Before I became more well known as a DJ, I’d been throwing parties in Berlin since 2005. One of those nights will always stay in my mind. Although the parties were illegal, we often tried to get legal access to a property by asking the owner if we could have it for one weekend, for an “exhibition with some music in the background.” It still makes me giggle to think back to that, and I’m still surprised we got away with it.
One time, we got this amazing old coin factory close to Alexanderplatz. The building was old, empty, and run down — exactly what we needed. No electricity, but no problem. We got the building from the City of Berlin and could get electricity from the house next door.
When the guy from the electricity company came over with the convertor box, he said, “Look, in case you lose power, press the right button and it will come back.” Being super busy, I only listened with one ear, but I thought, “What could happen anyway?”
We protected the windows and sound-proofed the building with old mattresses. The toilets came, the bar came, the drinks came. All good, ready to go. But we suddenly realised — did anyone tell people where the location was? Remember, this was pre-Facebook, and MySpace was not the right place to advertise it. We had a website, though, and one hour before the party, we remembered to update it with the address.
The party started and we soon had a full house, with a dance music floor and a live band floor. Everyone was happy until suddenly — it went completely dark! The electricity had switched off, right as I was having another tequila shot with friends. I ran downstairs to fix it, and I’m telling you, it’s not that easy when you already had a few shots. Everyone wondered what was going on while I was desperately trying to remember which button I to press.
I eventually just pressed just any button, and the music slammed back on — everyone was screaming. “Ha, that was easy!” Two seconds later, everything switched off again. I hear people screaming, it’s dark again — obviously I pressed the wrong button.
Well, it was a 50/50 chance. I pressed the right one and everything came back — the kick drum started hitting again and everyone is freaking out. I still get goosebumps from it.
The party was going well but at around 7am we were running out of coins at the bar, so I had to go out to get some change. I went around the corner, where the Chinese embassy was, and — “Wait, what is that noise?” It turned out that the noise went from the house down into the cellar, and out of the back door, which we didn’t soundproof.
The police officer that always stands in front of the Embassy asked me if I knew where the noise was coming from. I, of course, said that I had no idea, and made sure to escape as soon as possible. Thank god they were too lazy to investigate it further.
The party went until 1pm and it was fantastic. While cleaning up the next day, I found a megaphone that belonged to one of the live bands and took it home with me. I contacted the band and we arranged to meet up at Watergate on a Wednesday, so I could return it to them.
Watergate was fun, but the band didn‘t turn up and I was left with the megaphone. The later it got, the more friends arrived at the club and the more shots we had.
Since it was always very loud, it was hard to order drinks unless you were screaming your order to the barman. “Wouldn’t it be fun to order drinks with it? Let’s try.” I ordered the first shot, and everyone was laughing and clapping their hands. Then again, and again. I guess at some point it got too much. That was the first time that I was forced to leave a club.