02 Berlin 7 September – 9 September, 2011

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Hansa Studios is the one address that can tell of Germany’s 20th century pop culture. Spanning from recordings of seminal albums like David Bowie’s ‘Low’ and Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’ to domestic staples like Einstürzende Neubauten, this is the epicentre of German audio culture.

The Academy pays tribute to this legendary space with an opening concert inside the studio’s “Meistersaal” that will see cutting edge artists including Radio Slave, Mano le Tough and Andreya Triana revisit the Hansa back catalogue, as well as performances by iconic Berlin-based techno artist Moritz von Oswald and rising acoustic techno explorers Brandt Brauer Frick. This is followed by exclusive studio workshops under the guidance of Gareth Jones, a key producer from Hansa’s glorious past, who gave his own sonic touch to Depeche Mode and Einstürzende Neubauten among others; Berlin production maverick Robot Koch; Tom Müller, sound engineer at Hansa Studios from 1971-89; Manfred Praeker of Spliff and the Nina Hagen Band; and chart-topping German rapper Casper.

A complimentary set of afterparties take off at new cult venue Katerholzig (run by the team behind the infamous club Bar 25) – celebrating the city’s modern-day rep as the world capital of club culture.

  • Meistersaal opening concert with Andreya Triana, Moritz von Oswald, Brandt Brauer Frick, Radio Slave, Mano le Tough

    €10 at door, Entry 7pm

  • Lectures at Hansa Studios: Hansa engineer Tom Müller, Manfred Praeker of Spliff

    Free entry, Starts 4pm

  • Workshop at Hansa Studios: Robot Koch

    Starts 8pm, Limited capacity: apply for priority entrance here

  • Lectures at Hansa Studios: Casper, Hansa producer Gareth Jones

    Free entry, Starts 4pm

  • Workshop at Hansa Studios: Gareth Jones

    Starts 8pm, Limited capacity: apply for priority entrance here

  • Hansa Studios

    Köthener Straße 38, 10963 Berlin
    Map >

Brandt Brauer Frick

Brandt Brauer Frick

The exploratory Brandt Brauer Frick have made all kinds of waves lately with their intoxicating live fusion of acoustic instruments and electronic sounds, creating their own kind of techno. Academy grad Daniel Brandt together with Jan Brauer and modern classical composer Paul Frick mix piano, vibraphone, synths, rhodes, drum kits and bass guitars to walk the fine line between club and concert hall. Having released records on Danish label Tartelet Records, the Doppelschall offshoot The Gym, and most recently, Studio !K7, the three show no signs of slowing.

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Moritz von Oswald

Moritz von Oswald

Moritz von Oswald needs no introduction to fans of Basic Channel’s dubby techno aesthetic, pioneering a driving weighty sound in the early 90’s that certainly demolished a few warehouses and sound systems. Under a series of production monikers and as part of several groups, Moritz has shaped Berlin’s club soundscape like no one else, while his work at mastering hub Dubplates and Mastering has extended his influence even deeper.

On Discogs >
Radio Slave

Matt Edwards aka Radio Slave

Matt Edwards’ Radio Slave alias is reserved for his big-room techno excursions, as he crafts all kinds of worlds around the throne of the kick drum. His label Rekids has earned him a reputation as one of techno’s most reliable suppliers of club mayhem, as their regular label night at cult Berlin venue Berghain and other spots around the world can testify.

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Thomas Müller

Tom Müller

Tom Müller was chief engineer at Hansa from 1971 to 1989, and has overseen many cherished moments of pop music history, from David Bowie to Nina Hagen, as they were being created. With decades of peerless experience, Tom Müller has shown a knack for bringing artistic vision to full audio splendor.

Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones earned his stripes working at Pathway studios in the early 80s – working on projects like John Foxx’s ‘Metamatic’ LP and the first Madness single in 1979. After mixing at Hansa studios, he decided to move to Berlin, and pioneered microphone and ambient recording techniques that were adopted by bands like Depeche Mode and Einstürzende Neubauten.

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Casper

Casper

German hip hop has been turned upside down in the past two years, and Casper is easily the leader of the pack. His LP ‘XOXO’ topped the charts in July, blending abstract lyrics, 808 drums, orchestral arrangements, emo-core influences and nonchalant Ian Curtis attitude, to create a style of his own. A razor-sharp snapshot of Berlin life in 2011.

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Andreya Triana

Andreya Triana

Effortlessly linking styles of acoustic jazz and folk with a feel for sampling and looping that the most ardent b-boy would throw signs to, the renowned soul-diva Andreya Triana has sailed a path all her own with no compromise. Everyone has been after her sultry tones, and after collaborating with Flying Lotus (at the Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne), as well as Mr Scruff, Theo Parrish, and Bonobo, her debut LP on Ninja Tune became eagerly anticipated by music lovers across the board.

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Manfred Praeker

Manfred Praeker

Renowned bassist, vocalist and producer Manfred Praeker was part of influential Neue Deutsche Welle group Spliff (known for hits like ‘Carbonara’, ‘Déjà vu’ and ‘Das Blech’), which he founded with fellow former Nina Hagen Band musicians after their split. Powerfully provocative and angular rock & roll that influenced bands around the world.

Mano le Tough

Mano le Tough

Our Irish Mano in Kreuzberg has releases on labels like Permanent Vacation, Tensnake’s Mirau or Norwegian space disco don Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal. Making the most of his classical piano training, he’s known for stirring crowds into a frenzy at festivals like Sónar as well as running his own night at Kleine Reise in Berlin. Internasjonal, indeed!

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Robot Koch

Robot Koch

As Berlin’s rep for the Beat Generation, Mr Koch’s electrified breaks have already gathered a worldwide fanbase: including tastemakers like Low End Theory or the great late John Peel, and rappers such as Marteria or John Robinson. Robot Koch also keeps himself busy releasing crazed out electropop with his band Jahcoozi, or tailoring elegant yet futuristic soundscapes for songstress Graciela Maria. Robots don’t sleep!

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Inside The Big Hall

Hansa’s history has never been fully unraveled. Here’s some starting points for further investigation.

Edu Meyer and Zara Leander

Edu Meyer and Zara Leander

Hansa Studio’s Meistersaal started its illustrious career as a recording studio in 1961, when finding a space like this intact in West Berlin was still a struggle. It had originally been built as a concert hall, opening in 1910, and Bertelsmann/Ariola found its acoustics perfect for their domestic recording needs. Projects like recording Zarah Leander, whose involvement in the pre-war entertainment industry cast a long shadow over her career, kept sound engineers like Edu Meyer very busy even before international artists discovered the studio for their needs. Conflicting memories abound when talking about those times, with David Bowie’s interest in the studio at times attributed to his fondness of Tangerine Dream and at others to his love for the sound quality of Meyer’s Zarah Leander recordings.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Originally, Meistersaal was constructed as a chamber music hall, with its impressive wooden ceiling modeled on the one in Berlin’s old philharmonic hall. One of the few buildings on its street to survive the war, and one of even fewer halls from its era to still exist, it actually benefitted from the division of the city, which meant that it was now no longer at the bustling center of Berlin, but on a quiet strip right by the wall. Located close to the new concert hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker orchestra, it saw quite a bit of use for orchestral recordings, where absence of outside noise and rumble was crucial.

Berliner Philharmoniker
Tom Mueller and Costa Cordalis

Tom Mueller and Costa Cordalis

As chief engineer at Hansa for nearly two decades, Tom Müller saw a staggering variety of artists coming through. Working with a young singer freshly exiled from Eastern Germany called Nina Hagen first got his name into credits on an internationally successful record, and he attributes much of Hansa’s recognition from the late seventies onwards to that record. Keeping order in the studio wasn’t always an easy task, with many bands coming to Berlin to temporarily immerse themselves in the city’s decadent spirit. It wasn’t all David Bowie or Iggy Pop bringing the workload, though, with German Schlager artists like Costa Cordalis producing some of their biggest hits there, and proving to be incredibly nice folks along the way, as Müller recollects. Be that as it may, we’d love to know if Cordalis was using that stopwatch to measure Müller’s speed at the faders.

D. Bowie / T. Visconti / E. Meyer

Much has been written about David Bowie’s time spent in Berlin, and the influence Hansa Studio – with its view over the wall and onto the barren Potsdamer Platz – had on his songwriting in the Heroes/Low era of his career. Producer Tony Visconti certainly took a great part in this too, utilizing the room acoustics of Meistersaal in unique recording setups, like for the big room sounds on Bowie’s vocals whenever he raises his voice in “Heroes”. In the background of all this was a singular setup, relying hugely on German microphone classics and a rare recording console. This was provided by Helios, a company founded by a former Abbey Road Studios technician who went on to build revered desks for Olympic Sound Studios or Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. This special mixture of location, expertise and equipment was fertile ground for the post ‘Heroes’ years, dozens of groundbreaking albums and the continuing legacy of the studio amongst musicians worldwide.

David Bowie / Toni Visconti / Edu Meyer in the control room

Essential Tracks

David Bowie
Heroes
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Maurizio
M4
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Einstürzende Neubauten
Halber Mensch
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Radio Slave
Roof Top
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Bodi Bill
Brand New Carpet
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Iggy Pop
Dum Dum Boys
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On Red Bull Music Academy Radio

Brandt Brauer Frick
Brandt Brauer Frick
Live at Hansa Studios Meistersaal
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Andreya Triana
Andreya Triana
Live at Hansa Studios Meistersaal
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Moritz von Oswald
Moritz von Oswald
Live at Hansa Studios Meistersaal
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Radio Slave
Radio Slave
Live at Hansa Studios Meistersaal
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Gerd Janson
Gerd Janson
Live at Katerholzig
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San Soda
San Soda
Live at Katerholzig
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Patrice Baumel
Patrice Baumel
Live at Katerholzig
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Clara Moto
Clara Moto
Live at Katerholzig
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