Coco Berlin: Exclusive mix and Interview

Betriebsfeier's boss touches down for Berlin Berlin this Saturday

Resident and co-founder of Berlin's long-running Betriebsfeier parties, Coco Berlin has been providing the German clubbing capital with a playground for house and techno lovers for close to a decade and a half. Also behind the annual Rote Dichte festival, he brings his Betriebsfeier to Berlin Berlin this Saturday (March 18th).

As a taster of what to expect, check the exclusive mix below and read our interview with Coco Berlin for more insight into his word-of-mouth party.

You're resident at the highly acclaimed Betriebsfeier event. How has the past year been and can you tell us about your favourite nights?

Last year was amazing, like every one of the 14 years we’ve been making this party happen. We love the Hoppetosse and different owners have come and gone, while we've just stayed. Now we work with CDV (Club der Visionäre), which made it all quite perfect. But simply best of all are our guests, we just love them. The mix also makes it, there are all kinds of people. Just come, whoever you are, as long as you are nice and peaceful. One of the highlights in our year is when we take hundreds of our guests to our so called summer camp ‘Rote Dichte“ in July, which is at Uckermark in the Brandenburg landscape, and celebrate a three day nonstop festival at an old farm near a big lake.

How did you come to be involved with Betriebsfeier and how has it changed over the period you've been resident?

I’m not only resident at the Betriebnsfeier, I’m also one of the two promotors and inventors. When we (me and Empro) started, it was just meant to be one birthday party on a boat. Our guests loved it and pushed us to carry on and so we did and it became what we are today… Older and a bit - just a bit - more crazy!

Can you tell us about the special flavour of the parties?

Berlin is home for people from everywhere who just want to be free and escape something. These influences from everywhere, together with that special Berlin way of life and sense of humour make for a positive and explosive mix of people. I think in our surroundings everyone is happy to be here and also lucky to have a good time. What makes Betriebsfeier so special? We try to make everything ourselves, we try not to be too commercial, we don’t do interviews to promote the party, we don’t allow anyone to take pictures for magazines, we don’t work with agencies for our bookings, all of the DJs are already or will be our friends after they've played at our event; we are always reachable to all our guests, and actually all of them are kind of our friends, friends of friends or new friends. The event is only four times a year, plus an add on for New Year and our festival, so it’s always something special to look forward too.

How does Betriebsfeier fit into the Berlin scene and why is the city attracting so many DJs and producers?

I don’t think we’re part of the official club scene and we try to keep our event in the underground. Even if the location has changed into an official club space during the last two years, we try to stay separate from all official marketing strategies. We are not part of any rankings or official listings. Everyone knows the party but you have to know someone who knows it to get to know it.

DJs are attracted to Berlin because it’s cheap and everyone is here. Lots of them also think it’s easy here to get into it, but it isn’t. Fees are low and to get on a level, where you play regularly in good clubs, will cost youtime and patience. Other DJs live here because it’s just nicer than where they’re usually based and flight connections are better and cheaper to wherever they have to go to play.

The sound in the clubs in Berlin is constantly changing and developing; what is currently in vogue across the dance floors ?

Everyone tries to make techno. For my taste, most of it is (sometimes often stupid) tech-house. For others, it’s kind of avant-garde or very hip to make much darker and harder techno, but it doesn’t seem to have any soul or imagination to it. As you might notice, for me this development is rather laughable. Techno can be great but it should be based on something that you feel or are into not just what you think looks or sounds great if you making it.

Do you travel a lot as a DJ? What have been your outstanding events of the last year and why?

I don’t travel that much, but maybe once a month I pack up to experience something new. I love Switzerland and Netherlands a lot because of their funny and very friendly people, who always party as we do. I think it depends on the place but I’ve never experienced anything bad. Besides that I’m a big fan of the East and try to play there as often as I can manage it. So Warsaw, Prague and Bratislava are always on the top of my list. This year I would like to go to Ukraine, so if you know anyone...

Berlin has been a hotbed of DJs and producers for many years now. Who is currently doing it for you musically?

It's hard to answer and to list names! My personal taste changes often but I’m alway impressed by Spencer Parker, even if I play a completely different sound.

Coming to London to play at the Berlin Berlin party on March 18th, what do you see as the differences between the London and Berlin scene?

As I experienced it from my former gigs and visits, London is a lot faster. In Berlin we have more time in clubs and we like to stay for twenty hours or sometimes more. There is no dancer on the floor before 2am if the club opens at 12. Lots of people prefer to come out after breakfast. You could manage to party the whole week without stopping.

Coco Berlin heads up the Betriebsfeier room alongside Siopis, Empro and David Delgado at Berlin Berlin this Saturday March 18th at Egg London. They're joined by the Sisyphos family of Fidelity Kastrow, Jonty Skrufff and Juli N More, whilst Berlin All Stars Roman Lindau and Markus Suckut takeover the Ground Floor.

For further info on the rest of the line-up and tickets click here.