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Coming To Berlin reflects, through the lives and music of migrants, settlers and newcomers, how a constantly in flux city with a tumultuous history has evolved into the de facto cultural capital of Europe. And how at the heart of this, electronic music and club culture play a unique role. A plea for multiculturalism and a love letter to the borderless potential of music, the book breaks the tradition of Berlin's perception as techno ground zero and shows the true diversity and richness that make up this city. Told through Paul Hanford's novelistic narration, Coming To Berlin mixes imagination and interview, psychogeography and narrative, humour and horror. Each chapter follows encounters with people who have made the city their own. Club legends Mark Reeder, Danelle DePicciotto and Monika Kruse. The journey of a young Syrian refugee who has immersed himself in DJing and UK Drill. Ferruccio Busoni, an Italian Weimar era composer whose influence has echoed subliminally for over a century. We catch glimpses of the 1980s punk and art movement, the Genialle Dillentanten, and how it led towards the birth of modern club culture in the city. We follow the Turkish hip-hop scene on the streets of Kreuzberg. And under threat from gentrification, into the post-pandemic world where clubs, a thirty-year long pulse stopped, we hang out with artists reshaping electronic music into new genres and even new genders.
Paul Hanford is a writer, podcaster and DJ living in Berlin. He was born in Dorset, England in 1974. As a music-maker, he was part of Brothers In Sound who released three EPs and an LP, Family Is For Sharing, on Parlophone/Regal between 1998-2001. He released several records as Sancho before studying Music Culture Theory at UEL. Moving to London, he spent ten years working as a music consultant, being a full-time DJ in bars and events across London as well as presenting radio and TV on Hoxton Radio and London Live. He moved to Berlin in 2017 with an award from the Arts Council Of England and set up the Lost and Sound podcast. Publications he's written for include Wired, Huck, DJMag, Mixmag, Borschch, Beatportal, Boiler Room and Somesuch Stories.