(picture; Katerholzig/ ex-Bar 25 resident Beaner)
Hugely influential and usually respected British newspaper the Sunday Times published a hysterical ‘not safe for children’ expose on Berlin night life last week which suggested that ‘not since the 30s has Berlin experienced such decadence.’
Echoing the entertaining, if usually fictitious prose style pioneered by the Times’ notoriously sleazy deceased sister title the News Of the World, crack reporter Christopher Goodwin said‘ mass orgies’ involving hundreds of strangers are routine while ‘in every Berlin nightspot you openly see people snorting speed or cocaine’.
“I watched thousands of drugged up clubbers dancing in their own dreamscapes,” he continued, “and saw hundreds of anonymous bodies desperately clutching for flesh in the dark sex rooms”. Visions, he added, which left him ‘profoundly depressed’. (Sunday Times: http://thetim.es/wQ9tMb )
Apparently dreaming up his fantasy sex stories after a brief trip to Berlin’s (admittedly open-minded) fetish club the Kit Kat, Goodwin also claimed to have visited Berghain (‘Berlin’s most notorious club’) and ‘The Wilde Renate’ (known to Berliners as Salon Zur Wilden Renate, or more commonly ‘Renate’).
American Berlin scene DJ and journalist Beaner, a regular at ‘the Wilde Renate’ and resident at both Kater Holzig and (now closed) Bar 25, two of the other clubs prominently discussed by the Times, was puzzled.
“I actually skimmed through that article, a friend of mine from London sent it to me, in the context of another friend moving here. She asked me what I thought of it,” Beaner told Skrufff, chatting in a decidedly non-sexual, non -drug crazed, though down-at-heel chic bar three days later.
“To me it’s just the basic London journalism,” he shrugged, “You know, it’s using vague second hand non-facts to prove a story that you set out to write already.
Writing about Berlin’s scene regularly, Beaner spoke openly of the ‘artificial stimulants’ used by some clubbers for marathon sessions in a piece about fatigue published on Sweat Lodge Radio last year (http://slimag.com/august2011/#/14/) though ridiculed the Sunday Times’ citywide assertions.
“That kind of stuff he described does exist in a few places in Berlin though I honestly think Berlin was wilder and more hedonistic a few years back. A lot of the illegal venues and semi-legal underground parties are being driven out, I don’t think it’s getting more insane and lawless. It’s not,” said Beaner.
“When I moved here lots of people were setting up bars and club nights in ground floor apartments, they didn’t even know who the owners were, they’d set them up for a couple of nights then leave. That was a lot more crazy.”
Beaner DJs at Cookies Fashion Week Special in Berlin on Saturday 21st with Samanta Fox, from 18.00pm). Clothing optional.
http://bit.ly/AxEsNd Underground rave, Berlin, 12.06.11: JUST ABOUT SAFE FOR WORK)
http://www.kitkatclub.org (NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!)
Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff