For six years, the spacious roof terrace of the “pregnant oyster” aka Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt in Tiergarten has played host to Wassermusik – an ostensibly water-themed music festival with accompanying film programme.
This year’s all about the Pacific, complete with curatorial lingo about searching for a “Pacific Spirit” connecting sounds as far-flung as alternative Columbian cumbia and atmospheric Hong Kong pop. They’re even putting on a Wassermarkt – a Pacific-themed market flogging everything from Hawaiian shirts to anime comics, rice balls to Polynesian body paints.
Brace yourself for a tsunami of outdoor entertainment over nine evenings in July and August, each featuring a double musical bill and a related film (most with English subtitles). Tickets for each night, flick included, go for between €9 and €15 – without generous German government subsidies, these prices would be two or three times higher.
Out of this ocean of cultural abundance, we’ve fished two favourites. On Sunday, July 21, a night of sonic madness: surrealist alt-cumbia stars Meridian Brothers play the tweakiest and, frankly, most amazing Colombian pop you’ll ever hear, followed by the dozens-strong psychedelic smorgasbord that is Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra, a Japanese super-group capable of supernatural feats. Stick around for the 2009 Japanese drama Cobalt Blue on the big outdoor screen. On Saturday, July 27, grab your longboard and ride a tube with local surf rockers the Kilaueas. Get even more slide-guitar vibes played on exotic Thai instruments with cult sensations The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band. Round out the night with the elliptical Thai mystery-comedy film Invisible Waves .
Originally published in issue #118, July/August