KCRW in Berlin: From Techno to Tech

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Photo taken by RR at one of Berlin’s many open air party spots

Only in Berlin could a thriving club culture help launch a tech revolution.

Techno was the soundtrack to reunification after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, as artists claimed abandoned spaces throughout the city to host clubs –everything from bank vaults, power plants and abandoned swimming pools. The spirit of innovation was in the air and has remained to this day.

The city has also maintained it’s status as a destination for the best dance clubs in the world, with people flocking to the city every weekend.

Their famous nightlife, combined with lots of space and relatively cheap rents, drew in big names like Soundcloud (founded by a Swedish duo!) and Native Instruments to set up shop and they are two of the companies that have led the way for a start up culture in the city.

KCRW visited Berlin last week and we brought a panel together to discuss how the city became this creative hub for music technology entrepreneurs and how long it can last.

Moderated by Jason Bentley, the panel features Tobias Thon (Native Instruments), Ben Fawkes (Soundcloud), and Tobias Rapp (Der Spiegel arts writer and author of “Lost and Sound) and you can stream it below! It’s truly fascinating.


p.s. Panelist Tobias Thon also gives up an early heads up on Native Instruments newest creation Stems!

panel portrait
L-R: Ben Fawkes, Tobias Rapp, Tobias Thon, Jason Bentley by Yoram Roth (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)