Institut fuer Zukunft appeared on our radar since it opened in Leipzig a few years ago. The club has swiftly become one of Leipzig’s best party spots and an integral actor in the city’s lively punk-indebted nightlife scene. IfZ was built DIY-style from an abandoned factory, and its forward-thinking attitudes—as well as its killer Kirsch Audio sound system—have made them a favorite for those seeking progressive party bookings and regular nights, including dark techno riot Vertigo, the beautifully queer Lumière Bleue and futuristic bass rager Cry Baby. The club also participates in activist efforts to do with gender issues by hosting occasional film screenings, fetish workshops and socio-political events, which echoes the founding collective’s punk roots and the Leipzig underground’s mentality. In our three-part series Future Sound of Leipzig, we’ll be introducing you to members of the IfZ collective, presenting mixes, photos and interviews from a dedicated group of music lovers shaping the next generation of ravers and freaks.
The series launches with Subʞutan. Blending beats with field recordings, samples and drones, his transportive sets are the sort of vibes you rarely hear in clubs. “DJing is almost intimate for me; something very personal.” says the native Leipziger. “Where words might fail, music is my form of expression. It’s also a kind of excess pressure valve, indispensable.” His deep, exclusive mix showcases this mental ethos strongly: “I put a lot of small details—field recordings, spoken words. Now and then a hopeful melody sound penetrates through the walls.” There’s no tracklist on this one, so imagine it as a story unfolding in your ears, each piece a part of the last.
IfZ will feature a special Halloween edition on Friday Oct. 30th with Aïsha Devi and Pictureplane. Win a copy of Aïsha Devi’s new LP here!
All photos by Azhari Peyman.
The stained-glass windows of Leipzig‘s Täubchenthal felt wonderfully appropriate during EB Festival Leipzig—what, after all, are concerts but a form of musical worship? There was certainly plenty of holy rollin’ going on last Friday (especially from Asbjørn, but we’ll get to that in a moment) as EB’s final festival of 2014 descended upon the normally-quiet German city. As we entered the venue, local DJ Karl Blau dropped FKA twigs. We took it as a sign from above: tonight was going to be good.
— shura (@weareshura) November 21, 2014
As you can tell from the above tweet, Shura’s normally restrained singer/songwriter synthetics were given a bit of an aural makeover, courtesy of the venue’s heavy subs working their monster magic. The result lent fragile tracks like “Touch” a touch bit more rumbling power. Speaking as someone who’s seen Sunn O))) more times than I’ve had birthdays, I’m always game for a lil’ extra bass!
— Asbjørn (@asbjornmusic) November 22, 2014
As did the crowd! One thing’s for sure: this boy knows how to work an audience. A minute on stage was all it took for the crowd to become enraptured by Asbjørn’s presence and lyrical chops, following his movements with enthusiastic dancing and wild applause. As he rolled around the stage without missing a beat, the crowd surged forward in anticipation, clearly eager to join him.
Wild Beasts were a more stoic bunch, but that didn’t lessen any of the energy coiled inside these UK boys. In fact, from the moment they took the stage to mad applause, their post-punk tinged melodies were swirling around the room and touching down inside the chests of all who were listening. Singles like “Wanderlust” were as emotional as they were powerful.
We loved talking with Sylvan Esso—two of the nicest, chillest people we’ve met at these festivals, and their stage show didn’t disappoint. In her stacked Buffalos, vocalist Amelia Meath commanded the stage with sweeping gestures and a huge smile that beamed across the audience. A gorgeous blend of singalong anthems and intimate, dance-heavy ballads, it was the perfect end to a beautiful night.
Thanks to everyone who attended another year of Electronic Beats Festivals. We’ll see you again in 2015!
Take a peek at last night’s impressions from EB Festival Leipzig, our final festival of the year, which starred Wild Beasts, Asbjørn, Sylvan Esso and Shura. And stay tuned for a full review on Monday, along with forthcoming live videos in the coming weeks.
Photos by Daniel Jones and festival attendees.
Leipzig will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was the first European city I ever visited, the site of my first DJ gig outside the US, and the birthplace of the first large-scale music festival I ever attended, the Wave Gotik Treffen. Eight years later, I still love returning, because there’s just something about Leipzig.
WGT is not the city’s only attraction. Aside from the typical tourist traps, it houses a rich arts community, a plethora of hardcore left-wing activists, and a dedicated DIY underground party scene that consists of long-running queer events like Lumière Bleue as well as newly-established clubs like the Institut für Zukunft, which has already garnered word-of-mouth accolades as one of the best new clubs in Germany. Their regular bookings include Perc, Jam City, M.E.S.H. and Felix K., so I’d tend to agree—in fact, I liked the space so much that I collaborated on a party there this past Halloween. Besides clubbing, it always feels like there’s something cool or weird to do in the city, be it circuit-bending workshops (I still have scars on my fingers from a memorable bend at 2009’s Claws of Saurtopia noisefest) or picking wild garlic and mushrooms in the surrounding forests.
When I say that the party scene is underground, I mean it. It seems like most of the parties in Leipzig are your typical student gatherings, which means the music is either a standard house/techno combo or indielectro from 2009. Friends who live there often complain about the dire musical milieu, but as a mere visitor to the city, I find this limited availability of fresh sounds exciting. Being spoiled for choice in a place like Berlin often makes people complacent and jaded, but when you’re coming to a rare event, the night takes on a unique and beautiful aspect that’s better than any drink or drug.
The scarcity of the New and the Now is part of what makes doing parties in Leipzig such a wild experience. For the official Doom Over Leipzig 2013 afterparty, I was booked to play hard trap and hip-hop, which was a strange follow-up to a festival dedicated to doom metal and experimental music. Nevertheless, I’ve rarely seen a crowd go as hard as that evening. Leipzig may be quieter than Berlin, but there’s nowhere in the world that I’ve partied harder and dirtier.
For those who’ve never been but have read hype-zig articles about how it might be the “new Berlin”, be told: It is not. Leipzig is its own strange and electrifying self. Treat it as such, and you’ll find rare and beautiful things.
Telekom Electronic Beats is hosting a series of Clubnights at Leipzig’s Institut für Zukunft. Find more information here. Cover photo of Born In Flamez by Lisanne Schulze.