Before Berghain ever existed, there was Ostgut. The creative team behind Berlin’s most famous club ran a similar venue from 1998 through 2003. Housed in a now demolished freight depot in Friedrichshain, Ostgut had many of the ingredients that are associated with Berghain today: long party weekends with marathon DJ sets, two dance floors (including a Panorama Bar) and a weirdo-populated rough-hewn industrial environment soundtracked by hard techno.
And as Ostgut evolved its offerings from the male-only Snax parties to more gender-inclusive dance events, it carried the according focus on gay and fetish sex into a permanent space. Today, Ostgut lives on in the form of Ostgut Ton, Berghain’s well-known in-house label.
We asked Ostgut resident DJ André Galluzzi to guide us through the sound of the club. Back then, he was the club’s undisputed main attraction. His eight-hour long closing sets embodied the sheer physical intensity that defined Ostgut’s main floor. That’s why the first mix CD released on Ostgut Ton, Berghain 01, came courtesy of Galluzzi. Read on to hear some of the records that helped to set the foundation for the clubbing experience that defines Berlin nightlife today.
Surgeon, “Death before Surrender” (Downwards 2001)
“We begin with a primetime highlight. This track guaranteed ecstasy on the floor and became a trademark for the club.”
Ignacio, “Virton” (N.E.W.S. 1999)
“This was not an unusual track, but definitely one of the naughty ones. Direct and mind-blowing. I used to drop it any time between 5 and 6 AM.”
Si Begg, “Welcome To The Discotheque” (Mosquito 2000)
“I loved to open my set with Si Begg after live acts. It has this incredible intro, while the mood of the record was already defining for the night. This was brilliant.”
Technasia, “Force” (Technasia 2000)
“The vocals made the difference—they brought color into my extended sets. No place for drawer thinking. There were excellent moments around 10 AM with this. Even the bouncers joined for a dance.”
Samuel L Session, “Velvet” (SLS 2001)
“Huge bassline! It spread an open-air and summery feeling in the mornings, and it eventually became a real Ostgut hit.”
Brtschitsch & Galluzzi , “Schneesturm” (Taksi 2001)
“This track was produced during the winter season, and it was inspired by an Ostgut Klubnacht. So it has this mystical and dramatic character.”
Skatebård, “Sgnelkab” (Tellektro 2002)
“A timeless beauty! I often played this at afterhours sets in the Ostgut garden after finishing an eight-hour set in the club. So it was not surprising that I chose Skatebård for the first Ostgut mixed CD.”
Jah Wobble & Bill Laswell, “Alsema Dub (Carl Craig Remix)” (Palm Pictures 2002)
“This is a very emotional record for me. I played this tune at the Ostgut closing after a 16-hour set. It was my encore, and it was out of this world. DJing is not a question of genre, but a question of spirit.”
Floppy Sounds, “Late Night (Felix Da Housecat & Tommie Sunshine’s Thee Glitz Mix)” (Wave 2002)
“This track is as hypnotic as it is funky. I used to play very hard for hours, so ‘Late Night’ was an excellent tool to lift the set up after a more monotonous phase.”
Tony Rohr, “Baile Conmigo” (Macintosh 2002)
“I chose this track for my mix CD André Galluzzi Im Garten as it is quite a unique record. The track has techno elements but a smooth character at the same time. Fucking timeless. Still fits at warm-ups but also after hours at Panorama Bar.”
Published April 23, 2018.