DJing might be one of the most underrated art forms. Despite most people referring to it as “Have u been to the main room? The music is so good” or “Downstairs was so great before – now it’s ok.” It is not like the room is somehow magically spilling out beats on its own. There is a craftsman/woman responsible for creating that sound fabric. This person is called a DJ aka Disc Jockey but that sounds like a dude in a white polo shirt with spectacles running around with a ghetto blaster. So, let’s stick to DJ. Some of them tour the world, play festivals, go from Berghain, to Smartbar, to Fabric and earn thousands with each set. They have millions of fans, and followers on social media who celebrate them for being the musical tailors that they are. But, everybody starts somewhere, and no other city is such a career springboard for DJs as Berlin. With so many unheard names on various party flyers and endless people claiming they’re pure genius behind the decks, it’s hard to have the ones on your radar who are actual masters of their art and just that one ‘Klubnacht’ away from stardom.
So here’s a list of DJs who spin regularly in Berlin. They might not have endless followers on social media, thousands clicks on Soundcloud, or tour the globe (just yet) but their music selection will never let down any dance floor.
Admittedly, this list is gonna be crammed with artists focusing on House and Techno sound aesthetics. So, we’re gonna start with a young, Berlin-based lady who breaks out of the norm. LINNEA is resident DJ and co-founder of the TRADE party series residing at OHM. We cannot quite pin down, what genre her sets could be categorized as. Is it Trap? Is it Hip-Hop? Is it Electronica? – It is energetic, that’s for sure! Who needs categories anyways? With one gig at Berghain-Säule, a Boiler Room set and her own party up her sleeve, the world is just waiting for LINNÉA. Catch her bi-monthly at TRADE.
Luigi di Venere
This 31 year-old Italian describes himself as an anthropologist who decided to have clubbing as his object of study and DJing his form of expression. When he is expressing himself behind the decks he swift from rhythmic House to drum-heavy Techno. Sig. di Venere knows how to heat up a dance floor and push everyone through the night (or day). As its label manager, he is best known for regularly playing the infamous Cocktail d’amore party at Griessmühle but many clubs around town including the sacred Techno temple have experienced his divine sound selection.
This man is most famous for one of Berlin’s newest and literally hottest gay parties: Herrensauna. His party might cause controversies and mixed opinions but nevertheless, CEM knows how to construct a booming, yet hypnotic Techno set. He has played in Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Israel and Italy, and recently snatched a gig alongside Berghain resident Boris. So, catch CEM while he still plays monthly as resident of his own party. Bigger gigs seem to be just this one tiny step away.
photo: Ana Tabatadze
Hailing from Athens, she is the lady in this collection who might not be found at a Berlin club space. Hara Katsiki mostly plays at bars, hotels or industry events which does not make her cosmic, exotic disco mixes any less interesting. She is proof that there are many forms to enjoy a DJ’s art in this city, not only on dark, gloomy dance floors.
The second TRADE resident in this list. Alongside LINNÉA, he showcases electronic sounds that go beyond the tight corsett of House and Techno. He has made a name for himself with eclectic sets that push dance floors into a steamy frenzy. Before he will go out to show the world how it’s done, you can catch Simon Kaiser bi-monthly at TRADE.
Since 2011 this Italian woman graces Berlin with her distinct sound. First a resident of the Homopatik parties, she is the Techno resident and co-organizer of the monthly Buttons party at ://about blank now. Madalba serves hard, pushing Techno while adding the right amount of rhythmic, dubbed or even new wave and vocal elements to really make the soundscape her own.
The founder and resident DJ of the femme forward collective Room 4 Resistance at ://about blank knows how to structure hypnotic, dreamy and calm sound atmospheres, contrasted by more playful and fun moments. She can go from spacey synths to rhythmic percussions and just add some sprinkles of disco. Listing booming tracks is one thing, but making a toned-down more relaxing set actually work is pretty rare. LUZ can serve just that!
The Berlin-based Israeli DJ and Producer is not a newbie to club kids in this city, from Cocktail, to Buttons, Shameless/Limitless, Renate, SchwuZ, or Labaratory – this DJ has graced many of the capital’s dance floors with his energetic sets. When Omer took over the DJ booth at Cocktail d’amore this June the dance floor was already boiling. It is hard to keep up such an energy that his colleague Luigi di Venere had established for hours. But his precise sense for playing the right tracks and the right time boosted the energy on the dance floor to a whole different techhouse-driven level. If you want a night that keeps you going and going don’t miss his sets.