Techno music, the 90s who ever thought these elements could still be cool although the retro 80s still rule many music scenes? But in some clubs, techno music with its hard beats and psychedelic aura still outshines the dance floors. One only needs to wear the right uniform while performing the dance moves (and I am talking about florescent boob tops, pvc glow-in-the-dark short pants, silver or gold plastic skirts and definitely not woollen jumpers and jeans).
After shaky door politics again at the infamous Mitte Club 103 that is located in Xberg 36, we managed to get in, just in time to enjoy the beats of dj Wolfgang Flür an ex and original Kraftwerk member. (Rough door politics: tight guest list, being accused of not being Chris Russell, no plus ones, high entry price still on offer at 4 am, yet they were desperate for an audience).
I expected the club to be packed like a sardine box with roving ravers and space cadets blowing whistles and munching on ecstasy, you know like in the 24 Hour Party People Film. But I was wrong and only some lost souls were drifting, clad in long dark coats and hats with halos of fur. 103 at its fullest has a great vibe but with not that many bums on seats, it just doesn’t cut my cake in little pieces. However the various nooks and crannies offer the public various distractions.
Ours offered Wolfgang Flür raving alone on stage djing and playing some hard arse techno and acid beats while showing projections of glorious past moments of Kraftwerk fame: them in their youth conquering the world with synthesisers, them inside airport lounges, or outside clubs in New York, flashing billboards spelling Live: Kraftwerk on Tonight! For him a recollection journey on their wild side, for us disciples, a reality check to their actual international fame. Mr Flür ‘s older looks still resembled him on the very early Kraftwerk albums. Although that space cadet yet conservative and innocent look was hidden underneath layers of experience, that serious intense mad look was wearing his smiles and candour. His suit spelled style and wealth.
While Flür was twiddling the knobs, clapping his hands and literally having fun with himself, the audience behind me was puzzled and glued to the clubs poles or lingering at the bar asking for good beer. Wolfgang looked like he didn’t give a shit if his music was going to move those crannies or not. I decided to move my dancing shoes closer to the stage even if no one else was. And I danced and danced till a real dancer came on stage. She was a candy to the eye, shaking her romps turning a few male hearts on. No she didn’t strip, she didn’t need to really, as I saw many bottles shaking inside ‘sweaty’ hands. Although I always feel that bringing on female dancers artistic as they may be, it is a cheap trick to raise the macho hormones. But I enjoyed the sights as well. She was quick and efficient and graced the stage twice with her appearance. The second time, her ‘bondage white outfit/ patient look’ gave her more show biz glamour. Her moves were soft, swan like, in time with the music, her smiles spread drops of divine splendour. With a few moves, she even disappeared behind the dj booth while Wolfgang’s face was turning red and the techno music climaxed.
During the Dj set Wolfgang invited some friends from the band Dyko to execute a percussion performance together with him, transferring our attention towards this new wave, synthesiser duo from Frankfurt. John Barry Dyko (hence the name of the band, Dyko), an Australian expat who formed the band, is the main power behind it and unlike many Australian singers he sings in German. Away from the likes of blues, punk and rock and roll, John performs his songs like a true German and that is a rarity. Dyko has already made some waves on the Frankfurt scene and since Wolfgang has them under his protective musical wing, his name has opened many doors for the band. Not that the gates would have stayed closed for long but musical nepotism has always worked magic upon promoters, audience and record companies. Dyko doesn’t sound like Kraftwerk but delicate similarities are there: the energy, the Mad Professor lab look, their mutual love for the Korg and other technological knobs. Their orange overalls gave them that Space Odyssey look while their music was so out there 80’s and Neue Deutsche Welle. But with a 2005 touch to it, more accessible and POP.
Dyko is a stranger to Berlin’s scene but for not much longer I hope. After a quick brush with Popcom wheeling and dealings a few months ago, they hope to come to Berlin more often and impress the ones who can’t be impressed. And they promise to bring Wolfgang Flür back with them as mutual collaborations are planned for next year.