Brilliant Radio Stations from around the World – #2 Berlin

Krautrock World/80s80s Hip Hop/Dusterstadl Radio/Radio Alternative – All from Berlin

Artificial Energy – Shiicke, Fuhrs & Frohling (1977, Brain Records, Taken from ‘Sunburst’) – heard on Krautrock World and I accept that I have probably spelt Schiicke incorrectly.

In tribute to Eliud Kipchoge I decided to complete my own Berlin marathon at the weekend.  Four hours of Berlin based radio stations, but first a weak analogy that is meant to describe radio stations in Berlin.

Berlin is the sort of city you can get easily lost in, especially if you can’t read a basic map like me.

I once took a metro train from one of the main train stations in the centre of Berlin out to the suburbs (Kottbusser Tor, I think).  My plan was to find a cool Eastern Bloc memorabilia shop that Lonely Planet recommended which was handily placed around the corner from the world famous Hard Wax Record Shop.  I even dug out my old German Army Jacket for the journey in order to blend in with all the cool bohemian dudes that I was bound to meet there.

Only I didn’t find it.  I got off the train wandered into the subway and walked straight into a distinctly dodgy passage where shady looking men were clearly selling things that perhaps they shouldn’t be.   Turns out I wandered into a distinctly Turkish area and gone in the wrong direction entirely and found myself in a square where it seemed that you could buy literally anything.

That square (and if you are passing its off of Oranienstrasse) is the shopping equivalent of a morning listening to the radio stations of Berlin.  The radio stations of Berlin cater for every musical taste.  If for example you woke up and wanted to listen to Christmas Music in the middle of July, Berlin has a radio station for you.  Here are four that I listened to for one hour at a time.

First up, Krautrock World, a radio station which in an ideal world would be playing tracks by Neu! Can, Suicide, Spacemen 3 and other similarly minded bands on a non stop loop.  Sadly it doesn’t quite do that, but it does play obscure prog and psychedelic rock from the late seventies and it is really rather good in a beard stroking kind of way (and most of it is unavailable on Songwhip).

Next up, some old school hip hop.  80s80s Hip Hop is incredible (and a prime example of the niche nature of some of the radio stations you can find). It was 1134am (In Berlin) when I tuned into 80s80s Hip Hop and genuinely the first song that filled the airwaves was this

Fuck Tha Police -N.W.A (1988, Ruthless Records, Taken from ‘Straight Outta Compton’)

The full unedited version.  Can you imagine the outrage if Ken Bruce played this straight after Barry from Croydon scored 25 on Popmaster.   It was remarkable.  The next hour was very similar lots of very old school hip hop nothing released after 1990, including tracks from Derek B, the Beastie Boys and this absolute banger.

The Bridge – MC Shan (1987, Cold Chillin Records, Taken from ‘Down By Law’)

After that I tuned in quite randomly to Dusterstadl Radio, which advertises itself as a ‘synth pop and electro tinged music festival’ (if my limited translation skills have got that right).  Which sounds very inviting.  When I arrive it is playing this, which is a fine place to start

Such A Shame – Talk Talk (1984, Parlophone Records, Taken from ‘Its My Life’)

A fine hour follows, which sees the station play electronica, industrial, and 80s synth pop, much of which I haven’t heard before.  A quality hour ends with this odd piece of gravel voiced industrial nonsense.

Is it Worth It? – Trial (1994, Electro Blue Records, taken from ‘Secret Pain’)

The last hour of my four hour Berlin radio marathon is spent in more familiar surroundings as I tune into Radio Alternative, a station that relies heavily on guitars and American bands.  It is very often a very good listen.  The first song that it played when I got there was

Bubbles – Biffy Clyro (2010, 14th Floor Records, Taken from ‘Only Revolutions’)

I haven’t listened to Biffy Clyro in ages, and I’d sort of forgotten how good they were.   My four hour mooch around Berlin’s radio stations ends with another track that I haven’t listened to in a good ten years.

American Idiot – Green Day (2004, Reprise Records, Taken from ‘American Idiot’)


1 Comment

  1. JC says:

    I didn’t know you had once scored 25pts on Popmaster. Or you were from Croydon.

    Only been to Berlin once. It was for my 50th birthday as I wanted to wake up there on the actual day. Loved it. Icing on the proverbial cake was discovering Frightened Rabbit were in town for a gig in one of those parts of the city where I looked so out of place thanks to my lack of tattoos and piercings, as well as being much heavier than 10 stone.

    Must go back soon. At least I now know what stations to turn to.


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