7:57 am Entering RE5800 at Berlin Ostbahnhof. Falling asleep.
9:49 am Changeover at Szczecin train station to TLK 81104/5 towards Gda?sk G?ówny. The sweltering heat inside the six person compartment is already unbearable in the early morning hours, probably thanks to the (at least in Berlin) often discussed continental climate. The following 5-and-a-half hour long train ride is far from comfortable.
I take a seat next to the window, headphones on, listening to the unofficial DOOMSTARKS mixtape, bringing together MF DOOM and Ghostface Killah. Right now DOOM’s and Ghostface’s rap flow seems to blend perfectly with the train’s gentle rattles.
Szczecin G?ówny – Szczecin Dabie – Stargard Szczeci?ski – Chociwel – Runowo Pomorskie – ?obez – ?widwin – Bia?ogard – Koszalin – S?awno – S?upsk – L?bork – Wejherowo – Gdynia G?ówna – Sopot – Gda?ska Oliwa – Gda?sk Wrzeszcz – Gda?sk G?ówny.
Now and then I get company inside my train compartment. A young man in shorts and sweatshirt, an older couple, two middle-aged business men, a heavy man in his fourties, a very fashionable couple of twentysomethings, and Waleria, a 42 year-old sales woman from Wejherowo who’s visiting her family in Gda?sk. I learn that she once visited at Berlin’s old Tresor club in the ’90s, which is a nice coincidence since I just finished reading the techno oral history Der Klang der Familie. She didn’t like it much at Tresor. Waleria is the only person I get to talk to; maybe because we both haven taken off our shoes due to the heat while everybody else was eyeballing me earlier on.
3:27 pm Arriving in Gda?sk. While the old diesel engine is leaving the station, I’m walking towards our AirBNB’ed Electronic Beats homebase in the heart of the old town. The landlord Józef and his German Schnauzer welcome me at the door and show me around. He’s not a man of many words.
Silence. I power up my laptop, put on Bobby Womack‘s new Damon Albarn-produced album, turn on Airport (93 new emails, 13 Facebook notifications, 22 new EB-related tweets), and open up a bottle of Club-Mate. After having conducted the correspondence I leave the apartment for a stroll around the old town. I walk past Dom Ferberów, St. Mary’s Church, Wielka Zbrojownia, but I’m too hungry.
7:51 pm At Tekstylia restaurant: grilled chicken breast with potato rissoles, a warm piece of Szarlotka with freshly whipped cream, an espresso doppio, and a fresh draught pint of ?ywiec, one of my all-time favorite types of beer. I smoke a cigarette, put on my headphones (Jzz & Lyrik by Jacques Palminger & das 440 Hz Trio) and return to the appartment. Twenty-two new emails. Research afterwards. Foursquare.com, search for “nightlife” near you.
11:32 pm Leaving the apartment. Karaoke at Parlament? No! Rock music at Yesterday? No! Strolling around the riverwalk instead, listening to Kassem Mosse‘s Resident Advisor podcast. Finally standing at No to cyk. An Italian recalls his memories of his last Berghain visit: “Naked people everywhere, it’s crazy”, he says. I’m having a couple of beers, the other guests have some schnapps instead. No to cyk is classy, nostalgic and a care of alcoholics at the same time – I like this philosophy very much (note to self: bring the rest of the crew to this place on their arrival).
1:32 am Leaving towards the apartment. Arriving there. Falling asleep. Day 1. What’s next?
Electronic Beats editor and online community manager Walter W. Wacht visits Gda?sk for Electronic Beats Festival Gda?sk 2012. This is his travel blog.
Awesome Tapes from Africa is, as the name suggests, a literally awesome blog that shares cassette rips of African and Middle Eastern music that have been procured from dusty shacks and music stalls across the African continent. Having run the blog since 2006, when most people were still struggling to understand what the platform was Brian Shimkovitz has followed his path with an almost missionary zeal, and shared countless tapes of music that you would have no other way of hearing short of traveling to the place of origin and buying a copy of the tape yourself. Now Shimkovitz is starting a label, to give release some of the music that has according to him “made doing this blog so easy”. He will also be sharing 50% of the profits with the artists which is we would guess a better cut than most artists regardless of their location receive.
You can download a track from the first album – Mali’s Nâ Hawa Doumbia and her album La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3 which was originally released in 1983 over at Altered Zones.