Photo by John Facenfield
Cigarette in mouth, you stand sweaty palmed, clutching a handful of scratched records and CDs. On the wall, a giant beamed digital timer counts down towards zero. The DJ is indulging in some obscure Italo disco. When the timer reaches 00:00, Tom, the host, flips a switch and your first 33 LP starts spinning: SOS Band’s “Just be Good to Me”. A couple shake their skinny butts half-heartedly to the 1983 funk classic.
For the next 900 seconds (hence the name of Kim’s DIY party on the last weekend of every month), you have to entertain a hodgepodge crowd of gallerinas, bearded Mitte guys and an assortment of DJs – from totally professional to hopelessly amateurish – and their various entourages. Five tracks later (one, Stereo Total’s “L’amour à trois”, managed to get a few enthusiastic bodies onto the miniscule dance floor), and your all-too-eclectic set is promptly cut off.
A real DJ-producer type elbows his way in and starts making all of those ‘real DJ’ movements: with one ear to the headphones, he flips and slides switches, expertly fondling his vinyl. Your 15 minutes vanish into smoke; your DJ ego is crestfallen, but you're relieved you don’t have to do it for a living. And for the rest of the night, there’s new music every quarter-hour. Never a dull moment.
In reaction to Berliners’ tendency to share music on MySpace and SoundCloud, rather than in the flesh, organisers Tom Heywood and Martina Carl took “user generated content” offline and into nightlife. It really is a better way to “share”: anyone can show up for this DJ version of karaoke, with any music in virtually any medium – vinyl, MP3, CDs, tapes, Ableton Live. Just show up at 22:00 to secure your slot.
900 Seconds, next date: Fri, Oct 29, 22:00