Home > Techno > Going to Berlin & the mecca of techno music…

Going to Berlin & the mecca of techno music…

Studio 54, The Loft, The Paradise Garage, The Haçienda, Ministry of Sound, Cream, Shoom, Pacha, Twilo, Tresor, Fabric. They are among the most famous clubs in the world. Right now, though, none is more famous than Berlin’s Berghain. Why does this German club have such a mythic allure on club culture around the world? Everyone has heard the rumors, maybe even seen some of it in action. Plenty more have waited in line for an hour or more, only to receive word that they will not be getting in. This is the case everywhere, but especially at Berghain. The club is split into two quite separate areas : the Panoramabar on the second floor, and Berghain itself on the lower level. Top DJs often play up top, whereas the lower floor is full of dark rooms and tends to be more of the gay scene with techno/electro music. Although the reputation of the bar is high, drink prices here are still reasonable and only a little more than the Berlin average. Cameras are not allowed into the club, as to maintain an aura so peculiar. So what makes Berghain so special ? Well, first of all, unlike clubs in America where crowds are selected at random here the people who are getting in are picked very thoroughly in order to embody the vibe of the club. The queue here is a long and packed crowd of tourist wanting to get a grasp of the famous Berlin techno scene. I heard one French DJ from Montpellier saying that for him getting into Berghain was like going to a mecca of techno culture. For the outsider this is perhaps a bit of exaggeration but for the aficionados it’s very close from the truth. Entering Berghain is like getting into a cult.

Berghain actually bears a certain resemblance to a cathedral, it’s an actual temple of techno. And whether by design or not, waiting in the queue is the first step in an initiation ritual, soon followed by an unmistakable feeling of butterflies in your stomach as you edge towards the door. You watch as people ahead of you get turned away. You try to figure out the criteria. Most of the time it’s pretty simple: groups of young men always have a hard time. If on top of that they are tourists, straight or obviously drunk, things get even tougher. When a punk who doesn’t get in shouts out : “Fuck you, Germany! You’re scum! I’m from Vienna!” everyone has a little laugh. Especially since the club is so huge. On a busy day over 3,000 people are probably ushered through the doors. On the other hand, every room displays such a firm sense of proportion that you almost feel in your own space since the club is so huge.

I actually heard taking photographs is forbidden because many guests don’t want to be photographed while they live out their sexual fantasies. Now about the music, the club brings together the best of 20 years of house and techno. The vibe in the club is also a source of inspiration to DJ’s and producers like Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Len Faki and the whole crew of Panoramabar residents, as they highlight in every personal conversation. The musical expertise of the crowd is incredible, as is their willingness to throw it overboard when required by the rising curve of euphoria. It’s not so much the multicultural charm of this mixture of gay and straight, young and old, guys and girls, Berliners and tourists which makes it so unique, but its ability to develop its own particular dynamic. A true mecca and a temple for techno’s idiosyncracies…

Categories: Techno
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