5 essential Berlin soundtracks in Berlin

1) Lou Reed - Berlin, 1973

Lou Reed’s third solo-album was deeply inspired by the Berliner atmosphere in the seventies – by people living there like Isherwood and Marlène Dietrich, and by movies like Nosferatu. The concept-album is a rock opera about a doomed couple. In almost 50 minutes of music Reed deals with subjects like prostitution, suicide, drugs, depression and domestic violence. The atmosphere is miles away from the dance craze and escapism of the nineties after the Wall came down.

2) David Bowie - Heroes, 1977

The view from the control room of the Hansa Studio on two lovers kissing in front of the Wall would inspire Bowie to write the title track of his album Heroes – the second of the three albums of the so-called Berlin trilogy he wrote together with Brian Eno. Low was released a few months earlier, Lodger in 1979.

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3) Rammstein

We often think of Berlin as the city of techno and this is partly true of course, but Berlin is so much more than electronic music. In 1994 six Ossies (East Germans) came together to found Rammstein, a unique metal band that flirts with death, bondage, fetishism and cannibalism. It is one of the very few German (singing) bands that have conquered the world.

4) Seeed - Dickes B, 2001

Seeed represents the Berlin music scene of the 2000s: multiculti, fun, and very urban. The band consists of eleven musicians who bring a mix of dancehall, reggae, dub-ska and hiphop. They often collaborate with international musicians like Cee-Lo. One of Seeed’s biggest hits was Dickes B, an ode to the city of Berlin.

5) Paul Kalkbrenner (with Fritz Kalkbrenner and Sascha Funke) - Berlin Calling, 2008

This is the soundtrack of the 2008 movie Berlin Calling by Hannes Stöhr. The film is about a DJ who tours clubs around the globe with his manager and girlfriend. On the eve of his biggest album release he is admitted to a psychiatric clinic after overdosing. Paul Kalkbrenner played the main role and the movie depicts the Berliner techno scene (and the drug abuse associated with it) quite accurately.

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