BERLIN NOIZE - English
With the commission to produce music videos for TRU.'s album "BERLIN NOIZE", I set off in search of suitable images in Berlin at the beginning of April 2020. Just as the lockdown abruptly silences the tangle of the city. The streets are deserted and evoke paradoxical scenes at every turn, as beautiful as they are melancholic.
As I happen to be driving past Holzmarkt at two in the morning, the locked entrance of a Berlin club catches my eye. It is at this moment that the idea is born to use the nocturnal still lifes in front of the locked club doors of the city as a music video for the title "less noize".
This exhibition not only documents the creation, it is part of the complete audiovisual work "BERLIN NOIZE".
Before I film the club at Ostkreuz, I take time for some shots at the station. The image of the lonely moving escalator appeals to me simply because of its rarity value. For minutes, its steps carry emptiness from the bottom to the top, and vice versa. A spectacle that is only rarely disturbed by passers-by, while the arriving and departing trains sometimes drown out the noise of the steps.
I then walk along the main street. Arriving at the club entrance, I point my camera at the loading ramp in front of it with its rusted railing. I document the collection of stickers on the entrance doors and the black club sign in their middle. Finally, I film the desolate façade of the two-storey low-rise building from the pavement opposite.
There is a "35" spray-painted in chrome on the locked entrance door, which I film from different perspectives. It's so quiet that the shots seem like freeze frames. For two hours, not a single person enters the paths leading past the club. Only the noise from the premises next door penetrates the surreal silence.
The building with its long, dark window fronts radiates a tremendous power with which the concrete giant flaunts, especially in the long shot. After the normally exposed shot, I turn the camera's ISO setting to its maximum and take the same picture again with heavy noise so that I can switch back and forth between the two later in the video edit. When I finally pack up the camera, it is four o'clock in the morning.
The streets are empty. Several minutes pass before a car finally drives past the club. Only after a few seconds delay does the motion detector at the entrance react. The light mounted at the top of the gate then illuminates the still life at the Holzmarkt, including the corrugated iron fence, the oil radiator leaning lonely against the lantern and the sign "Kater". Shortly afterwards, the light goes out and waits patiently for its next pointless use.
Having had my fill of the spectacle, I switch to the second entrance on the other side of the bridge. While I wait for the next S-Bahn on the wide central reservation, a homeless man creeps back and forth on the pavement behind me. With increasing nervousness, we eye each other until the train finally passes. Then I stop the recording, I go back to the car and he calms down in his hiding place.
My last visit to Ritter Butzke was years ago. Still, I remember well the way to the entrance, now blocked by new buildings and gates. Eventually I get across the driveway of the commercial courtyard next door, within sight of the club door, and once again set up my tripod in front of a barricaded iron gate. The gate is enclosed by a brick arch and casts its shadow towards me. Through the gaps in the bars, the white lettering "BUTZKE" can be seen above the club entrance.
Then I put the camera right up against the grille and film through it, so that now the logo to the left of the entrance is also visible. I end my filming after an hour in which neither a door was opened nor a light switched on or off.
The thermo mug on the dashboard is steaming and fogging up the windscreen. It doesn't take long before I'm warmed up and grab my photo equipment and walk along the red and white striped club fence to the entrance gate. As I set my tripod down on the street, I am met with incomprehension from a motorist. Despite yawning emptiness, he cannot be persuaded to change lanes and yells "Go home, you idiot!" at me as I drive past, saving the camera and ruining my shot.
When I've set everything up again at the edge of the pavement and point the viewfinder at the front door, two young women leave the club. Puzzled, they look over at me. A little later, the club's own cat slips under the gate and follows them to the tram stop. Only when they turn back with the four-legged friend in their arms and drop him off at home again do they ask me what the recordings are for.
A discarded ironing board greets me in front of the barricaded iron grille behind which the stairs lead down to the club. It is framed by the abandoned photo booth on the left and the graffitied advertising banner on the right. I set up the tripod, switch on the camera and capture the image on my memory card.
Then I point the lens down through the rusty iron bars to the building and the station behind it. On the brickwork is written in large block letters in white paint "SUICIDE CIRCUS". A disco ball hangs next to it, flashing sporadically in the dark.
From the parapet of the Oberbaumbrücke, the drawn black club logo, which stretches across the entire height of the white building front, is barely visible. Only when the underground track rumbles above me and the wagons cast their light on the façade does it become visible. I place the camera on the ground a few metres from the entrance and film the headlights that sweep evenly across the pavement as soon as a car turns the corner in front of the club.
Only when I position myself on the central reservation of the street do I notice how restless it is here, compared to my previous ports of call. People pass the building at regular intervals, cyclists or cars cross the paths. During the last shot, a figure settles down on the landing in front of the entrance. She notices neither me nor her appearance on my memory card.
I park on Markgrafendamm opposite the metre-high wooden fence that surrounds the Wilde Renate, take my equipment out of the car and walk to the entrance of the club. From the ground, I point the lens at the locked door and document how the headlights of the cars that occasionally drive by drag across the pavement slabs.
Then I switch to the other side of the brightly lit intersection and place the tripod on the concrete block of the traffic lights. As I start the shot again, a man walks across the street. With one hand he holds a beer bottle, with the other a plastic bag. After crossing the street, he puts both down and relieves himself at the club fence while the billboard above him stoically changes its advertising messages.
For _4.x, writing and photographing means tidying up - getting rid of the useless, putting the essential in the right places. In reference to his biography, he therefore says:
"I write. I photograph."
His previous publications include poems with various publishers and the novel "Die schönste Frau der Welt neben mir" (Omnino Verlag), published in April 2022. BERLIN NOIZE is his first exhibition.
The pseudonym under which he works consists of an underscore as a symbol for a name that is insignificant. The "4.x" as the equivalent of his version or his age and thus the progressive development of his work. Tidied up, it means to him:
"Art is development."
TRU. has been releasing electronic music on various labels since 2016, such as Loot Recordings (USA), Mood Family (Belgium) and Blankframe (Germany). His tracks have already been played on the turntables of John Tejada, Troy Pierce, DJ Hell, Martin Landsky or Raz Ohara - for whom he also worked as a remixer.
Laurent Garnier wrote about his album "Berlin Noize": "Absolutely love the album!" and played the tracks on his radio station PBB.
For TRU., the motivation in producing music is to create true sound. This may mean something different to everyone, but for him it is a combination of passion, work and patience. Sometimes this takes only a few adjustments within seconds. And sometimes a week of studio work ends up in erasing everything and starting all over again.
All that is true sound.
All that is TRU.
The noise of the magnetic tapes merges with the tracks, quilts out of headphones, mixes with mechanical noise. Continuous whirring and clacking - the visitors are part of the confusion. Playing, stopping, rewinding - they drive BERLIN NOIZE forward!
Each cassette belongs to one of the TRU limited to 240 pieces. "Berlin Noize" album boxes. It is the first release of the complete works of BERLIN NOIZE. Wrapped in black cardboard and sealed with a sleeve of noise, the music of TRU. unites with photographs by _4.x.
With every cassette sold, a piece of BERLIN NOIZE fades away, leaves the gallery and returns to its origin.
Lonely escalators in glaring light, stoic billboards on dark streets, slumbering concrete giants in the middle of the city - multifaceted and graceful flickering and flickering on the tubes. The visitors select original recordings, regulate the noise, shape BERLIN NOIZE!
For both the compositions of TRU. and the videos of _4.x, Berlin noise is the starting point of their work. The music video "bright noize" distorts an idyllic sunset behind the black contours of Berlin into nocturnal, flickering city bustle.
For the track "less noize", melancholy and the beauty of locked club doors (during lockdown) merge until the paradoxical sceneries are pierced by harsh noise accents. The eponymous photo series is taken from these shots and is limited to 80 copies. It is the second publication of the complete work BERLIN NOIZE.