World Wide Listening Station Tour
OYE Records in Berlin
Berlin’s inclusion in Analogue Foundation’s Listening Station Tour is a testament to the city’s importance in the development of audio technology, creative hubs, cultural theory and the experience of sound, both in past and present. While enjoying a reputation as always being at the cutting edge of culture, Berlin has a particular taste for the analogue experience; unplugging, slowing down, being present in the corporeal hold a uniquely high level of importance in this otherwise lively city.
In the interest of delving into the topic of analogue, and the widest possible interpretation of the term, a selection of Berlin’s most dedicated analogue purveyors gathered in the opulent basement level of Soho House Berlin, close to the heart of the city centre’s Alexanderplatz. The aim was to discuss analogue at its most literal, and its most esoteric. On this Friday evening, the speakers and invited guests -- colleagues, industry peers and enthusiasts -- met, talked and mingled in Soho House’s mid-century style basement bar. Positioned in one corner of the space was Analogue Foundation’s Listening Station, which, as the bar began to fill, quickly became the busiest area, as all who arrived took their turn to hear some of the the specially curated selection of records - including Erykah Badu’s nusoul classic Mama’s Gun - through the Station’s peerless sound components.
As the final invited guests arrived, all were ushered through to a plush, red velvet hued vintage cinema - The Red Room - for the commencement of the discussion. Simone Merli of Soundwalk Collective, Claas Brieler of legendary Berlin DJ and production collective Jazzanova, Max Gossler, the co founder of Berlin’s newest vinyl pressing plant Intakt!, and Mary Luccioni from Berlin’s hottest and most eclectic underground party, Africanacidisthefuture, all took to the stage, prepared to share their ideas, concepts and personal experience with the full cinema audience.
I began by posing one question to each of our speakers: ‘What does the word analogue mean to you?’ Without a moment’s pause each speaker was eloquent in defining the word analogue through their own specific lens, covering concepts such as field recording practices and research over several continents, breaking the accepted paradigms of performance and personal interaction, history and nostalgia, and theideal conduits for creativity and art. In the interest of keeping the conversation as balanced as possible, all speakers were happy to explore the limitations, opportunities, realities, necessities of analogue approaches in a digitally-driven modern world.
The panel became the jumping off point for wide and robust discussion between the panelists and invited audience members, who were enthusiastic to debate and discuss analogue creative practices in modern day Berlin. The microphone was passed between a steady stream of raised hands, until it was announced that the panel session was to conclude, but the discussion should carry on in the bar. Soundtracked by an all-vinyl DJ set by Claas Brieler, who dug deep and unleashed some classics from his selection, the party continued in style, enhanced by the projection of gripping visuals from Soundwalk Collective’s recent acclaimed project, Before Music There Is Blood.
The Analogue Project’s Listening Station event left attendees fizzing with ideas, discourse, and new connections, and there was no better follow up than with the Listening Station’s very own weeklong residency: having worked its magic at Soho House, it was then transported to and installed in one of the city’s favourite and most well-respected record stores: the original Prenzlauer Berg chapter of Oye Records. The week that followed saw Oye’s many loyal customers, record-loving regulars and visitors sampling the store’s eclectic and dancefloor-centric selections in special super high-fidelity special audio.