I am early. It is the curse of the English in Berlin. We are always early. Around the corner from Magnet I find the dullest bar in Prenzlauerberg, and scribble away in my notebook to pass the time. My glamorous assistant calls and already, halfway to Hackescher Markt, all of the night’s decisions are reversed and reversed again.
We are not on the guest list. We are. We’re not. We are again. I’m already on the way to the Bang Bang Club to check out Singapore Sling when my phone rings. Due to the spectacular negotiation skills of Tanja we are in again, backstage with MIT and Shitdisco at Magnet – stealing a whole bottle of rum to celebrate.
I had been bugging Dorf for a month with requests to review Shitdisco and their last gig here was cancelled. I’m glad we made it.
First up are MIT consisting of Tamer on Rogue Moog, Felix on drums and Edi on vocals, bass , agogobells and woodblock. They are, Edi tells me, “signed, signed, signed and signed again” and it would take a fool not to see why.
Tough rips of dirty synth-beat rip through the crowded club and everyone is up for it. Edi goes nuts on the exotic handheld percussion as he joins Tamer who is poised quizzically behind his synthesiser, eliciting burps and farts from the vintage instrument. Perched behind Shit Disco’s kit, Felix, summoned to the stage by Edi’s repeated smashing of the cymbal, hammers it out.
The sound is retro and dirty and I want to dance. MIT is an unholy collision between Samba and Japanese breakcore being negotiated before our very eyes. Edi sings like Polystyrene, shrieking faked orgasms, one eyebrow perched carefully between a mop of hair and regulation nerd glasses, his bass veering between rock distort and needle sharp funk.
Elektroclash, again, but this time back with a vengeance and stripped of production sheen and stale old (DAT) politics. Live drums, as ever, proving more of an incentive to the crowd’s already itchy feat. Hedonism has never sounded this purposeful, well at least not since 2000.
MIT, who hail from Köln and are signed to Haute Areal have new wax in the shops right now. If their latest EP, Was War Es featuring a remix by ex Test-Icicle Raary Decihells, is not a stone cold hit then Werner Herzog can eat my shoe.
Laying down the Sex Law, MIT let the electro-kittens of Berlin-Nord know that they better not sit on their skinny white asses too long. They are going to be a tough act to follow.
Backstage, despite the palpable absence of dwarves and cocaine, the atmosphere could be best described as expectant. I grab a beer and snatch a conversation with a stray Disco Shit.
The band got together at Glasgow artschool (fellow alumni include Franz Ferdinand and Turner Prize winners Douglas Gordon and Simon Starling, the latter now resident here in Berlin) and we chat about the scene there, as well their touring schedule and The Rapture who remain a point of reference for the band.
Shitdisco are Joel Stone on bass, synth guitar and vocals, Joe Reeves, bass guitar and vocals, Jan Lee, bass and keyboards and Darren Cullen on weapons (a pair of sharpened drumsticks) they are signed to Fierce Panda and their second album Kingdom of Fear is out now.
Downstairs the crowd, buzzing with anticipation, is so dense now that getting to within twenty meters of the stage proves a challenge. Thankfully my elbows are still sharp enough to push my way to the front in time to be strafed with green lasers and the pulsing death-disco drone of Jan Lee’s synth.
Steam is already beginning to condense off the ceiling as the band, barely pausing for breath, launch into Disco Blood and “Bobby Orlando is (indeed) coming ’round for tea.” The set list includes the classics, I know Kung Fu, OK, and Reactor Party all played with a ferocious intensity that insisted the crowd throw desperate shapes in an attempt to keep up.