Berghain & Beyond - A Critical Investigation Of Berlin Techno

Berlin is recognized to be the world’s Techno capital, but for all that where does the story begin? Together - through reading texts, watching films, going on excursions and applying different approaches to musical analysis - we will explore the history, aesthetics and economics of the vivid electronic music scene in Berlin.

Berlin Techno (meant as an umbrella term for all Electronic Dance Music scenes in the city) is deeply rooted in its subcultural past as well as the history of Germany after the fall of the Wall. At the same time, it is a highly professional and internationalized contemporary musical culture and a business.

The goal of our course is to discuss and understand Berlin Techno between these poles. We will go through the history of Techno and ask how it could be written and told, how it is attached to present social, technical, and aesthetical developments. The discussion will be based on the present academic discourse about Techno, but will also survey the city itself as a source, including tours to significant locations and venues, as well as talks to business and scene insiders.

Matthias Pasdzierny studied musicology, music and German literature in Stuttgart, Berlin, Hildesheim and Krakow. 

2013 Dr. Phil. (Wiederaufnahme? Rückkehr aus dem Exil und das westdeutsche Musikleben nach 1945), University of Arts Berlin (UdK);

Since 2007 research assistant in musicology at the UdK, 2009-2014 research assistant at the DFG-research project „Kontinuitaeten und Brueche im Musikleben der Nachkriegszeit“;

Since May 2016 research coordinator of the Bernd Alois Zimmermann Edition at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities ( Subjects of research: History of music in Germany after 1945; Techno/EDM aesthetics and history; Pop music and German history; Digital Music Edition.

Kim Feser is a musicologist, philosopher, and sociologist, whose research and teaching activities focus on electronic music, new music, and the blurring boundaries of pop and avant-garde. He is particularly interested in the relationship between aesthetic, technological, and social aspects. Kim Feser is the co-editor of Techno Studies (Berlin 2016), a book about the aesthetics and history of electronic dance music. In recent years, he has published texts on the musical use of synthesizers and sequencers and lectured not only in Germany but also in the USA and Japan (2017), as well as in China (2018) and Lebanon (2019). From 2011 to 2017, he was a research assistant at the Berlin University of the Arts. Since 2018, he has been teaching at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Freie Universität.

Run period:
23.08.2018 – 25.08.2018
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 440

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants:

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