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Holiday Wrap – The Music Bit

Written by: 17 September 2008 5 Comments

Some of you poor people may have read my wee `What I did on my Holidays’ bit awhile back. Well you’re in for a treat today! Its instalment 2 – “The Music Bit”.

Lets us Hark back to the Halcyon days of the northern summer in Berlin…. Close ya eyes and travel with me…. Actually ya better keep ya eyes open cos I’m not reading this for ya.

Wed July 2nd  Bonnie Prince Billie – some theatre place far from everywhere, Berlin

First night in on tour, ably assisted by Mick (BMP hero) who got me tix for this telling me I will really like it.

I did!

We showed up a touch on the late side and missed out on our seats, but we did get some seats in the end, which went lovely with our very warm beers…., sigh.

I struggled for the first 45mins as he was getting a bit deep and moody and it didn’t resonate with me too much, sorta like a shit Mazzy Star, but luckily I was able to focus my attention on the violinist, who was supremely well endowed!  Soon enough my brain figured it out and I was away laughing.  I can’t recall the song names, I’m not like that, but once he pitched up proceedings it was all good. 

Twas a nice way to start me trip to Berlin, the techno capital of the world, with country music.

Thurs July 3rd  De:Bug @ Berghain

The very next night was the one I had been looking forward to, Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin + others.  I have become quite the Ric fan over the last few years, especially of his djing style, which is best described as `jackin’ but not all like that arse that is coming out of Chicago for the last decade…. but that’s a whole nother post.  Anyhoo, our posse was deep for this un, Kiwis a plenty and basically the entire auckland techno glitterati!! Mick, The Sting, Matt Drake, Justin & Silke all were present.  I would like to trump Mick’s post here quickly as he said he got in via a De:bug guest list….. meh, we were on Hawtin’s one baby! Name-dropping rules! Especially when ya don’t even know the dude!

Soo we get there in time for Alva Noto who is testing out the funktion 6.1 soundsystem to its fullness with a techno/dubstep hybrid that sounded out of this world.  Ric came on and I had me happy face on, he started off super deep and I was even happier! There came a point about 20mins in where he sorta remembered he was on for only a short set and suddenly jacked it up a heap, this in no way upset me and from there he played everything from house to techno and back again, new and old and all sorts, I was in hog heaven!  

The only downside to this night was that it was hot as Hades in there, the day had been in the mid thirties and Berghain had been baking in it all day, so when it was suddenly rammed full of bouncy berliners it just got stupid hot.  As I was planning my big night for the satdee I was keen to cancel proceedings early so as to save a lil energy for `ron’.


Satdee  July 5th  Berghain/Panorama Bar

So this was the big night I had been planning for 2yrs after getting sick in Berlin last time and missing out on Berghain!! Boy howdy I was a tingle!!!  We again had a heap of people coming along and I was looking forward to a late afternoon finish the next day!

It’s about now that the wheels started to fall off… Most of the posse had somewhat over indulged on the thurs and were no longer keen.  So a compromise of a 4am start was settled on with still most people keen to get amongst it.  So 4am comes and I leap out of bed and into the shower ready to go!! The Sting and Drake to there credit were in on it as well, Mick the Kid however could not be risen at this ungodly hour..

But he at least had good grounds for it, as his stories of Amsterdam were solid and I was impressed he was still alive at this point.  Our numbers dwindled further when Matt Drake texted from the train to tell us he was going home due to illness, a valiant effort in the least. This left Sting and meself standing in the queue at 4am.

We managed to get in and I was greeted on arrival in the main room with Deep Burnt – Pepe Braddock being played by Rolando.  Rolando was absolutely brilliant!

House, techno and everything in-between put together impeccably!! twas super fine!  But as the legendary Panorama bar hadn’t been open on the thurs I was dead keen to get in there and have a looksee, Conrad Black was playing and he was on fire! jackin berlin house/techno stuff, wikkid! I now had a major problem… who to dance too? I chose both and ran up and down the stairs for a good couple of hours thinking I had struck gold here!! 

Alas, it wasn’t to last.  Cobblestone Jazz played live after Conrad Black finished and were bloody awful. I was fully looking forward to this, as both Mick and Benny had raved about them in Detroit. I didn’t hear it that’s fer sher. It sounded like they were a group of individuals who had never met, playing music they had never heard before.  No vibe, no groove, no fun. So I sodded off downstairs to catch Len Faki. I have been enjoying some Faki live mixes at work for several months and was again well up for him, he didn’t let me down! Lots of deep tracky house played on a supreme soundsystem, grande. But after about 6hrs of this he seemed to be getting staler by the second. Whether this had anything to do with my my lack of a `state’ we shall never know.

I pootled around between Cobblestone Jazz and Len Faki for what seemed like hours, constantly texting young Mick in the hope he would finally show up, which to his credit he did! At the rather more gentlemanly hour of 9am. Which meant he would be in time to catch The Mole, Cassy and Moritz Von Oswald.

Mick had told me he was all about the Mole so being as I was already dying for Cobblestone Jazz to finish up when he came on I was ready for it!

As Mick says, he can’t have been that bad is he played Moodymann – Dem Young Sconies, but I disagree.  1 track out of what seemed like a 10hr set does not a good time make, he actually seemed to get worse as the set progressed which shocked the shit outta me.

By this stage I was getting rather impatient about seeing the people I had paid me cash for, the sublime deep house stylings of Cassy and the historically significant and awesome Moritz Von Oswald and Tikiman. 

It was around this stage that The Sting woke up from a sofa out back to tell me that they mite be playing outside in the garden bar area, blinder! It was a beautiful day outside and Berghain was some what minging inside by now.

Eventually, and I mean eventually!! It seemed like forever!! They opened up outside and we all mooched on out there to listen to Cassy play in the sunshine.  By this stage I was more than a lil fatigued so I couldn’t find the energy to get meself up and dance in the blazing sunshine, so Mick and I sat and gas bagged about the world whilst listening to a perfect set of deep house from my fave dj.  Eventually she was done and it was time for the deep to happen.  Moritz and Tiki started up the show at around 2pm with swirling soundscapes of reverb and delay, perfect for the way people were feeling/looking at this stage.  Mick and I managed a solid hour or so of this before it was decided that we were flat as hell and ready for more beddy byes, well I was anyway.

Time For Ibiza.

Sun July 27th  Space : We Love & Louie Vega feat Barbara Tucker @ El Divino

We had been in Ibiza for a night by this stage, no sleep as the rowdy kids in the hotel were making animals noises all night for us.  Ta!

The next day we went off for a wander around Playa Den Bossa to find a nice bit of beach to lie in the on and by accident found Space.  Now Space had not been on our agenda due to the line up being absolute pants.  But it was Sunday and it is Space…..

So we thought, fuck it, were here we may as well do the show.   After standing in line for awhile, not too long but long enough as it was 40degrees outside and we were in direct sunlight for the entire time,  we got in! It musta been about 5pm and it the terrace was packed out to the awful sounds of electro house…. Woooo! Shit.

So we went walk about and marvelled at the enormous (mostly empty) club till we settled in the Chibuku room with Dom Chung and others who were playing a real nice smattering of the more `modern’ house I have been enjoying for the last year of so.  This did us nice for almost the remainder of the time spent there.  We wandered out rather non-plussed at 11ish as we had Louie Vega and Barbara Tucker playing over at El Divino a bit later on.

So lets make it later on!

We get to El Divino to find it also dead empty and a cover charge of 50 euros each, this is up somewhat from the flyer price of 25.  The look of horror on our faces got it back down to 25 real fast tho, go kiwi!

By this stage the wife was feeling a bit worse for wear so she vacated the joint for a warm bed leaving me to make me own fun.

By the time I had returned to the club it had packed out and Mr Vega was playing.  He played a big set of classics for the yoof there, great for them to get a taste of what MAW were all about but not so exciting for and old bastard like me who had just driven around France listening to the MAW 10 Year Anniversary Boxset (this and this).

Still classics are called that for a reason and I found it difficult to resist the big scream ups in ready supply :

Harddrive 2000 – When you touch me

Nu Yorican Soul – Runaway

Nu Yorican Soul – Its Alright/ I Feel It

River Ocean – Love & Happiness (Yemaya Y Ochun)


This carried on late into the night before Barbara Tucker took to the stage and did a 30min set of all her classics :

Harddrive – Deep Inside

Barbara Tucker – I Get Lifted

Blaze – Most Precious Love

This was the high water mark on my music holiday!

Once done, she went over to Louie’s booth and sang along to whatever he was playing. Shitballs!!! It was unspeakably awesome! The top moment would have been Mr Vega running a drum loop and just working it out as Barbara Tucker `sang’ for about 20mins.  Top Sausage that! One funny thing that did come out of it was this lil gem of a story.

As I had been out dancing for around 13 hours that day I had developed a bit of a sore back (yes, yes, lay on the old man jokes here).  Luckily they had half of the club shut and I was able to sneak into the empty bit to stretch out me back yoga style.  I had been doing this for a wee while when 1 of the security guys came up to me and asked what was up in whatever language he uses (it was loud and I’m old remember).  I explained that I had a sore back and was just having a quick stretch whilst pointing at me back.  He smiled and says `ahhh you dj’, ya what? He follows this up with `would you like a drink?’ now, booze is somewhat expensive and I’m not one to look a gift security guard in the mouth!! So yes I’ll be having a glass of Rose thanks mate!  He then turns to the massed Guards and tells them I’m a dj as well, they smile, nod and move along…. I guess it’s either the beard or that I’m wikkidly cool or something… But I got me drink and invite into the VIP room, I decided that would be pushing me luck somewhat so stuck it out on the floor like the good old Kiwi battler up from struggle street that I am!

Next day was Monday!

That’s DC10 day people!!! But it was shut and that’s about enough about that. 

Monday July 28th  Amnesia – Cocoon

So Monday set us off to Amnesia to see Sven Vath’s night Cocoon. I wasn’t holding out to greater hopes for this as the DJ line up wasn’t top notch, are we seeing a pattern here? So away we went!

We got in early doors and had the run of the place for a while and were shocked at the size of the terrace room where Locodice and Marco Carola went back to back for the entire night.  This sounds good in theory but was a bit average in practice, it sorta never went anywhere and not being completely `cunted’, we were needing them to do a lil something.  It wasn’t long till the place was absolutely heaving and even less time till it was impossible to move anywhere.  The don’t have seats there cos then they would fit less people in and make less cash money… humpf.

Highlight for me was Locodice playing Green Velvet’s – Flash

As I was standing next to the NOS table…. I soon commenced to giggling.

We tried a couple of times to get in to see Sven but it was a total road block so we gave up and carried on where we were till just before 6am.  I left not enamoured with the joint, well massive and well packed in.

So that’s that then, what I did (music wise) on me holidays.

Let the normal service resume now please.


  • Mick said:

    Finger licking good. You forgot the part where you dropped the ball. Drop nuts. Bummed I missed Rolando.

  • Ben Jammin said:

    Good work, that was a nice read. Made all the nicer by the excellent formatting!

  • websta said:

    Mick, i think that ya need to save some stuff fer `live’ story telling.

  • websta said:

    are any of those youtubes any good?
    i ain’t watched them….

  • Mick said:

    yea the one with Raresh and Ricardo is pretty funny. Ricardo grimices a little at one point. It’s from a few years ago though so Raresh must have only be like 22 and playing with Ricardo! how’s that for learning under pressure.

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