Browsing Articles Written by

Kaajal Shah

Snippets

May Day: Politics won’t divide us

April 28, 2017 • By

In 1910, Herr von Jaegow, the Berlin police president, attempted to prohibit demonstrations on workers’ May Day, and threatened to proceed against the demonstrants with arms if necessary. He was answered when hundreds of thousands of workers poured into the streets. Von Jaegow did not dare go through with his threat. But that which even the minions of the Kaiser did not dare to do, was left to be accomplished by the German social democracy. Shortly before May 1st of this year [1929], Von Jaegow’s successor Zoergiebel issued an order prohibiting public demonstrations or meetings of any group in Berlin on May Day. The order was aimed directly at the Communists, and the answer of the Communist Party was a call to the workers of Berlin to fill the streets on May Day.

Translated from The MilitantVol. II No. 11, 1 July 1929, p. 7.

May 1, 2012 Berlin. By Sean Gallup

Berlin May Day 2014 on RT

Presently, the origins of Berlin’s Revolutionary May Day are associated to some 30 years ago – the year of 1987 – when police apprehended a street festival in Kreuzberg, using batons and tear gas in response to an overturned vehicle and several construction cars being pushed out onto the street. Inhabitants and activists quickly mobilised to resist the police attacks. Barricades were set up, police cars set alight, an urban uprising that forced the police stealth out from the confines of the district. Whilst the Revolutionary May Day demonstrations between The Left, the “Autonomen” (autonomists) and the police have become somewhat of an annual tradition, in true Berlin fashion there’s also a party to be had…

1st of May 2013, Berlin. By Katja Avant-Har

“With the rhythmical formula you can convince anyone in the whole world of dancing, just dancing. It’s a universal language of music, an anti-Babylon, it doesn’t matter from which culture you come, which political background or opinion you have… We all belong together – this is what music is able to show – that there is a culture uniting us, that we can communicate with one another, love one another, dance together without having any problem.  All these people are dancing to the same songs.

(Ricardo Villalobos)

“Our movement is a bubble, a still accepted bubble that has no political meaning… that means that they leave us in our bubble. We should protect our bubble, be happy that we are able to make our parties and have that time where we are able to do what we want to do: dance and be together, this is something that we have to be very happy for. You have to work very hard to create that bubble, maintain that bubble and defend that bubble, to not let it become an instrument of political meaning.”

(Ricardo Villalobos)

In the name of peace, international understanding and socialism, let’s dance!
Club der Visionaere 2017

The Perlon heroes, billed each year as “Die Üblichen Verdächtigen” (The Usual Suspects) will grace the decks of the infamous Club der Visionaiere, bringing the sounds of minimal, electro, dub, techno and house for family, friends and dancers united by a passion that arguably makes up the heartbeat of Berlin. This year expect no less.

Whilst two causes – one of protest the other of rhythmical formulas – will and do characterise the capital, common themes of conviction, solidarity and revolution essentially underpin both, propelling the heartbeat of the city even further and deeper for the Summer months to come.

“The revolution is cool, everything else is Quark (cottage cheese).”

(Rosa Luxemburg)

Snippets

Being Conxi Sane

February 9, 2017 • By

Albert Einstein once said “Creativity is intelligence having fun” – a life theme wonderfully underpinned in this comic drawn for us by the talented Conxi Sane [Ivvoki Studio].

We look forward to more of her art, characterised by an acute perception of the darkness that strays amidst the rhythm of our daily lives. 

 

 

Snippets

fabric is safe for now, but is London’s night culture?

November 24, 2016 • By

Monday 21st November saw Islington Council, the Metropolitan Police and fabric come to an agreement to re-open the fabric nightclub. Hailing a bitter sweet victory for the London establishment dancers worldwide rejoice. 

The decision comes at a crucial time for the city of London that has seen the loss of 50% of its nightclubs since 2008. BIGGER THAN FABRIC – curated by Nathalie Wainwright – explores the demise of a once vibrant club culture, beyond that of a single club and asks the all-encompassing question of whether ‘it’s too late for London’?

Insights are brought from Irvine Welsh, Bill Brewster, Kate Simko, Sacha Lord-Marchionne, Debonair and a number of experts with specialities ranging from harm reduction to club promotion.

“It’s fantastic news that Fabric has its licence back but there’s an awful lot more work to be done to support London’s night time culture and the people who contribute to it”. 

[Matt Gooden – Who Wot Why]

“It’s fascinating to explore what’s really going on in London as well as meeting some of the people trying to keep their culture alive in a city that’s changing beyond all recognition”.

[Wayne Holloway – Director]

“Clubland contributes hugely to the culture and economy of London. It’s important that we look at what’s causing its demise, to find a way to protect its heritage and to see it thrive as part of London’s cultural landscape.”

[Nathalie Wainwright – Producer]

Video created by Matt Gooden, Sean Thompson and Ben Walker of Who Wot Why, directed by Wayne Holloway, edited by Spenser Ferszt at Marshall Street Editors, sound design by Wave and post-produced by Absolute.

Producer Nathalie Wainwright tragically lost her brother to an ecstasy overdose in 1997.

Snippets

Lize: The Last Summer

September 29, 2016 • By

The Lize collectif celebrated some final Summer moments on the wooden decks of Club Der Visionaere last Saturday. Patrick Specke, Bruno Schmidt and Ettore joined Sebastian Rudolph and Patrick Poitz for a near to 24 hour marathon.

Here’s a snapshot of Ettore’s set, a first set in Berlin that won’t be forgotten in a hurry!

 

After solid releases by Isherwood, St. Joseph and Levat, Lize Records is on its way to releasing their fourth release very soon! Keep and eye out…

Snippets

Belgium: More Than Just Popcorn

September 28, 2016 • By

Cities within our reach that offer great venues, music and vibes…

Belgium – a country known amongst electronic heads for the birth of Popcorn music, R&S techno, stealthy record diggers and highway parties. Even though the country had its heyday back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, the scene today has evolved and most would say it’s definitely back on its feet.

Brussels and most recently Antwerp are now considered in the same line of thought as the exploding scenes of Kiev, Ljubljana, Tbilisi and the more established Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt and London. The Belgian collectives are throwing parties and giving a place to DJs straight out of the club “archeology scene” – diggers that play the old (and new) gems – rave, breakbeat, electro, deephouse, techno, minimal, UK bleep all included!

Snippets

It’s not over…just yet!

September 7, 2016 • By
The doors at fabric opened earlier this evening… 
:

 

There is still hope that those infamous doors will open once again to the public. fabric will be appealing the decision made by Islington Council to revoke the club’s licence. According to mixmag, the Nightlife Industries Association stated that the ‘Fund For Fabric’ campaign plans to raise up to £500,000 to support the club’s legal fees.

Keep up-to-date with all developments (including what we can do to help) via the campaign site.

Not forgetting that we can continue to lobby local MP Emily Thornberry, councillors – James Court, Raphael Andrews and Alice Donovan and Mayor Sadiq Khan.

We leave you with a quote from Lawrence Batchelor’s “The Making of a  Modern Superclub“:

‘It’s a group of people enjoying themselves, having some fun and in amongst it all we’re promoting music we believe in…We set out to do what we wanted to do’

 

[Image: Chris Williams]

[Video: Isis Salvaterra]
Snippets

The council says NO to fabric’s licence

September 7, 2016 • By

The closure of a single establishment will most definitely not combat drug culture, moreover the allocation of blame simply masks the failure of licensing law, policing and drug legislation.

See below the premises upon which fabric‘s licence was revoked in the early hours of this morning:

Flora Williamson of the Licensing Sub-Committee stated:

The following facts were found to have occurred, two patrons have died at the venue this year, after purchasing drugs inside the nightclub.

People entering the club venue inadequately searched, and it was abundantly obvious patrons were under the influence of drugs.

Deaths at the clubs have involved people that are young, with numerous breaches of the licensing agreement, as a culture of drugs exists at the club which management cannot control.

The Licensing Sub-Committee has considered adding more conditions, but it does not feel these would be adequate in tackling the issue.

We therefore decided that a revocation of the licence is appropriate in that regard.

Snippets

Operation fabric: Operation Lenor

August 30, 2016 • By

Operation fabric dubbed “Operation Lenor”: Police went undercover into fabric, two witness statements recollecting nights out – two accounts that ring untrue for the countless numbers who have passed through its doors. For starters, anyone entering the venue is subject to checks more stringent than those faced in the majority of venues worldwide. An impressive twist on the reality some would say!

Witness statements: http://democracy.islington.gov.uk/documents/s9099/Appendix%202C.pdf

 

Snippets

Raving Iran

August 25, 2016 • By

“In June [2016], two musicians and one filmmaker started a three-year jail sentence in Iran for distributing underground music that hadn’t been licensed by Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.” They were found guilty of “insulting Islamic sanctities” and “spreading propaganda against the system”. [Electronic Beats]

For you me, friends in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, Zurich, Kiev, Brussels and Antwerp (to name but a few of our ‘rave’ cities!), the concept of underground music has become our everyday. Whilst we’re all too familiar with licensing problems, the party is still accessible and promotion is a given. In Iran however, a scene has emerged but it’s a scene very different to the one that we know, ‘undercover’, restricted by politics and lived out in the shadows of the desert plains.

German filmmaker Susanne Regina Meures features the past lives of two Iranian artists Anoosh and Arash in her upcoming documentary ‘Raving Iran‘. Now living in Switzerland, the pair (aka Blake and Beard) speak to Berlin-based (Iranian) DJ Namito in an Electronic Beats interview about their experience of the clandestine rave culture, passions that were awakened by ‘Western’ sounds and the search for a life synonymous to music, outside of Iran.

“…most journalists try to drag the subject to a political level. I told them neither my age nor my profession are political. The only thing that might be political is that I wish that I could do what I love in my own homeland…” [Electronic Beats]

‘Raving Iran’ is due to premier at Berlin’s Volksbühne on September 26, [2016].
Full interview here: http://www.electronicbeats.net/raving-iran/

Watch the trailer here!