‘So I just finished up a month of living in Berlin, and I’m still struggling to catalog its full impact on my identity. Living in another country changed my opinions on bicycles (everyone should be issued a free one at birth), sauerkraut (delicious), and geopolitics (goodbye to being a Democrat, hello to…something left of that). But perhaps the biggest “WTF WHO AM I” moment came when I realized that I am no longer a person who hates techno music.
What? I know. Everyone who knows me knows that I like pretty much all kinds of music, with one big asterisk. Okay, so I like rock and roll the most. But I listen to a bit of everything…except for techno. What kind of techno is it that I hate, you ask? Do I look like I care enough to learn the names for the different kinds of techno?! You sound like an annoying Burning Man person. I hate anything that sounds even vaguely like rave music to me, okay? Or at least, I used to.
As DJ music has become an increasing presence in both underground and mainstream culture, I’ve struggled to understand why kids go so nuts for Deadmau5 and Skrillex. Is it the pounding, repetitive nature of their sound? The way it makes you feel like you’re having a panic attack? The way there are no real vocals to connect with? Or that shitty up-and-down dance you get to do to it?
As a last ditch effort to understand how people can fall in love with this stuff, I even tried the popular club drug known as “ecstasy.” Despite it not being the nineties anymore, I did it for the first time at my 26th birthday party, right before a DJ friend of mine started breaking out the house remixes. Do you know what I did? I asked him to stop with the remixes, because I wanted to be surrounded with only my most favorite of things at that moment, and that kind of music was not one of them. I was never going to “get it.”
At least, not until I went to Berlin. Although a lot of “big” indie rock bands play there, Berlin doesn’t have much of a rock scene of its own. What it does have, however, is a fucking amazing club scene, or at least that’s how I think of it now. When I arrived, I was annoyed at the lack of guitar music. When I left, I was annoyed at the lack of good techno clubs in New York.