Lena Willikens’ Guide to Düsseldorf’s DIY Music Underground

The German DJ and producer breaks down the scene around Salon Des Amateurs, the Düsseldorf club where she grew up and holds a residency.
Lena Williken_David Brandon_EBFeature

When I first started at Salon Des Amateurs, I was working as a bouncer by night and waitress by day, serving coffee to guests who would stop in after visiting the Kunsthalle museum in the same building. The venue opens as a café in the afternoon, then morphs into a bar and club in the evening. Daytime duties also included overseeing the music, so I started bringing in my records. That led to some DJ slots, and I began hosting regular Friday nights. Normally, the Salon invites a maximum of two guests to play, and there are no fixed set times. The focus is on sharing good music all night long and, of course, showing off (in an amateurish way) what great records you found recently.

Rather than falling back on the usual—“Salon des Amateurs is a place for musical freedom, blah blah blah”—I’ve simply assembled some of the great stuff produced by friends affiliated with the Salon scene, all of whom continue to influence me and each other.

Check out Lena Willikens’ EB Radio mix, which came out this week. Header image by David Brandon


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