‘No Photos on the Dance Floor!’ compilation captures three decades of Berlin techno

Ellen Allien, Modeselektor, Ancient Methods, Ben Klock and Plastikman are among those set to feature on a new compilation tracking three decades of Berlin techno – No Photos on the Dance Floor! Berlin Techno 1992–Today.

Compiled by Heiko Hoffmann, the former editor of Groove magazine, and released by Above Board Projects, the compilation comes in two parts and follows on from a successful photography and video art exhibition, which was shown at C/O Berlin in late 2019.

That exhibition, which featured works by photographers and visual artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Romual Karmakar, Camille Blake and photographer-cum-Berghain doorman Sven Marquardt, was followed by a book in 2020, which collected some of the most striking images from the exhibition, alongside interviews and personal essays.

The title, No Photos on the Dance Floor!, is familiar to anyone that has graced one of the German capital’s many venues – photography is almost always banned, to ensure people can lose themselves in the music, rather than in their Instagram feeds.

Part 1 of the vinyl edition features several stand-out tracks from the formative years of Berlin clubbing (1992 to 2006) – Thomas Fehlmann and Moritz von Oswald’s 3MB features (with The 4th Quarter, a collaboration with Juan Atkins), as does DJ Tanith and Mijk van Dijk’s short-lived project 9-10-Boy project and Atari Teenage Riot founder Alec Empire.

In Part 2, which encapsulates how the city has become the centre for a creative community of international artists, DJs and producers over the past decade or so (2007-present), there’s a Plastikman remix of Heartthrob’s minimal classic Baby Kate, as well as cuts from the likes of Dasha Rush, Avalon Emerson and Fjaak.

An expanded CD and digital format is also planned, featuring additional tracks by Rødhad, Efdemin and Ricardo Villalobos.

As the official blurb puts it, ‘After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, abandoned spaces and buildings were waiting to be filled with new life in the form of clubs, bars, galleries, workshops, and studios. Berlin became the epicenter of a new nightlife culture that soon resonated around the world. Berlin’s techno scene was heavily influenced by the pioneering sounds of Detroit techno created by African-American producers such as Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Underground Resistance.

‘Their records were imported to the Berlin DJ scene by the record store Hardwax, based on the ground floor of a building on Reichenberger Straße in Kreuzberg, from December 1989 onward. The original temples of DJ culture in New York and Chicago, as well as the emerging rave culture developing in London and Manchester via Ibiza, would also go on to shape Berlin’s nightlife. Party series like Tekknozid and clubs such as Ufo, Tresor, and Planet can retrospectively be interpreted as the big bang of the first shared culture between Germany’s East and West, having paved the way for what is still the last and biggest expression of European youth culture.’

Part 1 is released at the start of June, with Part 2 following at the end of the month. Both compilations are available through the Above Board Projects Bandcamp page.


Part 1: 1992–2006
A1. 3MB feat Juan Atkins – The 4th Quarter
A2. 9-10-Boy – Robocop
A3. Alec Empire – SuEcide
B1. Futurhythm – Phuture
B2. Vainqueur – Lyot (Maurizio Mix)
C1. MMM – Donna
C2. Kotai + Mo – Black Acid (Pt. 1)
D1. Sleeparchive – Elephant Island
D2. Monolake – Alaska (Substance Remix II)

Part 2: 2007–Today
A1. Heartthrob – Baby Kate (Plastikman Remix)
A2. Ellen Allien – Go (Marcel Dettmann Remix)
B1. Klockworks – Sean
B2. Wax – Untitled (Wax No 30003 B)
C1. Ancient Methods – Else
C2. Dasha Rush – Outer Space
C3. Avalon Emerson – The Frontier
D1. Barker – Cascade Effect
D2. Modeselektor – Kalif Storch
D3. FJAAK – Breathe

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