Nighttime Stories

Our Trip to Israel as published in FAZE Magazine (German) ->

Adventure Mode 2015
Berlin – Lisbon – Munich – Vienna – Budapest – Istanbul – in 2 weeks.

The adventure starts: from Lisbon to Istanbul – from bridge to bridge…

Day -1

I`am still in Lisbon where I arrived 3 weeks ago and which is my second home, trying to find ot what I really need on this trip. I do not want to have more luggage than a small backpack, but I want to go swiming, I want to look glamourous at night and I need some underwear plus a computer. Thank godess no soundcards and vinyls anymore. Today I am going to meet Gustavo in the studio and listen to the master of the next Berlisbon release. His studio is right under the bridge in Alcantara, this reminds me that Lisbon is quite similar to Istanbul, they both have huge brigdes – a necessity in cities by the sea with different islands as part of the infrastructure.
Food is always a bi story here, I am having a huge dinner party with 12 people in my house. Lots of wine, lots of talk, late o bed. Looking forward to meet with the other Berlisbon half to DJ a couple of days and 4246 Km later. The first stop of my roadtrip is Munich.

Ponte 25 April, Lisbon
rooftop party in Istanbul – dj aroma

 Day 2

Staying with my mom in Munich is always cosy and nice. We have some sun and some nice food and one day later I am already on my way to Vienna. I wanted to travel by train, but the DB was not able to send me my Bahncard in time. Seems like 6 weeks is not enough for this. Well, I chose to go by bus which is great. I am checking music on my laptop with a great panoramic view in the top first row. The bus is totally comfy and not more than 20 people are spread in the seats. Driving through a lot of places which benchmarked my childhood and early DJ days I am getting nostalgic. In many of the small villages on the way to Salzburg, we had so many afterhours and parties in the 90ies. I think in those days the cops in bavarira had not even heard about exctasy nor was there a law or tests for it. Four and a half hours later I arrive in Vienna and Smacs picks me up from the Bus station. He is cool, down to earth, funky looking. He offers me a ride in the subway, which is totally fine for me. Several USBs, some clothes and my computer are in my small backpack. Traveling light weight does not complicate trips.

The party turns out to be great fun. Its a collective of people who are really music lovers, and they obviously worked a lot for this party. Its full of selfmade decoration and they offer funny games to play. All of them are dressed like they were memebers of a circus. Thanks to my mom I have some crazy 80s leggings to dress and look like the rest. The DJ set is great fun, I have 4 hours of playtime, we all enjoy the ride. Its getting late and when I finally get to sleep in the late afernoon after another afterhour in a sauna I really deserve it.

OMG ! – dj aroma

Day 4

I have two more days in Vienna, to sleep, check out some sights and to meet again with some people. I really enjoy the spring sun, but I think I am traveling in a time gap. In Lisbon spring was in full effect one week ago, now it feels like groundhog day, where every day is repeated. In Munich spring was just starting to blossom and now Vienna stars to be colorful. I am jumping on yet another bus and three hours later I arrive in Budapest.

Now I have to find some rest to work. I am organizing 3 events at the moment, so its quite difficult to handle this on the road. But I am used to it. I find a coffeplace where everybody seems to have a laptop. For Berliners: Oberholz is everywhere – even in (Buda)Pest. But its nice, and a fun fact: its totally common to take off shoes, bring dogs and kiss, though it looks fancy. I end up finishing all my work and go to bed at midnight in a hostel which used to be a squat. I found this in the internet and it really reminded my to the style of the old Bar 25. The guy who runs it is charming and when he sees my pink hat we get into a long conversation about scenes. Meanwhile some noisy Drum and Bass is playing. I guess his computer is the newest thing in this house. Some things in the place are really stunning and it is a cosy place in the summer. I am having a good sleep in a handmade room with a bed high up in two meters which is only half the way to the celing which is high up 4 Meters. The building is beautiful and has a bourgoise history, which can be traced in all the architecture of the rooms. They are high, ample and filled with light. If it was not in such a shabby condition it would be a castle but the guy explains this part of Budapest was build in the middle of the danube delta which used to be a swamp and even today it is still there in the ground with all the water.

The first group sends a mail from Istanbul, they already arrived. The next day is short, I meet a girl running a club, climb up all the way to the castle which has an incredible view, watch the lonliest asian guy posing with a selfie stick, go to a traditional bath house from the 16th century which is great in terms of architecure, but incredibly dirty, have a bread, walk through a market, have a very expensive cup of coffe and ask myself how people can live on the few hundred euros they earn, here. Then I go for a long walk through town, trying to find reasons why it is nice to live here, but all I see is exhausted obviously poor people in crowded buses and small streets with a huge evironmental problem. Its rush hour, early evening and not easy to find something nice about the vibe here. I decide to persuade me with some nice local food, but its hard find something edible which is not fullfat and meat with meat, so I end up eating lentil soup which is sort of a traditional dish but definitely the worst lentil soup I ever had. And after that, I am so fed up with the vibe of the city that I go to bed early.

Day 5

In the morning I realize my sleep was not as good as I wanted it. It is hard for me to accept that I did not find much nice about this city. There must be something about it but I did not discover it. I get myself out of the bed and try to persuade my bad mood with a good cup of tea. But it does not work. Crumpy and with a growling stomach I get on the metro to the airport. The last part of the trip to Istanbul is with a very cheap airline company. I paid 36 Euros for the flight. I checked many options to go to Istanbul from Budapest, it is not so far, 1486 KM is a managable distance. But it gets difficult because it is through different countries. In Austria they told me I could buy a train ticket via Belgrade for 186 Euros, which is the Balkan trail classic. In Munich the european bus network company told me it was easy to get to Sofia from Budapest but further on I would have to see how to get a private minibus or train. In the end I gave up, because I wanted to keep some energy for the party in my bones and when I found the airplane ticket from Budapest by coincidence I just bought it. Now, my challenge is to get to the airport in Budapest, information is rare, everybody says take a cab its only 15 Euros. I just don`t like the idea to pay half of the price of a flight for a cab, besides my backpack is only 10 Kilos and there must be a way with a bus. So for one more last time I take he moving stairs deep into the underground. Today the metro trains in Budapest are not as modern as yesterday, they look like the ones I remember from Moscow. Its morning rush hour , the train is fully packed but no one talks. I am having a check on my GPS and realize we are so deep down, that there is no more signal. If I ever need to escape like in a James Bond movie, I must remember this subway system, no tracking possible. In the end its all easy and after only 20 minutes I arrive at the last stop of the train. Again, real people like at the entry are checking the tickets and I easily find the bus to the airport. Another 20 minutes later -the streets were scattered with buttholes all the way and the busdriver tries to convince the old diesel engine to transform the bus into a race car- we arrive a the new airport. I do not get it, the old Airport is out of service since years, but its still listed as Terminal 1 and mine is Terminal 2 A. Which makes no sense, Terminal 2 and 2A are one building. But without this information it is almost impossible to find the public transport connections to the place. But I am happy, finally I am on the last part of the trip to Istanbul and there I know my way already. I am happy to return. In the airport my somach starts to hurt so badly that I almost think to cancel the trip.
Three hours later I arrive in Kadiköy, which is the ferry boat station to Karaköy, my end stop. Its late afternoon and the sun is shining with a warm light on the hundreds of public buses which end here. The temperature is the same in numbers but the humidity and the air by the sea are just such a relief. The station is an old Building from the 19th century, beautifully overloaded with ornaments.  I sit down for my first tea. It would be a perfect moment if my stomach wouldnt hurt so much. I can`eat anything, the lentil soup takes its revenge and turns into a knife in my belly. I jump on the boat and go to the house where the boys are waiting already. The day ends with some nice new and old company, Gustavo and Bela are there, they share the appartment with Bolle who is so funny and very friendly. We go and eat some great food, I am so sorry for having this supid stomach problem, I think I could eat the whole menue up and down and back and forth . Its too delicious.

Day 7

I wake up in my king size bed, which I transformed into my cosy living space . It rains. No, it really rains, it pours. But I am happy. Istanbul, a nice place to stay, a good cup of tea, and all the noise and vividness. I did not know how much I missed it, just the scent and sound. I start writing some emails and put on my headphones to listen to some new music and make some beats. I think , I could stay in bed the whole day. The boys want me to go sightseeing, but I`ve seen all the basics last time I was here and I have to take care of all the people arriving in the house, which is a good excuse to hang out for the rest of the day. At  21:00 I start to be a bit more relaxed, they all managed to arrive, only Majvi our stylist is missing. The group is happy, they all know each other and they are in party mode. Bela and Bolle report it is a nice venue, they had been there wednsday night on arrival for some drinks. Looks like the night can be nice. We have some quick and homemade food for dinner and then we are already a bit late for the party.

The venue is amazing, it looks like a convent or a church, as the name says. The main room is minimum three stories high with a galery, six large columns, a barrel vault with antique paintings and a huge bar in the middle. At the far end ( and its huge…it is a far end!) of the room there is a giant staircase, palace like made out of marble, which leads upstairs to the first floor with the gallery. From there on, another staircase continues to the next floor to “rote luzi”, which has approximately the same size as the mainfloor, only the ceilings are a bit lower and its a bit hidden behind a huge object covered very sexy with disco glitter in black. Its a door without being a door, an oval with a wall in the middle, so one can enter left or right. Behind the oval is a cosy red atmosphere of a tecno womb with a blinky dancefloor like in the middle of a nintendo game. One stair higher is the terrace, which opens a nice view over some hills on the golden horn side. Its still raining so the open air part is closed and the rest is hidden behind some plastic curtains, but it is not cold. We hang out in the sofas for a while, its less loud and since nobody makes it up here at this hour we listen to some great music at low level and team up for later on.
I am playing on the main floor with Gustavo, we are calling our team BERLISBON – he is from Lisbon, I am from Berlin, as simple as that. When the promoter saw us play for the first time in Berlin, he said he had not seen something like us before, we act like four hands with one brain on the mixer, a very rare thing. For us this makes the quality of playing as a team. I am really excited to play with him prime time on the main floor tonite, the sound system is a well equued funktion one with a great allen&heath mixer, the room sounds wonderful and the monitoring is excellent. So is the crowd, difficult to get any better. I am happy.

Gustavo Rodrigues , DJ Aroma playing back to back at Kloster, Istanbul

I get to bed quite late or early as you put it and I am way too excited to sleep, but after a while I manage to fall into a half coma for the rest of the day. At midday I have to make some accoounting and pay off one of the djs, later I pay the appartments and after a quick breakfast at my favorite terrace restaurant with a good menemen I am on the road again to organize the second evening. I am glad I could eat normally and my stomach does not hurt anymore. But its far from feeling ok. There is one more DJ to arrive and I have to pick him up from Taksim. I am glad all my files are sorted for the night, I would not have the head or the time to sort anything. This is the most stressful moment so far. I would love to be alone and just sleep but we are too many and there is too many tasks. My batteries swich to survival mode.  I cancel the DJ dinner at 20:00 its too little time and I can`t eat much before DJing. So we go for some quick food on the other side of the street where the club is and after all the entire crew is a bit late and slow. Two nights like this is a challenge, I am really glad I do not fall asleep immeadetly. Again, we hang out a bit on the terrace and the party starts. Today Majvi gives me some stars in my face and I am way too pink with my funny hat. But its saturday and the audience is equally funny dressed, so I dont feel stupid.

Kloster Istanbul – Barbie & Aroma

The DJ before us plays with traktor timecode vinyls and when I see the hustle he has with getting the turntables to work with all the feedback from the bass I am so glad that I am not carrying around all that gear anymore. Its so much easier to plug in the USB stick and off you go instead of all the cables, computers and soundcards. It was great to have it when it all started, but for me these times are over. When Gustavo and I start our set its quite late. Last night we had the 2-4 playtime, tonite we start at 4 and play till the end. I am a bit afraid I lack the energy and it takes me 3 tracks more to get into the groove compared to the night before, but once we are on the hunt – it flows. We play some wicked stuff and get a bit more souvereign about our tracks, now that the place is completely packed and we know how far we can go. It is difficult to say which set is the better one, yesterday was energetic like a tsunami, tonite its more deep but kicking from deep down. I decide it makes no sense to say better or not, it is different, thats it. Funny to get back to Judith Butler`s concept of difference which is a gender studies idea and reminds me to my philosophy classes at the university at 6 in the morning in a club, in a city where 5 times a day prayer times are announced. But then I have a second glance at the people on the dancefloor and I realize it is so free and open minded here, alll kinds of genders, all kinds of colours and styles that it is not so awkward to think of a utopia of peaceful respect and difference, seeing all this. Maybe the trick is called tolerance and live and let live. I hope it stays like this, some of my friends tell me its getting more difficult to organize parties like this, lately.
The end of the night comes too quick, at 8 in the morning, they close the main floor and continue the party in the luzi floor. I dont want to stop, now. I have a gin tonic for breakfast and start to talk everbody into an afterhour on our terrace. I manage to get the crew from Halle party with us in the sun. The energy lasts not much more than a couple of drinks but in the end I am finally done to go to bed and manage to fall asleep.

Sunday goes as quick as it comes. I sleep till past midday, manage to eat something then try to find a place o change money so I can payout the res of the DJs. Then its already time for the postponed DJ diner in the chicken restaurant. This is the nice part of returning to places, you start to know people better and the owner of the chicken restaurant was with the promoter in Berlin when I cooked a DJ dinner for 20 people in my house. He told us about his raditional family restaurant in the middle of a industrial zone, which his father once founded. Now, we are sitting in 3 cabs, driving through highways and small streets , leaving the touristic city center and getting into zones, where people actually live and work. After half an hour we arrive and I do not want to know how much time this distance would take during daytime, when crowded. The place looks very traditional. Its huge on three floors, football size, with lots of waiters, carpetfloor, tables half high and lots of tablecloth. When we sit down at the long table the magic starts. Glasses are brought, food appears and disappears, drinks get refilled, plates come and go. I already know this waiters´ habbit of grabbing everything from drinking turkish tea: I always have to keep my glass in my hand once half of it is finished, because the waiters seem just to wait for the right moment to grab it and bring a new one. Its almost a game. I was told, it is to give you the best quality and tea is only good when hot. Well, today the fight is for plates and left overs. The waiters are so full of attention that any half finished plate immeadetly means a magic hand is replacing it with a new one. I give in, decide not to be so german to insist on first finishing the old plate before a new one can arrive. The food is incredibly delicious, we have salad, all kinds of grilled meat and the fabulous chicken, which is really fabulous. Its spicy, jucy and the quality of the meat is very good. Its so nice to have another talk about food with the owner, he really loves it. And today he really looks very proud of his resturant, which he well deserves. We all really like him and the organizer of the party they are such nice people opening up their culture and city to us. At the end we want to leave at least a tip for the waiters but we are told we can`t. We say thank you one thousand times and are alle stunned and awed by this incredible hospitality. We jump into another 3 cabs and end up having another after hour in one of the appartments. At 5 in the morning we try to go to sleep for some hours, but again, I can`t. At 7:30 I go out for a last walk. I have to catch a plane midday. I am so glad I don´t go the airport alone, Majvi and Lea are also going to the airport, Lea is coincidentally on the same plane. For me the next stop is my moms house in Munich. I need a rest and want to see her for some days. I sleep 3 days, cut a 10 meters tree which fell in a storm and start to cure my stomach. Only on saturday I jump on a train back to berlin.

Day end

I am back in Berlin. Supid me, to come home saturday nite using public transport to Kottbusser Tor. Everybody is in party mode and half drunk or ready to get so. I am just exhausted and want to go to sleep. Being exhausted and traveling is not fun at all. Besides I am really not sure if I want to arrive in my appartment, now. As long as it takes me to get used to having a crowd of people around me all the time as difficult is the opposite for me, to come back to a life of to-do-lists and schedules. I would love to go around the corner to Ritter Buzke and have some drinks with friends now, just for a soft landing in this saturday nite fever, but I simply lack energy.
I come home and say hello to my records and to my empty, cold house and fall asleep. The next day I am going for some breakfast with friends to a turkish simit place around the corner and I start to realize it does not feel so different from Istanbul here in Kreuzberg, only its way too few people in comparison. For the first time in years I start to experience that this is a small town metropolis, compared to the real big ones. When I was waiting for the train in Munich the morning before, I thought it did not feel alive to me. All is a bit slower, not as many people, not as many trains, and not as many colours. Now, I am one step further, but still, I think I really need a ………kick ?

Our next trip is planed already. Thanks to all the people in the group who were so cool with each other without allures and thanks to all the people who hosted us, supported us, gave us excellent food, danced with us