Beatport Community Spotlight: Berlin

Welcome to Beatport’s Community Spotlight — a livestream and Q&A series where we travel to some of electronic music’s most significant cultural hubs to play up the parties, artists, and dance floor communities that are inciting positive change in their cities. First up: Berlin.

10 min
Beatportal header No text v2
Nov 30, 2023
·
By
Cameron Holbrook

No city on earth is more synonymous with electronic music than the German capital of Berlin. Each year, the city draws in over 3 million people who travel there with the express purpose of experiencing its no-curfew culture and spending endless hours in one of its many world-renowned clubs such as Berghain, Tresor, or Sisyphos.

But beyond the veil of techno tourism, and for those who call Berlin home, the electronic music scene is not some impetuous, escapist getaway for the weekends; it’s a lifestyle. From its reunifying and countercultural beginnings after the fall of the Berlin Wall to its modern and magnetic draw for global ravers worldwide, it’s a city where advocacy and positive social reforms start on the dance floor and work their way into everyday life.

For the first edition of our Community Spotlight series, we’ve selected three of Berlin’s freshest collectives and parties (Floorgasm, Kilowatt, and Body Language) along with the artists who represent them (PSL, Jewel, and 131bpm) to demonstrate their diverse sounds, detail the origins of their scene or crew, and tell us about the noteworthy causes that they champion both on and off the dance floor.

131pbm Body Language

Body Language (feat. 131bpm)

How did your collective first form?

The Body Language crew actually formed before the party.

Caitlin, Camilla and Stella met while working at Kake (former club at Ziegrastraße) in 2017, before organising parties there in 2019. Right after COVID wind down and the clubs could reopen normally, they started the party at Re:mise.

Fast forward to summer 2022, when I first played the party – a few months after, the girls asked me to join the crew as a resident DJ.

How would you describe your community’s sound and core values?

I don’t think Body Language has a defined sound, while Stella cares more about a cohesive lineup, rather than genres. Some parties will lean more into house territories, and some others will lean more into harder stuff.

The second thing is that with two dance floors, you can easily have a wide array of vibes and sounds. The upper and main floor is often considered as the housier and hi-nrg dancefloor, whereas the basement is more the “everything” dance floor, where artists usually go for harder, faster and more diverse music (heard some punk music, as well as downtempo and jungle once).

Now about the core values, we’re a “femmes to the front party,” which means that fem energy is highly important to Body Language (as much as for the guests than for us) and prioritized on all the fronts – at the door, but also on the dance floor, in the bathroom etc.

What are some of the charitable causes that your community/collective champions?

Two euros from each ticket is donated to mutual aids and grassroots causes – some of them being gender-affirming surgeries for trans people of our community, alongside other organisations and charities that help people and minorities.

What are your hopes and plans for the community’s growth?

Re:mise is shutting down from December and our last party there recently went down on the 18th of November.

Our hopes are obvious: finding a new place to keep organising parties. It’s harder to do so with many clubs closing in the city and the inflation, but we have hope.

While the girls don’t want to rush and would rather wait to find the perfect place, it is definitely not the end of Body Language.

In the meantime, our plans are to expand the label with more releases (send your demos!), and to organise more workshops (i.e. how to organise a party, DJing workshops etc).

Follow Body Language and 131bpm on Instagram

Jewel Kilowatt

Kilowatt (feat. Jewel)

How did your community/collective first form?

Initially, the concept was merely an idea—creating a space where I, as a person of color, could feel acknowledged and seen. As I frequented electronic and techno parties in Berlin, I observed numerous enthusiastic black and brown individuals searching for a dance floor, and it became apparent that a platform was missing. Thus, our journey began in January 2023, stemming from the desire to establish an inclusive space for black individuals within the electronic and techno scene. Over the course of this year, we’ve been fortunate to receive tremendous support from our community, artists, and scenes extending beyond our immediate borders.

How would you describe your community’s sound and core values?

Our community’s core values revolve around the principles of being seen and understood. A crucial aspect of maintaining our safe space is the meticulous consideration of our door policy, ensuring a balanced representation of People of Color (POC) and Allies in various capacities.

When it comes to selecting artists, we prioritize individuals who embody the spirit of our community – those you would encounter in queues, on the dance floor, or even in the bathrooms; essentially, individuals who resonate with the essence of our collective identity.

These values permeate through our community, fostering a sense of care, shared laughter, communal dining, and, most importantly, dancing together. Mutual respect is a cornerstone, and our similar moral compass creates an environment where the party experience is not only enjoyable but also characterized by a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere.

In terms of our sound, it can be best described as pure sexiness.

Our musical journey spans from groovy techno to rhythm, breaks, and sexy house. Each artist we feature brings their unique interpretation of a progressive club sound, contributing to the vibrant and diverse tapestry of our music offerings.

What makes your subset of the wider global dance music community stand out amongst others?

Our commitment goes beyond the beats and rhythms, striving to create a space where cultural conversations, social gatherings, and artistic expressions converge to enrich the collective experience of our community.

This includes organizing panel talks, hosting aperitivo evenings, and showcasing emerging talents in various creative realms. Through these initiatives, Kilowatt aspires to serve as a dynamic platform dedicated to promoting and uplifting black art and its people.

Follow Kilowatt and Jewel on Instagram.

PSL Floorgasm

Floorgasm (feat. PSL)

How would you describe your community’s sound and core values?

I’d describe the Floorgasm sound as eclectic and playful. Techno is the starting point, sitting at the foundation of what we do and using it as the common thread to weave and mix a wide array of different genres that are a crucial part of our identity – individually and as a collective, like Baltimore Club, Electro, Ghetto House, Breakbeats, Reggaeton or Baile Funk.

What are some words you would use to describe the type of atmosphere that your community/collective strives to create on any given dance floor?

Queer, sexual and playful. Floorgasm is not about being hard or tough. Floorgasm is all about being in your body and stepping into the power and beauty you’ve been stripped away of, whatever that may look like. Celebrating queer black and brown joy is at the top of the list.

What are your hopes and plans for your community’s growth and future?

I’d like Floorgasm to continue growing and expanding. We’ve impacted cities like New York City (its birthplace), London, and Berlin, where it’s based at this moment. it’d be a dream to bring Floorgasm’s name and energy to new locations, reaching new audiences with our love for music and joy, looking back and honoring the black and brown origins of electronic music whilst pushing the needle forward.

Follow Floorgasm and PSL on Instagram.

Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s North American Editor. Find him on X or Instagram.

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