This piece appears as part of “BERLIN, BERLIN” — a weekend-long virtual celebration of the city. Head here to see the full series.
You know electronic-music duo Âme is playing at Panorama Bar when the booming dance floor is packed all the way to the back wall, and the wait for drinks stands at a half-hour minimum. I know, it hurts just thinking about those days. Yet Âme —undeniably one of Berlin’s most-beloved DJ duos — is back with a 47-minute mix Dream House: A Strollology made exclusively for Highsnobiety to soundtrack solitary walks in the streets of Berlin.
As a starting point, Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann, who make up the music duo Âme, gathered field recordings in the streets of Berlin and then mixed them with original production from their debut album Dream House, which dropped back in 2018. The release arrives as a tribute to a city that doesn’t seem itself these days, with clubs closed during our current restrictions.
Dream House: A Strollology is a tribute to the contemporary flaneur. Since lockdown, many in Berlin rediscovered the streets of the city in a solitary way that felt timeless but utterly of this moment. Timeless, because a city’s streets are what remain throughout history, and of this moment because never again will the city quite feel tuned to this pitch of melancholy wonderment.
“Since the pandemic, the way people consume music has changed, and people are discovering and listening to music on strolls around their city and town rather than in clubs or at festivals and parties. We wanted to focus on how best to soundtrack that.” says Beyer.
Beyer and Wiedemann, who are co-founders of the Berlin-based Innervisions, exemplify the label’s aesthetic: flamboyant and melodic. It’s a confident contrast against the city’s domineering minimal techno. Âme invites the listener in, rather than punishing them, which accounts for their rampant popularity across international festivals they frequently headline. (Back when Resident Advisor still had its controversial end-of-the-year list of most popular DJs, Âme placed near the top, year after year.)
But with clubs and festivals closed now, electronic music isn’t dead so much as showing itself differently, like the city. And with its streets devoid of tourists, Âme’s mix is one made by Berliners for Berliners. Check it out below.