On our bus ride into New York City it didn’t take longer than half an hour to bump into the first traffic jam of the day. Watching the skyline it also didn’t take long to feel overwhelmed by the size of things. The Big Apple does its name justice.
Berlin in comparison, and by far the biggest german city, feels more like a village than it does like a capital city.The fast paced environment when we get into the first train station excites me and exhausts me at the same time.
Between crazy crackheads and amazing musicians I grasp a glimpse of the magic that gets people into a love/hate relationship with the city.
Often I am aware that out of self-defense I can feel reserved meeting new people before I open up to them but the people I first encounter on my first night give me an instant sense of relief and do me a really big favour for the rest of my trip.
Still jet-lagged and a few days of sightseeing, burgers and pork-roll bagels later I realize I don’t have enough money and time to probably go record-shopping as much as I want to. Not having money when I should has happened to me often this year.
Halcyon is a well known record shop in the city and is hosting a frequent event that features a livestream. It was the first time of three that I would play.
New to me that a lot of people are currently watching and that I can’t see them especially imagining the time difference that came with it, the turntable jumped a few times but I feel satisfied after not using my record bag in a month. The uplifting mood of my mate Vagara did make me feel very accomplished after all.
The next day, just a few hours before my my friend’s event, we get pulled over by the police for the taxi driver not wearing a seatbelt and start to argue with him. We leave the cab and indulge in a quick meal before we manage to get to the venue on time. A lot of her friends would be there, some of who I had already met. I play with Taylor and Desyn, two amazing selectors. Taylor warms up with some of my friend’s label releases in his bag. I see a lot of my friend’s music in record shops overseas including Detroit and Japan and it’s awesome to see that music can travel all this way. A huge feeling of expectation haunts me spinning between the two. How do I cope with a party from someone that I really appreciate in their own city which happened to be one of the biggest in the world and that offers one of most important musical backgrounds? Luckily my friend Joe came, a long-time friend who before has put me at ease in these situations. Although I am relaxed by the positive attitude of everyone, it’s a different story if you suddenly are surrounded by someone you have known for a long time. Desyn, after me, was playing pretty much everything ranging from Electro, Disco and a few all-time classics like Schatrax. Near the end I play a deep house track and I remember Desyn making a joke about who of us would play the first vocal of the night. The party got extended by an hour. I am happy it was great and made some new friends but what I felt the most happy about was the few people that mentioned they are very proud by the effort my friend was doing by creating this environment for them. Living in Berlin makes you realize quite often that going out the way we can is quite a privilege and a luxury compared to most places. Something that all the travelling this year taught me from a lot of situations where things weren’t ideal. The last gig was a Monday night and fairly empty unfortunately. Rama, who I only just met and me had a lot of fun, especially with seeing the undercover cops trying to dance. The music was decent though the night too short to hangout with each other before I would go and visit Detroit.