Michael Rother’s set at the Synästhesie Festival on the weekend is proof (if proof was needed) that techno has its roots in Germany’s krautrock scene.
Rother was there to perform much-loved songs from both his former band Neu! and Harmonium. Repetitive, relentless and really damn good, what better place to hear such cutting-edge music than in a former DDR-era factory in the city of Berlin? Songs which are 40 years old shouldn’t sound as fresh and vital as they did in the hands of Michael Rother. With such an inspirational gig still fresh in our memories, here’s a look at what the next great concerts coming up this week in Berlin are:
Friday 23rd September
The Invisible @ Prince Charles
Honing their craft moonlighting in several popular bands as well as toiling away behind the scenes for the past decade, The Invisible are finally getting much-deserved recognition. Fronted by charismatic Dave Ukumu, whose soulful voice glides over the pounding electro-rock, The Invisible makes for a fitting soundtrack to Berlin. Their recent album Patience is their best and worth tracking down. However, The Invisible are at their best when they are visible. That’s to say, they are an excellent live band and a very viable option to consider when planning how to kick off your Friday night.
Saturday 24th September
Megaloh @ Postbahnhof Club
There’s a hell of lot of excellent rap coming out of Germany right now. Only a fool would dismiss German rap, and anyone looking to learn German should adopt themselves a rapper and start taking notes. Marteria. Seeed. Die Fantastischen Vier – pick one that sounds good to you and get learning!
Moabit-man Megaloh hits the city on Saturday night. Taking his name from the Greek word for ‘big’, it’s proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and he’s just released his most successful album Regenmacher. Catch what all the fuss is about in Postbahnhof this Saturday.
Sunday 25th September
The Ex @ Roter Salon
Aside from Golden Earing and the Vengaboys, most people would struggle to name any other Dutch bands that have found success outside of their homeland. Here’s another group that every self-respecting fan of underground music should know: The Ex.
Icons of Dutch squat culture and an inspiring example of musical independence, those who admire the punk-DIY ethos need to know this band. With a deft ability to defy categorisation throughout their 30+ year history and by being one of the few bands from the late 1970s to actually get better as they got older, The Ex can legitimately be called ‘legends’.
The band’s musical vision has always remained essentially the same – intense, progressive music that refuses to compromise or be pigeonholed. Over the years, The Ex have supplemented their punky sound with a wide range of exotic and unusual instruments. They’ve played with Thurston Moore, collaborated with some of Ethiopia’s finest musicians and have recently pushed musical boundaries with a screaming quartet of brass musicians.
‘Always different, always the same’, the famous quote by John Peel in reference to his favourite band The Fall could also be applied to The Ex. Think Battles with more guitars, a funkier Televison or Fugazi with added European sophistication. Playing their first concert in Berlin since 2012, now is as good a time as ever to experience this ferocious Dutch phenomenon. Don’t wait another four years for this band to return. See you at The Roter Salon on Sunday.
Monday 26th September
LSD and the Search For God @ Schokoladen
Now THAT is how you name a band. LSD and the Search For God are an enigma in psych and space rock circles and a band whose rare appearance in Berlin shouldn’t go overlooked. We’re truly getting spoiled this week. With only two EP releases in their nine year history, LSD appear to work under the idea that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’.
Cult masters of their genre, the band are making a rare visit to Europe this September. With it they bring their new EP ‘Heaven Is A Place’. Nine years since their debut release, this EP is an effortless reaffirmation of their talent. Drop a tab and crusade on down to Schokoladen this Monday evening (BERLIN LOVES YOU does not advocate the use of drugs in the quest to find God, we recommend going to a church instead… preferably loaded on drugs).
Tuesday 27th September
Lucy Rose – Privatclub
Privatclub has a knack for booking the best modern singer-songwriters around. English singer-songwriter Lucy Rose, with her ethereal voice and delicate guitar playing, is ideally suited for such a place. Rose manages to take her fondness for Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and create something that is completely her own. Touring her new album Work It Out around Germany after a busy summer of festival appearances, catch her on stage this Tuesday!