The History Of: Berlin

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city unified and a scene for electronic music never seen before emerged. Abandoned buildings were turned into temporary nightclubs and DJs became the stars of the hour. Here’s how Berlin became the undisputed capital of techno.


In the mid-to-late 1980s, a new kind of club was born through these unregulated venues with no given legal restrictions. Power plants, bunkers, hangers and underground stations became temporary clubs. The relief and freedom after the reunification were celebrated with nonstop parties and flourished through the strong gay, art and underground scenes. The kids from East Berlin were pushing a much harder electronic sound — no vocals, harder basses.

Techno music originated in Detroit in the mid-to-late 1980s but found its way to West Germany in the late 1980s. After the fall of the wall, many abandoned or ownerless buildings were taken over by young people who organized illegal parties. These venues became known as “Raves” because they were places where one could go to rave about anything — including politics or what one had just read in that day’s newspaper!

The music was created by DJs who used vinyl records and turntables to create their own beats and melodies while they played along with other tracks at different speeds. It was this style of music that would be known as Techno.

Berlin was an unlikely place for techno music to emerge. The city was still reeling from the fall of the Berlin Wall, and many residents were still adjusting to life in a reunified Germany. But it didn’t take long for techno clubs to become big business—and some of those clubs are still around today.

Tresor started as Ufo Club, an illegal party that ran for more than three years before it was shut down by authorities. The venue reopened in 2007 in Mitte. Today it’s one of the most famous techno clubs in the world.

Der Bunker is now closed, but E-Werk is used as a general location venue these days. And many of the people who started illegal parties after the fall of the wall own most of the successful Berlin techno venues; they understood how to turn their illegal activities into successful business opportunities by knowing how to satisfy music lovers from the early days who wanted electronic music—and still do!

The Love Parade was an essential milestone in the evolution of electronic music in Berlin. First held in 1989, it grew from 150 attendees to thousands over the years.

It was known as ‘Peace, Joy, Pancakes’ (Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen) and represented a free-spirited celebration of equality for gays. Many people travelled to Berlin to experience it for themselves. People who were part of the parade showed off their wild clothes and danced to heavy sound systems on trucks travelling down the streets.

In 2007, the parade moved from West Berlin to the Ruhr region and was finally cancelled in 2010 after 21 people died during a crowd rush at the event. Nowadays, most of the famous clubs are located on an axis from Alexanderplatz to Revaler Straße: Ostgut’s follow-up club Berghain or Watergate are located on this stretch as well as Tresor and WMF—all legendary venues that have since closed down due to rising rents and property costs in Berlin’s inner-city neighbourhoods.”

As of 2021, Dr Motte wants to claim Unesco’s world heritage status for the Berlin Techno culture.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city unified and a scene for electronic music never seen before emerged. Abandoned buildings were turned into temporary nightclubs and DJs became the stars of the hour. Here’s how Berlin became the undisputed capital of techno.


In the mid-to-late 1980s, a new kind of club was born through these unregulated venues with no given legal restrictions. Power plants, bunkers, hangers and underground stations became temporary clubs. The relief and freedom after the reunification were celebrated with nonstop parties and flourished through the strong gay, art and underground scenes. The kids from East Berlin were pushing a much harder electronic sound — no vocals, harder basses.

Techno music originated in Detroit in the mid-to-late 1980s but found its way to West Germany in the late 1980s. After the fall of the wall, many abandoned or ownerless buildings were taken over by young people who organized illegal parties. These venues became known as “Raves” because they were places where one could go to rave about anything — including politics or what one had just read in that day’s newspaper!

The music was created by DJs who used vinyl records and turntables to create their own beats and melodies while they played along with other tracks at different speeds. It was this style of music that would be known as Techno.

Berlin was an unlikely place for techno music to emerge. The city was still reeling from the fall of the Berlin Wall, and many residents were still adjusting to life in a reunified Germany. But it didn’t take long for techno clubs to become big business—and some of those clubs are still around today.

Tresor started as Ufo Club, an illegal party that ran for more than three years before it was shut down by authorities. The venue reopened in 2007 in Mitte. Today it’s one of the most famous techno clubs in the world.

Der Bunker is now closed, but E-Werk is used as a general location venue these days. And many of the people who started illegal parties after the fall of the wall own most of the successful Berlin techno venues; they understood how to turn their illegal activities into successful business opportunities by knowing how to satisfy music lovers from the early days who wanted electronic music—and still do!

The Love Parade was an essential milestone in the evolution of electronic music in Berlin. First held in 1989, it grew from 150 attendees to thousands over the years.

It was known as ‘Peace, Joy, Pancakes’ (Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen) and represented a free-spirited celebration of equality for gays. Many people travelled to Berlin to experience it for themselves. People who were part of the parade showed off their wild clothes and danced to heavy sound systems on trucks travelling down the streets.

In 2007, the parade moved from West Berlin to the Ruhr region and was finally cancelled in 2010 after 21 people died during a crowd rush at the event. Nowadays, most of the famous clubs are located on an axis from Alexanderplatz to Revaler Straße: Ostgut’s follow-up club Berghain or Watergate are located on this stretch as well as Tresor and WMF—all legendary venues that have since closed down due to rising rents and property costs in Berlin’s inner-city neighbourhoods.”

As of 2021, Dr Motte wants to claim Unesco’s world heritage status for the Berlin Techno culture.