The history of Berlin music in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s is well documented. Punk, new wave, acid house; the fall of the Berlin wall and the stellar rise of techno. By the end of the millennium, more than a million people raved at the infamous Love Parade events every year. Dance music had arrived. But then what happened? Who are the people and what are the sounds that shaped the Berlin we know today? To celebrate 20 years of Red Bull Music Academy, Berlin Zwanzig – “Berlin Twenty” in English – explores 20 songs that have defined Berlin’s musical landscape from 1998 to 2018, by way of interviews between Red Bull Radio’s Vivian Host and the artists, journalists and scene stalwarts who bore witness to this fertile period in the city’s musical history.
Episode 20+1: Experimental Techno and Tech with Alexandra Dröner
Under the name Monolake, sound designer, programmer and techno icon Robert Henke mined the intersection between abstract computer music and dance-derived techno. Today, albums like 2001’s Gravity remain touchstones for new generations of electronic musicians. On this episode of Berlin Zwanzig, Sick Girls DJ Alexandra Dröner joins Vivian Host to discuss Gravity standout “Zero Gravity” and Henke’s vital role in creating music-making software Ableton Live.
Episode 20: Berlin's Perennial Allure with Perel
After several years in Halle, Annegret Fiedler moved to Berlin in 2010 with aspirations of producing a new sound. She combined her rock sensibilities and love for electronic music to create Perel, her current alias as a DJ and producer. Her debut single “Die Dimension,” released through DFA in 2017, shows a multilayered approach and helped establish her as an emerging force in the Berlin scene. Vivian Host is joined by the 2018 RBMA participant to discuss the track that started it all.
Episode 19: Berlin’s Fertile Avant-Garde with Pan Daijing
From the margins of techno and noise, Chinese-born artist Pan Daijing pulls from myriad influences, including migration, dreams and sensuality, to create catharsis-inducing soundscapes. Since moving to Berlin in 2016, the PAN affiliate and RBMA alum has been an integral part of the post-club scene in Berlin. On this episode, Vivian Host is joined by Pan Daijing to discuss the inspiration behind her track “Exile” and the roads that led to living and working in Berlin.
Episode 18: Trap Takes Berlin with Marcus Staiger
Rap will forever be preoccupied with regionality. With his trap-influenced single "Ich bin ein Berliner" (“I’m a Berliner”), Berlin rapper Ufo361 created an anthem for his hometown while spotlighting some of the city’s more sordid circles. On this episode of Berlin Zwanzig, Vivian Host sits down with Marcus Staiger, the journalist and founder of trailblazing German rap label Royal Bunker, to discuss the impact of the track and the social implications of its lyrics.
Episode 17: Isolation Berlin’s World Apart with Martin Böttcher
Indie rock band Isolation Berlin offset their melancholic lyrics with jangling, often upbeat melodies. This juxtaposition has resonated with German music fans since the group’s critically-acclaimed debut Und aus den Wolken tropft die Zeit (And Time Drips from the Clouds). On this episode, music journalist and radio presenter Martin Böttcher joins Vivian Host to discuss Isolation Berlin’s "Alles Grau" (“Everything’s Gray”) and the band’s place in Berlin’s contemporary music scene.
Episode 16: Navigating Berlin’s Queer Musical Landscape with Lotic
When Lotic moved to Berlin from Texas in 2012, they found a scene that wasn’t quite fitting their needs. Since then, Lotic and other expats – such as Janus co-founders Michael Ladner and Dan DeNorch – have been instrumental in carving out a radical and experimental space in the city’s nightlife. Lotic’s 2015 EP, "Heterocetera," left an indelible mark on Berlin clubs. On this episode, Lotic joins Vivian Host to discuss how this powerful record came to be, and navigating Berlin as a queer person of