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Poor, but Sexy

Reflections on Berlin Scenes

Edited By Geoff Stahl

Poor, But Sexy: Reflections on Berlin Scenes offers readers a varied cross-section of the city’s scenes, providing a prismatic view of one of Europe’s mythical cultural capitals. The authors gathered here address a range of topics, including Turkish gay clubs, queer filmmaking, record labels, the legendary Russendisko, electronic music festivals, the city’s famous techno scene, the clandestine dimensions of its nighttime club culture, and the fraught emergence of the Mediaspree. With the shifting context of post-Wende Berlin its backdrop, this collection puts into relief an electic array of case studies, presenting to readers interested in exploring urban issues a number of critical and analytical perspectives on the city’s cultural life as it moves into the twenty-first century. Poor, But Sexy is an important contribution to the critical analysis of the cultural spaces in the city, and allows readers access to one of the few scholarly overviews of Berlin’s varied cultural life available in English.
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Breaching the Divide: Techno City Berlin: Beate Peter

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BEATE PETER

Breaching the Divide: Techno City Berlin

Music has often been linked to place, not only with regard to a geographical location but also to a certain group of people or a lifestyle. In the case of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), some genres are known to have originated from particular areas such as Dutch Gabber, trance from Goa or techno from Detroit. Occasionally, as is the case with techno, the origin of a particular genre is debated (the Germans like to claim this genre too). And yet a geographical connotation seems to help people identify a certain sound, especially in times when the classification of subgenres within EDM presents us with an overwhelming variety of supposedly distinctive sounds. It becomes harder to define the music by its traditional features such as instrumentation, notation or compositional methods and one has to wonder whether the definition of genre should include aspects that only indirectly contribute to the production of sound: aspects such as social conditions, cultural backgrounds or economic changes.

Berlin is considered one of the most vibrant musical cities in western society. It is a unique city not least because of its role in German and European history. It is this history that has helped to create a sound that is unmistakable: Berlin techno. At a time when other countries and cities lament the death of EDM and clubculture, Berlin is a progressive example of musical development. It is a city that seems to...

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