Articles by Digel

One of the five owners of The Circus, Andreas Digel is also co-owner of the record shop Rotation, and is our expert on musical matters, especially the Berlin electronic scene. If you want to ask him about rare vinyl or anything else, you can contact him at digel [at] circus-berlin.de.

eastern cratesOn a rainy weekend in the office, I discovered something to cheer up my mood…and forget the miserable weather and the pile of work on my desk. Eastern Crates is a website put together by a thirty-something living in Leipzig. He was born in East Germany, and lived for a part of his childhood in Kiev. The Berlin Wall fell when he was thirteen.

For the past thirteen years he has been building his collection of vinyl, mainly from the former communist countries of central and eastern Europe. The motivation for this was nothing more than a love for the music, and the fact that “somehow especially the jazz scene in eastern Europe developed its very own style.”

The website Eastern Crates was created to “bring all this mostly unheard of music to the public”. The records are presented with track-listings, the musicians who played on the records, as well as information on the artists and the tracks that they are playing, as well as some personal opinions and impressions. Where it is possible, links are posted to (legal) downloads and other places to access the music…if indeed it is still possible.

Most definitely a labour of love and a fascinating insight to the sounds and the music of a very definite period in history – that as in all aspects of art, culture and daily life – had its distinct impact on the music that was created.

The link once more: Eastern Crates

beierA nice picture, and a nice story. Manfred Beier was a teacher and a photographer, who took tens of thousands of photographs during his life of both the two Germanys that emerged following the second world war. When he died in 2002 he left his collection of over 60,000 negatives and slides to his family, who worked with the National Archives in Germany to make this wonderful record of everyday life in the two Germanys available to the general public.

On the website you can see more of the images, including photographs and 8mm films…well worth checking out for a glimpse of a Germany that no longer exists.

BierpinselDown in the south of the city, in a neighbourhood called Steglitz, there is a unique landmark that stands overlooking the happy shoppers of Schloßstrasse. Built in the 1970s, the “Bierpinsel” or “Beer Brush” has housed many different business projects over the years, including art exhibitions, a restaurant, and a nightclub, most of which have struggled to survive in the oddly-shaped tower.

Right now however, the Bierpinsel is getting a makeover, thanks to a team of street artists who are spending the next six weeks  to create an impressive new piece of Urban Art that, by its very nature, will take its place in the heart of the everyday life of that corner of Berlin. Of course, if you are coming to Berlin before the 15th May, you can watch the artists at work…from 10am until 6pm each day, with a gallery and a bar inside for those who want to hang around.

Check out the Turmkunst 2010 website for more information, or take a look at this neat little video:

Walled In – How Germany was Divided

This video, which shows through animation the border that seperated East and West Germany, as well as East and West Berlin, was made by Deutsche Welle. With so little of the Berlin Wall remaining, it is sometimes difficult to imagine what was involved and the extent of the construction necessary, and this video provides an excellent illustration. If you are coming to Berlin, it is well worth going up to the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre on Bernauer Strasse, which has an interesting exhibit as well as a short stretch of the fortifications maintained to give you a sense of what the Berlin Wall actually looked like.

Berlin is a city in which people love to paint on walls…but you don’t often get a chance to see how it is done. The video is by the artist BLU, as he adds his own unique style to the Berlin cityscape. You can see more work from BLU on the website, including wall projects in Belgrade, Barcelona, Milan and Modena as well as his visits to our city.

Created by London-based moving image, fine arts and animation student Sergej Hein. You can read about his inspiration for the video and how he made it on the Youtube Creator’s Corner page.

Berlin is packed with buildings that date from different periods of its history – some famous, others less so – and the Cold War era of the city is no exception. We found this cool video on Motherboard.tv, which features a long-abandoned American listening station on the Teufelsberg in the west of the city…a fascinating glimpse of a different time.

Teufelsberg itself is a cool spot with an interesting history. The hill was built following the second world war with the rubble from the bombed buildings in Berlin and at 80 metres is now the highest point in the city.

Images of the City: Color Berlin

COLOR BERLIN(Photo (c) Matthias Heiderich)

As spring slowly pushes back the cold and ice of winter and the city begins to warm up, we realise – as we do every year around this time – that Berlin is not as grey and colourless as we experienced over the past few months. Whether or not the colours of the city sparkle quite as brightly in reality as they do in the photographs of Marcus Heiderich is another question!

In his collection “Color Berlin” we see our city transformed through his work into a place of vibrant striking colours…not unlike the paint-job on the corridors of the new-look Circus Hostel. You can see the full collection of “Color Berlin” on Marcus Heiderich’s page on the Behance network, and you can see more examples of his work, from photography to music, on his website.

Elsewhere on the web there are many great images of Berlin, from the artistic expression of weirdandwired on flickr and Berlin street art on fensterzumhof, to the trip down memory lane as the New York Times compares street scenes from before the Berlin Wall came down to twenty years after it fell.

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