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Ben Klock Defends Foreign ‘Berliners’

Reported by JontySkrufff on September 21, 2012

Guardian Berlin contributor Jochen Hung branded a backlash against ‘supposedly gentrifying British, Spanish and Scandinavian hipsters’ as ‘odious and misdirected’ this week, suggesting Berlin’s rising property prices are being driven by speculators rather than incomers.

The German writer, however, noted how a Neukoln’ bar owners video rant against "the fucking students, artists and layabouts" went viral recently and admitted to noticing significant changes since moving back to Berlin after four years in London.

“I now hear posh kids from the home counties discuss their nightly exploits and see stylish Swedes sipping espressos,” he admitted, “It all suddenly feels like Dalston.” ( )

Born and bred Berliner (and nowadays Berghain resident DJ) Ben Klock agreed.

“What is strange sometimes is that you walk down certain streets and you only hear English, or other foreign languages, not German anymore, it’s interesting how things have changed,” he concurred.

“But I don't have a problem with it at all,” the Berghain resident DJ continued.

“Of course Berlin has been ‘the hip thing for a few years now and a lot of hipsters are moving here. But I'm an original Berliner and I don't think 'it has to stay the same as it always was.”

Chatting to Skrufff a Mitte café packed with internationals, he recalled moving from his West Berlin childhood suburb of Charlottenburg to the East Berlin neighbourhood soon after the Wall came down and paying 90 marks a month for rent, though stressed he’s happy about the city’s new cosmopolitan mix.

“Actually when I was young I was travelling a lot and coming back home, to former West Berlin, I always thought it was such an old and boring city,” he recalled.

“There were a lot of old people, and nothing really going on, I thought, so I was always happy when I was going abroad and seeing other cultures and countries. I'm quite happy that Berlin is open now,” said Ben.

Ben Klock has mixed the next Fabric compilation CD (Fabric 66) which comes out in October. The mix CD will be launched at Berghain on Saturday 13th October and at fabric on Saturday 27th October.

Jonty Skrufff: