Inside The Sound Of Leipzig’s Top Club, Institut Für Zukunft
I was asked to pick 10 or more tracks that really capture the essence of the sound of Leipzig’s own Institut für Zukunft. But since I treasure IfZ for its versatility and many-sidedness, I found it hard to pick one party or sound as “The Sound Of IfZ.” So I decided to go into a few of the club’s events series and characteristics and pick out a few tracks from each.
Trakt I is IfZ’s biggest floor and, for me personally, one of the best places to DJ. Here you’ll usually hear all shapes of technoid electronic music, although there are also event series that break the rule.
The residents that contribute to the distinctive sound on this floor are, for example, NYT and Qui, the label co-owner and curator of the eponymous series Connwax. In the next section I’ll say a little more about some of the series that take place on Trakt I, which is to do with a party that often takes place there.
The series Aequalis was already around for a while before IfZ even existed, and it used to take place in alternating clubs and off-locations in Leipzig. Some of the people involved were also part of Institut für Zukunft when it was still an event series/promotional crew rather than a club, so it was clear from the start that this series would take place in the new club. Over time, it became our resident n.akin’s baby from start to finish that presents tripped out, hypnotic and slightly trance-y techno. Here are a few examples:
Sunday Service is a bimonthly event series. It usually starts in the early evening, leaving a lot of time for the music to unfold without eating up the whole Monday. It’s curated by our resident Solaris. The bookings are really diverse, with acts like Lee Gamble and Delta Funktionen or label showcases from Lack Records and Midgar.
Proto is a series run by Wiebke (jointly responsible for IO and IfZ), Consti (the booker of basically every act from Leipzig and Dresden as well as an IfZ resident under the name Wilhelm) and Alex (the co-label head of KANN Records, part of the DJ team Manamana and also known under his solo alias Sevensol). This is where the kind of acts get booked that IfZ usually can’t afford: BIG NAMES, BIG NAMES, BIG NAMES. I believe The Black Madonna played at the last one, and the next one features Âme.
No Show poses a stark contrast to the unfortunately mostly male-dominated bookings in clubs around the world, including IfZ, as only women play here. They have a big focus on acting as a crew, including our resident Fr.JPLA, as well as Leipzig DJs like VakuM, Kiki Mike and Talla. And, oh yeah—it’s a techno party.
Level showcases music aside from house, techno or drum & bass—mainly female rap and deconstructed club music that doesn’t bear a four-to-the-floor kick nor fits in the categories that don’t come to mind. Because I don’t know enough about that musical realm, I asked XVII to pick out a few tracks for me. However, XVII doesn’t organize Level alone; he does it with Björn, who is also known in Leipzig for throwing concerts.
Trakt II is Institut für Zukunft’s so-called “house floor.” It’s a lot smaller than Trakt I but has a decidedly warmer atmosphere. If the club is open on a Thursday, then all the events usually take place here. Stylistically, you can expect to hear anything from disco to acid. In the beginning, this floor was in my eyes handled kind of like a step-child, because no one in the old booking team knew enough about other kinds of music off the beaten techno track. That’s why it was kind of dull. Thankfully, Markus Krasselt (AKA DJ Peter Invasion and the owner of the Riotvan label) took over the booking of Trakt II and helped with the transition to a stylistically more diverse program there, supported by residents like FAQ and S.Ra.
Since last season, Trakt III is located in the club’s former cloak room and is usually used as the ambient or chill-out floor, so to speak. Mostly Leipzig DJs play here, like Michelson, DJ Dessert Niggu, Judith Crasser, Zond and Pillowman—you should check them out! During a long stay in the club, I need a break from loud kick drums and enjoy sitting on a comfy sofa, talking to friends over relaxing (and not too loud) music. This floor is actually always pretty full, which is why I’m probably not the only person who feels that way.
Perm will play at the forthcoming Telekom Electronic Beats Clubnight at Institut für Zukunft on September 23 along with Eluize and I-F. Find more information here. Hear Perm’s new release on Dresden label Shtum here.