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When the wall fell in , the city suddenly split open, revealing throngs of abandoned post-war buildings and bombed-out shelters that artists and DJs could claim as their own and use to build an impenetrable underground. Galleries, dance halls, and fetish clubs rose in dark, subterranean spaces, allowing experiments to flourish. Techno had already been spinning in Detroit, and several club owners — including Dimitri Hegemann of the mainstay Tresor — started welcoming DJs who could pump their music into the black Berlin night.
But despite the freedom and liberation that electronic music offers, the scene grapples with long-standing criticism for being male-driven, as men most frequently dominate the booths.
However, recent efforts have broadened the scope of representation, as a recent New York Times article points out: Below, we rounded up just a few of the artists changing the game in Berlin. Since moving to Berlin in , Colombian DJ and producer Isa GT has re-energized the scene with a brew of playful Latin American mixes, designed to welcome queer communities to the dance floor.
A DJ and producer known for genre-bursting blends of dirty house and techno, Ana Laura Rincon is also a revered community builder. Actions speak louder than words. Lewis is also the resident DJ at Berlin parties like Bodysnatch and REIF, where her audiovisual and tactile approach turns standard dance parties into something far more intimate and profound. DJ and multimedia artist Daniela Huerta, known by her music moniker Baby Vulture, uses spacious atmospherics and intricate ambient layers like building blocks to create complex, glitchy soundscapes.
One recent event poster described her approach as an excavation: The Guadalajara-born artist came to Berlin after studying fine art in London, and an interest in visual experiences and musique concrete influences continue to inform much of her work.