photos: Roger Sabaté.
The other week I had a little personal dream come true: My favorite Berlin musician performed for us at one of my favorite Berlin places. The occasion was the Checkout Session concert series by Danish loudspeaker brand SOUNDBOKS – and I can’t say how grateful I am to them for making this happen. In the end, it was such a sweet gathering with a stunning performance – I couldn’t be happier.
When SOUNDBOKS approached me a while ago and asked me to curate a concert event for their Checkout Sessions, it didn’t take me even a second to pick the musician. I wanted Lie Ning to perform at one of our events the moment he debuted last year, so this was the perfect opportunity. Before he came out with his wonderful debut single Tonight, I had already known him as a contemporary dancer and model – I like to say muse even – but little did I know back then how much more talent we would witness from him. The Berlin-born artist really has a lot of facets and he obviously likes to have his fingers in many pies – a desire I can absolutely relate to.
In the last couple of years Berlin’s music scene has been cooking up so many amazing things, we’re always excited to stumble upon new talents with songs that blow us away. It feels like Berlin is really having its music moment now, and artists who are based here are getting the amount of international recognition last seen in the times of Bowie.
Danish loudspeaker brand – SOUNDBOKS – is as in love with the upcoming musicians of Berlin as we are, which is why they are hosting the Checkout Sessions this month at various cool venues all over the city, offering some much-needed live music experiences.
Jiyoon Lee – the first female concert master of Staatskapelle Berlin.
The life of a classical musician is formed by a pathway of hard work and sacrifice just to get a place in a great orchestra. But becoming an orchestra musician is neither about fame nor about becoming rich. It is really just about the privilege to create unique music for your audience. A work of art that only can exist through the power of the ensemble. Through the organic interfering of the different instruments to one voice, to one sound.
This sound had to stop for the last six months. Orchestras like many other artistic ensembles could not perform in public to keep each other and the audience safe from possible infections. Despite all hardships, one orchestra kept their spirit alive like no other.
Our last music feature is only a few weeks old and we’re already here with some new fresh tunes to brighten your day and fill your night. You can feel the mood is shifting in the city, with a bit of a delay due to the lockdown people coming out of their shells, become social again and want to embrace the good weather. How can you blame them? We are certainly feeling it too.
With our new music listicle, we are serving you a bunch of recent releases by some of our favorite local musicians, but also some non-Berliners that still vibe with us and have some connection to the city. You can look forward to music from Parcels, Thomas Azier, Rangleklods, and more.
Sassy Berlin stand-up comedian Daniel-Ryan Spaulding has really lifted our spirits during the last weeks of the quarantine as he has been coming up with new hilarious videos on a daily basis about all things corona. You would think this would quickly grow old but in fact, he’s been continuously serving some of his best comedy videos ever. Who would have thought it would get better than his “It’s Berlin” videos that put him on the map in the first place (at least for audiences here).
In his videos, Daniel’s character “Da’Niel” has been mostly sulking and passive-aggressively commenting on the lockdown and all lack of nightlife and sex club activity that he so dearly misses right now. Most notably you could see him throw a tantrum in front of Berghain when it closed down, crawling somewhere through the bushes of Hasenheide to announce the comeback of cruising, or how he fantasized a huge gay orgy in Mauerpark by disobedient horny gay guys who wouldn’t stay in quarantine.
The Berlin music scene has been busy in the last months cooking up so many new tunes and music videos that we thought it’s about time to compile another round-up of recent releases by our favorite musicians. This time we have a bunch of newbies in our list that we haven’t previously featured on the blog (shame on us!) but that we are glad to introduce into our musical iHeart universe. Amongst them one of the more famous Berlin musicians, Zebra Katz, as well as newcomers Finn Ronsdorf and the lovely K.ZIA. Of course, we’ve also thrown in the latest music from iHeart favs Fhat, Evvol and Lie Ning. Here we go.
Last night, three Berlin-based orchestras had planned to perform a concert at Vollgutlager in Neukölln playing the music of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 6th symphony. For reasons we are all well aware of, this could not happen, sadly. But the creative force of 70 musicians from the junge norddeutsche philharmonie, the STEGREIF.Orchester, and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin can’t be stopped so easily.
They got together with 3D artist and iHeartBerlin friend Lucas Gutierrez who created a stunning virtual sound performance that sees a cluster of recordings from the 70 musicians playing their parts embedded in a futuristic world that the camera zooms into. Using 360° video technology the viewer can pan around the world freely, exploring the details and viewing the individual musicians while enjoying the concert. It’s pretty cutting-edge and probably the most impressive “digital version” of a live event of this new contact-less era. We hope to see more things like that soon!
And now let’s lean back and enjoy the music of Beethoven!
If you’re into electronic and contemporary underground culture music, you don’t want to miss out on this 10-day marathon of cultural and countercultural input, paired with discourse, club culture, and art. Get an update on the state of the art in underground music culture(s) and check out CTM, short for Club Transmediale. In this year’s installment, you’ll find performances by electronic music veterans such as Robert Henke next to underground gems like Sherelle. The festival always highly emphasizes diversity, making sure to arrange a booking that ticks all the boxes when it comes to political wokeness. Check out their artist list and you’ll see how to integrate different identities, backgrounds, and experiences.
photo: Ísabel Hayn.
The music scene of Berlin is as hot as the summer right now. Over the last warm couple of weeks, they kept delivering one lush track after the other and we are here for it! It’s exciting to see the scene progressing and to raise the bar higher and higher.
Despite Berlin’s reputation as the number one hub for electronic music, our selection of this new music feature revolves mostly around pop and indie rock music. Which is great as it shows how diverse the city truly is offering space for any kind of genre.
Brace yourselves for stand-out debuts of Lie Ning, colorful pop collages of Free Free Dom Dom and sultry soundscapes of Magic Island in our new Berlin Music Video compilation.
photo: Rafael Medina.
In its third year, WHOLE, the flamboyant spectacle off Berlin’s shores has become a unique space of queer expression and community with—beyond any doubt—historic significance. iHeartBerlin writer Andy attended the three-day “Function in Ferropolis”.
I breathe in deep. The air is dusty and dry from these first scorching hot summer days. Waiting for my group of friends to check-in, I put my heavy backpack down and let my eyes wander around. Colossal metal cranes stand against the bright blue sky, brutal remnants of times past. In front, a makeshift village of scattered tents on arid soil—a scenery right out of “Mad Max”. I turn my head, a group of half-naked bodies dances my way; a neon-green mohawk on one side, floor-long leather chaps on the other, and giant hoop earrings bouncing up and down. “YES BITCH!,” I call out quite suddenly and flick my finger. A fan SNAPS, a kiss on my cheek, and the extravagant ensemble whirls past. I start laughing.
Bye-bye reality. I’m home.