Electronic Architecture

“Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”

These are the words from Kristian Wilson, a Nintendo VP from the late eighties.
If the techno culture and the attached clubbing culture did come up due to the emergance of Pac-Man can be questioned, but the interesting aspect is that darkened rooms with either carefully chosen lightsystems or the removal of such, powerful soundsystems combined with endless opening hours are very common in clubs that play techno music and it’s siblings.

There are several aspects in this culture that affects each other. The fundamental part in the creation of it all is the music, the DJs or live acts that make it all happen. It’s the vital and core part of it all.

But this music can also be so much more in the right context. The context of freedom, imagination, love and respect – the club, rave or even a concert. So how vital can the context be? Well, the music itself is maybe a context of life, in which everything that happens in life also affects the context of the music.

There’s also the scenario of the other-way-round, what happens in this context may also affect life. Expression of feelings and emotion is vital in techno, even in it’s most reduced form. As it is in life, too.

For me the gathering of techno people in a club, rave, concert or similar, is mearly as important as the music itself. Techno would maybe sustain just being left as it is, but in the right environment it can change things forever.

Working as a promoter, we try to find a context that gives the same energy and emotion as the music itself. Big, empty spaces with either exceptional lightning or none at all, with a heavy sound system and a good crowd is what promoters want to achieve.

The aspect of time is also one thing that gets lost in it all. Well, except for track durations. This calls for off-locations that usually can be found in the industrial parts of the cities, suiting not only people who live and work in the city, but also the music and attitude of it all.

Here above is a postoffice terminal in northern Stockholm, 10 minutes from the downtown areas. When I worked in Solna, I passed this postoffice every day, always thinking that if I had the means to do so, I would turn the entire building into a club.

photo by Elliot Lovell

The Berghain is a club that does it all well – the sound system is really good, the lightning too, the exterior and the interior is also brilliant. It has the feeling of the raw attitude of techno, but also a warm and nice feeling which makes it feel a bit more human in contrary to f.e. Tresor.

I really admire what Michael and the other individuals over at Ostgut has managed to do with this closed down energy plant. Especially since it’s owned by the swedish government, who has a law that requires certain obligations to allow people to dance. And to have a closing time at 3 am…

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