Berlin Techno – Between Myth and Reality
Berlin is in many respects a centre for Electronic Dance Music (EDM), combining a vivid, internationally recognized club scene, numerous record stores and special synthesizer shops, and local music hard- and software developers.
During our workshop we will deal with different texts and films regarding the history of Techno music, especially in connection with the development of Berlin since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We will talk about both the shifting scenes and locations – focusing on economic and ideological aspects and the effects on everyday life – and the emergence of sub-genres in the context of Techno, House, and Electro. Therefore, we will investigate the linguistic potential to „mark“ scenes and describe the music. Furthermore, approaches to musical analysis using transcriptions or software will be discussed, as well as the reciprocal relationship between the production of EDM and the construction and programming of music hard- and software, respectively. Different perspectives on the aesthetics and the history of the music will be intensified through excursions to relevant locations and discussions with the protagonists of the EDM-scene.
Among others, selected approaches from the book “Techno Studies. Ästhetik und Geschichte elektronischer Tanzmusik” (Techno Studies. Aesthetics and History of EDM) will be discussed.
Topics and outline (preliminary):
Thursday, July 20:
Techno: History and Historiography – general questions and approaches (incl. examples of films and books, i.e. Maren/Sextro: We call it Techno! (2008), Denk/Thülen: The Sound of Family (2015))
Friday, July 21:
„The Sound of Reunification“? – Germany around 1989 (incl. excursion „What the sources can tell us“ to Archiv der Jugendkulturen / Archive of Youth Cultures; optional at night: participatory observation)
Saturday, July 22:
The Minimal City? Berlin and Techno after 2000: Segmentation and clichés of places, speech, and genres. – Techno-tourism and -economy (incl. excursion to the Holzmarkt area)
Sunday, July 23:
Dancing to Techno – Talking about Techno – Analysing Techno?!
Approaches of aural analysis, transcriptions und software-based analyses of tracks
Monday, July 24:
How is this music made? – An investigation of the role of soft- and hardware in the production of EDM.
Why do they make these tools? – On the influence of EDM on the development of hard- and software.