Every week we compile a selection of music to sing you into the weekend and list them in a post called #bottomrightcorner. Sometimes new tunes, sometimes themed tunes and sometimes we ask a music aficionado to choose the tunes for us. This week we dedicate our selection to one of the most sought-after cities for aspiring artists: the German capital Berlin. Although, naturally, never-ending electro beats beaming from dingy-looking clubs that are literally ‘underground’ come to mind, we found that Berlin’s music scene encompasses more than that. The 3.3 million city being an ever-growing and changing hub of influences, this playlist has turned out to be extremely diverse. It should in no way sum up, or be an exemplar of what’s the hip and now, but simply what we came across in a city of such artistic capacity. Interestingly, none of the musicians selected are actually from Berlin. Yet most of them ended up having at least a fling with her majesty, resulting in a musical lovechild brought up by tree-studded allees, sprayed walls and a ton of historic flair. Also dann, viel Spass mit der Mucke!


Dear Reader – ‘Took Them Away’

Cherylin MacNeil successfully brought her South African-bred ‘melodramatic popular song’ project Dear Reader to Germany’s creative capital in 2010. Signed to Berlin-based label City Slang, she has not forgotten her Jozi-roots. On 2013’s Rivonia she takes a look at her home country’s history with a fresh, fervent and harsh eye — which, perhaps, is most competent when it’s gazing from a distance. Rivonia‘s historic slant, immersed in emotionally fused vocals and steady melodies, has of course sparked a desire to be seen live. After mastering a recent performance with grandiosely sinister Get Well Soon at the Berlin Festival, Dear Reader will be embarking on Rivonia Tour Part II in November and visit 13 German cities.


Mr. Sinister Kris – ‘Lonesome Town’

After being a part of the successful Italian rockabilly trio The Boppin Kids, and winning the Heineken Jammin’ Festival with The Horrible Porno Stuntmen, Mr. Sinister Kris left Italy in January, 2012, to chase the dream in Berlin. Once arrived he got involved with various music projects and is now, apart from doing solo stuff, playing with The Boomtown Three and The Offenders. His recent solo undertaking is a cover of Ricky Nelson‘s 1958 hit single ‘Lonesome Town’ which was inspired by his girlfriend’s love of the song. Along with a beautiful video shot by Simone Trotta in Berlin’s Viktoriapark, and sung in a voice that could just be the male equivalent to Janis Joplin‘s raspy serenades, this version becomes a heartfelt reminder of the past.


I Heart Sharks – ‘Neuzeit’

Comprised of ‘one English boy, one German boy and one lost (American) boy’ (facebook.com/iheartsharksmusic), the band’s mixed nationality is increasingly common in Berlin and epitomizes its musical spirit. Their accordingly mixed influences and use of different genres seamlessly work together as postpop, while further extending the ‘influence-pool’ and creating a growing new indie scene in Berlin. Here’s ‘Neuzeit’, a Berlin hit with a German chorus sung in an English accent.


Rotfront – ‘Eyns Tsvey’

Similar to I Heart Sharks, Rotfront is a music collective made up of different genres, nationalities and languages. Active since 2003, and founded by Yuriy Gurzhy, who is also known for being part of the DJ collective Russendisko, Rotfront bring together russian reggae, hungarian garage-rock, ska, klezmer and hip-hop to create a sweat-inducing frenzy they call ‘Emigrantski Raggamuffin’ (immigrant raggamuffin). They often refer to Berlin as the ‘emigrantski republic’, honouring the diversity of nationalities living in the city who fuse culture until it’s a unique feeling that represents the new status quo. Yet since they’re mainly about having fun, the eight-to-sometimes-15 band members are best seen live, but singing along to ‘eyns tsvey dance the night away’ should give you a good idea of what it’s all about.


The Frantic Flintstones – ‘Chasin’ Da Dragon’

Berlin is mainly known for its electronic club scene, but is also home to an unflinching, non-mainstream and 100%-devoted psychobilly scene. The Berlin-based Frantic Flintstones being one of the first to pursue the genre along with The Meteors and Demented Are Go, are a firm part of it. For psychos in Berlin, Wild at Heart and Bassy Cowboy Club are regular hosts of psychobilly bands. Here’s ‘Chasin’ Da Dragon’ from The Frantic Flintstones‘ 2012 album Freaked Out & Psyched Out.


Get Well Soon – ‘Roland, I feel You’

Konstantin Gropper, the man behind Get Well Soon, is called a ‘German Wunderkind’ by NME and has a fervour for doomful melodies. Dedicated to German Hollywood director Roland Emmerich, who Gropper shares a fascination for the end of the world with, ‘Roland, I feel You’ is full of drama, dreams and desperation. And as if the melody wasn’t entrancing enough, it is accompanied by a mesmerizing video directed by Phillip Kaessbohrer — which is, sadly, not a trailer for an upcoming movie, but nonetheless 7:12 minutes of otherworldly pleasure.


Robin Schulz – ‘Eines Tages’

Robin Schulz is not Berlin-based, yet ‘Eines Tages’ could not be a more appropriate example of the city’s sound. While its dreamy electro melody is typical of its tourist-drawing, day-and-night club scene, the song’s original vocals were in fact brought into existence in 1978’s East Berlin by Barbara Thalheim. Listening to ‘Eines Tages’ feels like entering a land of no limits, similar to feeling detached from a boundary-driven reality at a days-long club night in Berlin.

Words by Christine Hogg

Images: rockhall.lu, facebook.com