Eco-Clubbing with Climate Effects
If there’s yet another farmer-fondled French goose passing the counter somewhere near Berlin’s Kollwitzplatz and ending up in a New-Berliner’s shopping cart right next to widely travelled garlic from China and morning tea picked at full moon, then it is surely one of the more extreme appearances of eco-delusions, or better to say organic food delusions. Recently held Energy Union night at Berlin’s WMF club however attested that the very same impulse is even able to raise much more sensitive topics, while connecting serious issues, unusual locations and top acts like Coldcut live, Monolake live and the djing Modeselektor boys.
Berlin’s notorious sparrows were already spreading the news from roof to roof: the WMF is back. At first glance that might sound like a new branch office of a stainless steel cooking pots and high-grade cutlery producing company, but here is definitely the speech about one of Berlin’s new old clubbing institutions. If Berlin would lie on latitude 60 or higher, then sun would have a chance to send its rays from the North, making the TV Tower cast its shadow over the club’s new location. The 3-letter venue is definitely centrally located now. At Klosterstrasse they’re even having a stop of the U2 line at their own doorstep; theoretically seen clubbers now can start a journey round the world right after finishing their club night. That is quite a bonus if you can head back home in the late morning hours without losing time and after having spent the whole night rocking the dance floor.
For nightlife experts the area around Alexanderplatz isn’t all-too new ground, as back in 2005 it has already been the stage for WMF’s summer camp. However, in terms of nightlife that neighbourhood is now awakening like Sleeping Beauty, as beside the new WMF also old bull Weekend and greenhorn Dice club can be found there.
If one would have to draw a comparison between the new WMF and any Berlin club, then Maria am Ufer would be most related. Similar interior, similar sound, similar visuals and similarly mixed crowd – at first glance this might sound dependent, but receptive clubbers won’t find a poor copy as the speech is about a certain artistic thread that can be found in every bigger club in Germany’s capital. Allianz’ fourth party had quite a big line-up, pulling a surprisingly young crowd and actually the very same target audience that will surely be affected by more severe effects of climate change; a perfect playground for the Energy Union project.
Times were great when weather was still weather and not climate. Promising the most noble climate goals as EU Council President, but sacrificing them later, on the very same day, to German automobile industry – gosh, there’s only one “girl” able to do suchlike… Spirit and purpose of music’s intervention into social matters is as open to dispute as the way of taking influence. That can happen grotesquely, by abusing the situation in Iran to promote the record release party for an artist album while raising the glasses and drinking a Caipirinha to its democracy movement. Fortunately there are different and more comprehensive ways though, for example when transporting critical topics like humanity’s influence on climate to the dance floor. To emphasize its sincerity, clubbers could participate in a petition addressed to Chancellor Merkel on-site. Especially when thinking about before mentioned incompetent sweet-talking regent, engagements like a special party concept are needed nowadays.
Methane as well as the reflection behaviour of water vapour (clouds) are much “better” warming the global climate. They are indirectly connected to combustion of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, hence not widely noticed by the public, but they go hand in hand with the sharply increasing world population and its food requirements, as well as with ruthless exploitation of nature and rain forest. Coldcut’s performance glanced at these topics, but was focussing on direct and more apparent industrial and human influences on climate almost only. In the view of such comprehensive proficiency even the cute climate petitioner rolled her eyes, but maybe such a in-depth knowledge is too complex to be discussed in a club, as a party is more or less a place to shake legs to good music and not to mourn towards end of humanity.
Coldcut thoroughly dealt with the topics mentioned in their performance. For example they included all monologues in the language of the country they are playing at. Hence people on the dance floor were approached in several ways: linguistically, visually and last but not least musically, as the whole performance got framed by a mixture of Coldcut’s greatest tracks of course. Gracefully melodic, but also at the same time drivingly rhythmic; music was involving the people like those ever working oil pumps Coldcut features in their visuals. To boot they were infusing external elements such as the main theme of The Age Of Love, which made their live act even more captivating.
Right after the Brits had left the stage, a subliminal bassy buzzing began to wash around the clubbers’ legs, making the ground waft away. In the middle of the dance floor and right in the heart of the people Monolake (aka Robert Henke and his VJ Tarik Barri) and his self-made music machines took stand, sending volleys of finest broken down, deep and dark industrial techno beats into the crowd. Quickly he made the sparks fly and it didn’t take much time until Henke’s sparse hair was waving around wildly, in the manner of a passioned techno scholar teaching his students. Dubby clubby techno at its best – something for connoisseurs, served live from the middle of the dance floor and in finest live surround.
For Modeselektor the new WMF is already connected to memories, for example to the record release party for their Moderat debut album. Berlin based label Get Physical added some more memories as the night was also the record release party for the recently released eighth edition of their Body Language mix compilation series, and no other than Szary and Bronse are responsible for all things called track selection and mixing.
When those two BPitchers are djing instead of doing a live act, then things are still heavy on the basses and keen to experiment. The record box could tell a thing or two about how many different genres went on the turn tables. Modeselektor DJ sets: a bass-heavy fusion of techno, electro and breaks spiced with reggae, ragga and hip hop elements.
The emergency exit sign provocatively screwed over the stage funnily seemed to be part of the performance. Unfortunately our life giving island in the universe has no such exit strategy. Therefore the night leaves a certain hope connected aftertaste behind: Does such a proactive engagement leave a footprint behind? Jonathan Moore answers: “Surely our project won’t change the world overnight, but it’s worth trying to help to kick off something. Rome wasn’t built in a day, either; although for us time to take influence is expiring…” – an honest answer full of enterprise spirit. Our current way of life is everything but independent from energy, as every day we are consuming tons of it. In capitalist times regenerative energies are also part of the huge energy market. At the moment it’s about revolutionising conservative structures, but when they reach a market dominating level then time will show if engagement was about nature and earth, or about industry’s cash in the pockets.