that i get to see almost exactly the same shit play out as what i already saw 8 weeks ago. Every feel-good solidarity story, every social media lockdown challenge, every hilarious meme - sorry guys, China already did it months ago.
So of course the Berlin clubs are livestreaming just like China did. But i care about the Berlin clubs more. They aren't all run by 富二代 (trust fund babies) as a side hobby. They really need the money. Tens of thousands of people employed in the scene are fucked right now. A whole bunch of them are my Facebook friends.
Last weekend was the surprise lockdown in Germany when everything was canceled on pretty much no notice. My favorite club - my fucking second home - Kater Blau reported on their Facebook that a new coronavirus case had been traced back to the club on the previous week and everyone who was there between certain hours should self-quarantine and contact the authorities. Salon zur Wilden Renate livestreamed over the weekend with no one in the club except the DJ.
By midweek a bunch of clubs had banded together to set up a nightly livestream and donation line. Last night was Tresor, which is one of the most famous techno clubs in Berlin from my generation. Nowadays it's sort of an odd throwback techno club that isn't nearly as hip as "world's best techno club" Berghain. But fuck the Berghain, it's full of pretentious twats. I'm a Katerbaby. (I am sure Berghainies would call us pretentious twats too - such is the techno scene. We all secretly love each other.) Tonight in Berlin, Kater will be livestreaming, and it will be my first chance to hear music from my favorite club in the world since i left the city.
Well. If i can stay up. If i can figure out how to work a livestream. It's over on https://www.unitedwestream.berlin/ and starting in an hour or two, for people in less terrible timezones.
Mira is up first. We have had some very funny drunken conversations, mainly because i made friends with a carpenter and let slip that i loved Mira, so she introduced me to her, because they were friends from way back, or something? I dunno, it's Berlin, that's how it goes. You meet carpenters in nightclubs. Anyway. Mira tends to play fairly accessible deep house music.
After Mira is two people i don't know, maybe i heard before but i don't recognize their names. Then The Sorry Entertainer, who is a hilarious chap who likes to play exactly the sort of slow, wonky, psychedelic songs that i most associate with Kater.
Fuck it's 1am and i am drunk. I doubt i am going to make this.
When i lived in Berlin i didn't buy any music. Back when i was in Toronto i bought something like 800 tracks on Beatport because i wanted to hear that Berlin sound so much and none of the local DJs played it. Then i moved to Berlin and didn't buy a single song. I haven't bought anything since moving to Shenzhen either. My music collection has a 6 year gap.
Since coronavirus i have very, very slowly been buying music again. I am filling in the gaps. Here is a song from about 5 years ago that i just bought tonight. I remember dancing to it in simpler times.
NU - Palomita (Original Mix)
Here's another one i bought tonight. It was released shortly after i left Berlin, but it sounds exactly like i remember the city.
Acid Pauli - Majid (Nico Stojan Remix)
Hang in, everyone. Phuture will survive. Phuture will stay alive. Etc.
Edited to add: it's on kids! https://www.arte.tv/en/videos/096844-003-A/united-we-stream-3-kater-blau/