The Berghain nightclub building
|Location||Friedrichshain, Berlin, Germany|
|Former name(s)||Ostgut ( - 2003)|
Berghain is a Berlin nightclub, named after its location near the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain.1 Philip Sherburne described it in 2007 as "quite possibly the current world capital of techno, much as E-Werk or Tresor were in their respective heydays." 2
The club is located in a former power plant (rented from the energy company Vattenfall3) in Friedrichshain, near the Berlin Ostbahnhof railway station. The building is distinguished by its enormous dimensions, which accommodate an 18 meter high dance floor and space for 1500 guests, and also its minimalist interior design, dominated by steel and concrete. The club contains a "cavernous" main room, as well as a smaller upstairs space called the Panorama Bar, which is decorated by enormous Wolfgang Tillmans photographs and features tall windows with a view of East Berlin.12456 Only half of the building is currently in use.2
Berghain has a strong reputation for decadence and hedonism; a New Zealand Herald article describes "people openly indulging in sexual acts"7 inside the club, and the building contains several dark rooms specifically set aside for that purpose.28 Photography is strictly forbidden.29 The door policy is selective and mostly random, but there are no VIP entrance or VIP areas. The guestlist is restricted to a few guests for each dj and maximally two guests for each staff member.citation needed As a special feature, no mirrors or reflecting surfaces can be found anywhere in the club. Like many Berlin clubs, Berghain hosts extremely long events; a Philip Sherburne column in Pitchfork Media describes a Carl Craig set that began at 3:00 Sunday afternoon and continued until the club's ending time.28 DJ Jesse Rose has said that "Entering Panorama Bar is like going back in time to an age when people went out to really party." 10
Berghain is the reincarnation of the "legendary" club Ostgut (1998–2003).256 This club itself emerged out of a men only fetish club night, called "Snax", which was held in different locations before it found its permanent home at the new club "Ostgut" as a part of a new concept. Quickly the "Ostgut" developed into a focal point of the Berlin techno-subculture since the venue was now open for all genders on regular nights except on those "Snax" club nights six to eight times a year. "Ostgut" closed down on January 6, 2003 following a 30-hour farewell event, and the former railway warehouse which housed it was subsequently demolished. Berghain opened in 2004.611 The name "Berghain" is a composite of the names of the two quarters, which flank the building south and north: Kreuzberg (former West Berlin) and Friedrichshain (former East Berlin); the literal meaning of the German word "Berghain" is "mountain grove". "Snax" is still held once a year on Holy Saturday in the main room (Berghain), while only the Panorama Bar is open for a mixed crowd.
The music is mostly techno, tech house, detroit techno, and minimal techno. The Panorama Bar hosts well known house and electro DJs. Nick Höppner, a resident DJ who manages the club's record label, states that "The simple division is that Panorama Bar more or less caters to house... and Berghain is really the platform for purist techno."2
In 2005 the club's owners started a record label, Ostgut Tonträger (or Ostgut Ton).212 The label's first releases were by Berghain/Panorama Bar residents such as André Galluzzi, Cassy, and Ben Klock.2 In 2007, Berghain collaborated with the Berlin State Ballet to create "Shut Up and Dance! Updated", a ballet for five dancers that was performed at the club in late June and early July.1314 The ballet's soundtrack (released on Ostgut Ton on May 2914) is made up of five specially composed tracks by prominent minimal techno artists such as Luciano, Âme, Sleeparchive and Luke Slater (here using his pseudonym The 7th Plain) .15 The soundtrack received some positive reviews,1216 including a five star review in The Guardian,17 although the ballet itself was panned by Resident Advisor.18
- Panoramabar: Berlin's Underworld | XLR8R
- Sherburne, Philip (2007-05-09). "The Month In: Techno". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- Tzortzis, Andreas (2007-05-01). "In Berlin, art among the ruins". The New York Times.
- Trebay, Guy (2006-03-19). "Life Is a Cabaret?: At Week End, the party never stops.". New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- Wang, Daniel (2004-10-01). "Ostgut, Berlin: Daniel Wang's scene report from the German capital". Discopia. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- Battersby, Shandelle (2006-10-19). "Ich bin ein NZer". The New Zealand Herald.
- Pidd, Helen (2008-01-09). "Last night a cellist saved my life". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-01-31. "Berlin's Berghain club is known for many things: its hardcore opening hours (starting from Saturday it stays open until Monday noon), its DJs (who play some of the best techno in Europe), and its relaxed attitude towards sex in public (walk past the booths on the ground floor and you're sure to see a bare bottom or 10)."
- "New Cassy mix captures Panoramabar". Resident Advisor. 2006-07-09. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- "Berlin electro club Berghain turns two". The Berlin Paper. 2006-12-16. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- "Spielplan Spielzeit 06-07". Staatsballett Berlin. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- "Shut up and dance". Resident Advisor. 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- "Various Artists - Shut Up And Dance! Updated". inthemix.com.au. 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- Macpherson, Alex (2007-05-25). "Various Artists, Shut up and Dance!". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2007-07-04.
- RA: Shut Up and Dance! - Event Review
- This article incorporates information from the revision as of 8 January 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
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