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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Nick Tsirimokos

The Top 5 Berlin Parties That Are Not Berghain

Delivered... Nick Tsirimokos | Scene | Wed 18 Mar 2015 12:48 am

For techno and house-heads, Berlin is a city like no other- the parties, the music, the affordable prices – you already know. For most club-going visitors, Berlin’s church of techno, Berghain, is obviously the major draw, with its intimidating mystery and the thrill of potential rejection- it’s amazing, no doubt. Having said that, Berghain is not for everyone – let’s not forget that it’s a thumping hive of sex, techno, and fetish – and if that’s not your bag, then it’s likely you won’t be going anytime soon (or getting in). But hey, don’t let that get you down! There’s so much to do and see in Germany’s capital! Take a walk (literally, it’s nice).

Whether you’re into low-key gatherings or explosions of art and noise, there’s something for everyone in Berlin, which is why we have an office here. To that end, we’ve dug a little deeper to offer you a glimpse at five amazing parties that will either blow your mind or send you packing, the next time you stop by Berlin.



When: Third Friday of every month. Friday 12am – Saturday 10pm
Where: //about blank - Markgrafendamm 24c, 10245 Berlin–Friedrichshain

One of Berlin’s most popular queer parties, Homopatik attracts a diverse crowd across a variety of sub-cultures and social circles. The event is spread across several floors of Friedrichshain’s infamous ://about blank venue, and in the summer, expands into a magical, maze-like garden area complete with a wooden DJ teepee, table tennis, swings, and countless chill out areas to get lost in. Playing a range of typically Berlin-style tunes, you can expect some quality techno and minimal indoors, and smooth deep house and Italo disco in the outdoor area. Homopatik offers a welcoming, community vibe of chill Berliners. Expect long lines, friendly door staff, and at least one person passed out in a flower bed.

Heard at Homopatik:






contort berlin

When?  Ad hoc every 2-3 months
Where? OHM – Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin

A cross section of sound and vision, Contort is a free daytime party that brings together the city’s most forward-thinking sound artists, offering them a platform to experiment in unconventional environments. Created by Samuel Kerridge and Hayley W. Kerridge (Boiler Room Berlin), Contort’s goal is to foster individuality in music and to provide a meeting point for like-minded partygoers. This instantly sets the event aside from the saturated sea of Berlin techno parties and house gatherings. You never really know what you’re going to get at Contort – an exploration of white noise, or an explosion of drum & bass, or something entirely new. If you have an open mind, a good attitude, and want to take park in the underground side of Berlin’s party scene, head down to OHM and dive head first into the wonderful experience that is Contort.

Heard at Contort:


watergate berlin
New Kids on Acid

When: Annually
Where: WaterGate – Falckensteinstraße 49, 10997 Berlin

Ricardo Villalobos’s New Kids on Acid party is easily one of Berlin’s most hyped annual clubbing events. Taking over both floors  of Berlin’s iconic Watergate venue, the party consistently boasts a lineup of some of Europe’s most respected house and techno acts, with artists like zip, Richie Hawtin, Massimiliano Pagliara, Ata, Isolee, and of course, Villalobos all taking the decks over the years.

Naturally, there is not a lot of information available about the party online, and the lineup is rarely made available prior to the event. Take it from us, this is one party that’s worth waiting a full year for, and whether you’re squashing onto a packed dance floor to watch Ricardo weave his magic, or simply chilling on the outside terrace catching the sunrise, this is an experience that you wont be forgetting. Hold tight and look out for the 14th annual New Kids on Acid later on this year. We won’t miss it.

Heard at New Kids on Acid:


When: Monthly
Where: Kit Kat Club Köpenicker Str. 76, 10997 Berlin

If you’re up for a challenging, anything-goes type of party, then let us introduce you to Gegen – one of Berlin’s most mind-expanding queer techno throwdowns. The word Gegen is German for ‘against,’  a word that describes the party’s raison d’etre; the concept of Gegen is to smash the partygoers’ notions of convention and open us up to our own fears, pleasures, and pain. Attracting some of the city’s brightest up-and-coming performers, musicians, and artists, Gegen promises the best and worst night of your life. Who doesn’t want to try that at least once in their life, right? YOLO?

Heard at Gegen:



When:  Friday 12am – Monday 10am (weekly)
Where? Hauptstr. 15, 10317 Berlin, Germany

Berlin’s Sysiphos venue is truly in a league of its own. It’s a party, village, festival, an open-air, an adventure playground- the possibilities are endless and diverse. Located in an old dog biscuit factory in the Lichtenberg area, the club boasts a long list of activities to keep punters entertained, from chilling out by the water with a pizza, to getting lost in the maze of crowded dancefloors. Resembling a scene somewhere between Mad Max and Never-never land, the venue is situated alongside the spree, and in the summer, transforms into an island beach affair that will remind you why you trekked out to Lichtenberg in the first place. Don’t let the location put you off – there’s a shuttle from Ostkreuz that will have you there in no time. If you are looking for an otherworldly adventure in Berlin that isn’t Berghain – look no further.

Seen at Sysiphos:

Private Agenda Talk ‘Déjà Vu,’ Berlin’s Influence & International Feel

Delivered... Nick Tsirimokos | Scene | Thu 12 Mar 2015 3:06 am

Hearkening back to a time when shoulder pads were standard and sax breakdowns mandatory, Berlin-based trio Private Agenda run the gamut of indie dance, with the kind of soul and groove that only true talent and sincere love for the music can produce.

Weaving a combination of tropical synth vibes and warm Balearic beats, the group’s debut EP, Déjà vu, channels the best aspects of the indie dance/nu disco sound, where the downtempo, feel-good vibe of Linda Di Franco meets the slick production chops of Todd Terje and Prins Thomas. Signed to respected label International Feel (who fittingly reside in Ibiza), it’s fair to say that after only a few listens, we think these guys are going to be a big deal.

We tracked Private Agenda down and had a chat with the trio about their EP, influences, and life in the Berlin music scene. Catch them, while you still can.

How did you guys get started making music together?

It was a mixture of fate and design really. Martin had moved to Berlin and was looking for a place to live with a likeminded musician. A chance encounter, chats and some beers later, he moved into Nick’s spare room. As for the music, they had a jam one evening and things just clicked immediately. As for Sean, he’s been a friend of Martin’s for a long time – they were classmates at school and have made pop music on-and-off for a number of years.  When the early demos began to take shape and it became clear that they just needed somebody obsessed with a chorus to complete the band, it was an opportune moment to get him on board. The rest, as they say, is history.

Talk to us about your sound. Where did it come from? 

Our sound has a straight-out-of-mid-1980s-Ibiza vibe. It’s all been about creating something that’s moving, current, but also has that timeless feel, as all the finest 12’’ single releases that defined the early Balearic Beat possess. Songcraft is really important to us. We’ll always start by writing with a pop structure. After all, our goal is to unite the heart and soul of pop music, often associated with a bygone age with contemporary production values. There’s a fine line between banal revivalism and taking cues from those that have gone before. As for key influences, we often cite early 80s New York disco and boogie records and the output of the artists that recorded at Compass Point as some of the key early ones. Think a cocktail of Grace Jones, Donald Byrd and Linda DiFranco. To bring the sound up to date though, we’re inspired by contemporary disco producers, such as Todd Terje and the guys in Tuxedo.

As individuals, we have different tastes and favorite records, but there’s loads of overlap too. We’re always curious to discover new tastes and styles. Whilst Nick may be an avid follower of the latest releases in techno, he loves classical and funk in equal measure. Martin played in a psych-rock band for a bit and was brought up with classical music, but loves pop music too, and Sean is a bit of a self-confessed ‘crate digger’ – he’s always on top of new releases in both electronic and alternative music. That diversity and curiosity just means there’s always something new and interesting on the stereo. As we’re music lovers in the broadest sense, it’s fun, refreshing and constantly inspiring to unite those interests and tastes.

What was the process like recording your debut EP?

What started out as sharing production tips and having late night listening sessions quickly turned into a full-blown collaboration. Before we knew it, the first demo of “Freefalling” was made. As the initial sketches for Déjà Vu were coming together, it became clear that the track needed something special for the vocals. Martin sent over an early version of the track to Sean and he responded within an hour with these beautiful, effortless melodies which he’d recorded using his mobile phone. It was clear straight away really that Private Agenda as a project would work. Over an afternoon in Berlin, as Sean was travelling through Europe, we laid down the vocals for Deja Vu. It all happened incredibly fast.

Talk about your signing with International Feel, how did that happen?

Nick: I’ve known Mark [Barrott] for years through my involvement in the technology side of the music industry. We always keep in touch about studio gear and controllers – he’s a gear freak just like me, and every now and then I’d keep him up-to-date on my productions. When the early Private Agenda demos started taking shape, I was clear that we had to send them over to Mark. We knew International Feel was the perfect fit for our sound and ambition. I think it was about 2AM when I emailed him the tracks, and he responded immediately! We got on Skype right away and had a chat about the future. International Feel was the first – and only – label we sent our music to, it’s serendipitous how it all worked out. It’s nice to be on board with a label that are excited about what your producing and then give you the freedom to make what you want to make. Their whole team is really professional and reliable, something that’s really refreshing in the underground dance music scene!

How does living in Berlin affect the music you make?

I suppose it doesn’t automatically reflect in our sound, but Berlin is really the center of Private Agenda’s world. The project could have happened anywhere, but Berlin was the place we came together for the first time and it feels like the right place to be based. We’d all moved here for different reasons, and it’s a place that’s constantly inspiring for the variety of positive electronic music we find. When we’re working in the studio we often imagine which types of records would go down well in the places we like to party ourselves and try to translate those feelings onto tape. Being in an exciting place definitely rubs off on us. I certainly think you can hear some of the free-spirited nature of Berlin and the receptivity of new ideas and sounds in our recordings.

Who are some of your favorite artists and labels at the moment?

We’re all pretty ravenous when it comes to finding new music, whether they’re new releases or we’re trying to dig something up from the past. There’s always something new on our stereo at Private Agenda HQ. To give you an idea what we’ve been listening to in the past couple of weeks though, Sorcerer’s new release on Is it Balearic? is amazing, as is Mallorquin’s new release on Palms & Charms, which Max Essa also appears on. Romare’s LP, Projections on Ninja Tune has also been getting plenty of spins along with new releases from Roland Tings and Linkwood. There are a whole host of labels that constantly inspire us and have delivered the goods recently, such as Athens of the North, Running Back, Leng, Aficionado, Transatlantyk, Claremont 56 and of course, International Feel’s own roster….that’s just the electronic side of things!

So now that the EP is out, what’s next for you guys?

We’re currently just finishing off some new material which should be ready for release just in time for the heights of summer when we’ll be playing our first shows too. We’ll let you knowabout it in due course!

Déjà vu is out now via International Feel.  Grab your copy here or check out more on Facebook.

5 Felix Da Housecat and K-Alexi Tracks That Did Get Into Berghain

Delivered... Nick Tsirimokos | Scene | Thu 26 Feb 2015 10:41 pm

If you’ve been to a club, have an internet connection or have friends who DJ, you’re likely aware that Chicago house veteran Felix Da Housecat was denied entry to Berghain last weekend alongside fellow Chi-town pioneer K-Alexi, after rocking up to “listen to some techno.”

Happens to the best, some might even call it a rite of passage (for even the most lofty egos), however Felix then unleashed a typically emotional torrent of tweets expressing his extreme disapproval of the night’s events. In other words, he called them “hitler racists” and claimed they had “shitted on FRANKIE and LARRY” (Knuckles and Levan, respectfully) by refusing to let him “listen to some techno.”

While there are a variety of issues at play here, the most glaring problem is that the only part of the club open in the early hours of Saturday morning is Panorama Bar, which seldom plays techno. Berghain was, in fact, closed.

Be that as it may, we know and love da Housecat and the house club equally (don’t make us choose), so we’ve put together five classic tracks by Felix and K-Alexi, that somehow made it past the bouncers and onto the dancefloors of the infamous Berlin techno haven.

1. Aphrohead – “In The Dark We Live (Thee Lite)”

Released in 1993 under the Alias Aphrohead, Felix’s “In The Dark We Live” is a defining moment of solid ’90s techno that has been tearing up the dancefloors of Berghain and Panorama Bar for years. Originally released on UK label Bush, the track was licensed by Emotive Records and released in the US with remixes by Dave Clarke and Junior Vasquez. Though you might not be seeing Felix at Berghain anytime soon, there’s a good chance you’ll hear this Aphrohead classic tearing up the dancefloor as you shuffle through the sea of bare-skinned bears, cubs and cubettes.


2. Thee Maddkatt Courtship – “Wet Wednesday”

“Wet Wednesday” is the opening track on Felix’s debut album Alone in the Dark (as Thee Maddkatt Courtship), released in 1994 on Deep Distraxion. With a distinctly hypnotic groove and layers of mellowed intimacy, you’ll hear this track spinning at Panorama Bar as the sun seeps through the shutters, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Classic vibes.


3. Risqué III – “Essence of a Dream”

An excellent deep house cut from 1987, and the first 12″ to have K-Alexi’s name on the label,  “Essence of a Dream” laid the groundwork for classic Chicago house and a blueprint for everything that followed. With a smooth mix of gentle strings, deep bass and sensual vocals, K-Alexi would soon come to be know for this trademark sound, as one of the true Chicago originals. An undeniable classic and Panorama Bar favorite.


4. Felix Da Housecat – “Kickdrum

In 2009 Felix Da Housecat released the album He Was King, a self-described “pop” record, on the heels of his electroclash hits like “Silver Screen/Shower Scene” with Miss Kittin. With track names like “We All Wanna Be Prince,” and “Spank U Very Much,” one could easily overlook hard-hitting cuts like “Kickdrum” –  a lowend-loving electroclash anthem that falls somewhere between German rave and ’80s pop.  Heard at Berghain!


5. Green Velvet – “Destination Unknown (Felix Da Housecat Remix)”

Lending his hand to remix Green Velvet’s 1997 track “Destruction Unknown,” Felix delivers a massive dose of pulsating techno that peaks with a frenzy of crushed hi-hats and razor sharp synth stabs.  A massive tune, and a Berghain crowd pleaser.

On the Rise: Electronica

Delivered... Nick Tsirimokos | Scene | Sat 31 Jan 2015 9:58 pm

Electronica, a ’90s catch-all term once used to define the music we now refer to as EDM, is now a genre identifier used in the Beatport store to refer to and collect a variety of electronic music, sans ’90s prejudice or disdain. A quick glance at the Electronica Top 10 reveals established artists, who are both critically respected and dancefloor-friendly, but one would not consider to be house or techno producers in the strictest sense, from DJ Koze to Caribou and Royksopp. For lack of a better term, and since everything in our store might qualify as electronic music: electronica.

When it comes to the artists grouped in our electronica genre, there is certainly no shortage of young talent. From Alex Banks to Jamie xx, there is an emerging onslaught of fresh new producers taking the charts by storm.

We’ve assembled a guide to the top five young acts to look out for. Check them out below… we have a feeling you’ll be hearing from them one for quite some time.

1.  William Arcane

UK electronic pop producer/singer William Arcane represents everything that is cool about electronic music right now. His latest EP, Reckless is a warm, yet unusually melancholy collection of deep electronic song craft. Combining an effortless blend of dreamy vocals, field recordings, and warm analog percussion, Arcane’s production feels sincere, unaffected, and straight to the point, drawing deserving comparisons to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

Having recently toured with popular act The Acid, the young British producer Arcane has already received massive props from the likes of Bonobo, Jamie xx, and Sohn, with heavy support on Radio 1. Where will he go to from here? We can’t wait to find out.

2.  Weval

Dutch newcomers Weval have been making some serious noise, following the recent release of their second EP, Easier. With a unique blend of deep, organic pop, the duo combine choppy vocals with warm analog chord progressions and haunting soundscapes.

Signed to the revered Kompakt Records, the pair have enjoyed a string of Beatport chart-toppers, including their most recent hit “Easier,” which shot straight to #3 on the electronica Top 100. It’s no wonder they’ve drawn the attention of heavy-hitters like Denmark’s Kasper Bjørke.

3. Monsoonsiren


Based in India, Nathan Menon is a film student who produces atmospheric, sweeping soundscapes using the moniker Monsoonsiren. If you think the name sounds familiar, you’re probably correct — In 2014, Menon dropped a huge track with Seattle-based electronic duo Odesza, “Memories That You Call,” cracking the Beatport Top 50 and racking up 750,000+ YouTube plays.

Currently signed to left-field imprint Project Mooncircle, the soft electronic tinkerings on Menon’s latest EP, Falstrati, land him somewhere in between SOHN and Kid Koala, exposing intimate tales of a self-confessed “musical hermit.”

4. David Douglas



Dutch producer and video artist David Douglas popped up on radars across the globe last year, with his nature-inspired take on moody electronica. Experimenting with layers of ambient atmospheres and found sounds, Douglas combines his love for the natural world with a serious flair for digital manipulation and processing. The tracks on his debut LP, Moon Observations, deviate between warm, swelling synths and raw, unpolished percussion. It’s these well-placed imperfections that set him apart.

5. Arca


Having produced for the likes of Kanye West, FKA Twigs, and Björk, it’s safe to say that 25 year old, Venezuela-born producer Arca is one of the most promising young producers of 2015.

His debut LP Xen fearlessly ventures into a cold digital world of sonic exploration, where free-flowing time signatures meet walls of endless reverb. His work is abrasive, almost unashamedly digital. In a scene dominated by the warmth of analog, this intrusion is pretty gutsy, to say the least. What makes Arca truly unique, is his ability to push his sound to new dimensions – through floor-crushing kicks and skittering, starry synths. Arca is a true innovator and a producer to keep a close eye on.

Icelanders GusGus on calling their new album Mexico: “It’s a metaphor for going out west.”

Delivered... Nick Tsirimokos | Scene | Mon 23 Jun 2014 8:00 am
GusGus are one the most influential bands to emerge from the notable electronic music scene in Iceland. Their ability to effortlessly weave together combinations of techno, house, and experimental pop has led to both an impressive back catalog spanning nearly two decades, and an uncompromising aesthetic that is distinctly their own.

This week, GusGus release their ninth studio album, Mexico — a vibrant, pop driven affair that follows on from 2011's broody but dancefloor friendly Arabian Horse. Setting an instantly playful tone,Mexico delivers a collection of smooth, intelligent, and slickly-produced tracks that combine cutting-edge pop sensibilities with a lighter, more emotional club feel. Last week, Beatport News was fortunate enough to chat to Biggie Veira and Högni Egilsson about the recording process, their studio gear, and their future plans.
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