Last weekend, Germany celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the world celebrated with them. In addition to the obvious world-historical repercussions of the event, the Mauerfall, as it's known in Germany, also had an enormous impact on the state of popular music. The fall of the Wall and the subsequent reunification of the two Berlins (and, moreover, the sudden availability of so much abandoned real estate) set the stage for the emergence of Berlin's techno culture: lawless parties in dank basements with minimal décor and punishingly loud systems. The empathic qualities of MDMA, meanwhile, helped smooth the frictions of reunification, as East partied with West for the first time.
That aesthetic and that ethic, DIY to the core, continue to inspire techno's vanguard the world over, providing a crucial counterbalance to corporate EDM. In fact, Berlin techno has also proved to be very good business. From underground spaces like ://about blank to celebrated temples like Tresor and Berghain, Berlin's array of clubs has contributed to the city's status as Europe's nightlife capital. Tresor founder Dimitri Hegemann is even considering buying the abandoned Fisher Body plant in Detroit, techno's spiritual home, and developing a multi-story club there.
The causal relationship between the Wall coming down and the explosion of techno culture is at the heart of 2012’s Der Klang der Familie, Felix Denk and Sven von Thülen's oral history of Berlin's techno scene, which is now available in English.