Helen S, London - United Kingdom - on 23/11/11
Deetron- the man from Switzerland with a soul from Detroit- has dedicated his life to music since the early nineties. Known for his swooping melodies and beautiful beats, releases have come from Music Man records, Circus Company with Seth Troxler, Green, 100% Pure and many more and each one has been deemed a classic in its own way. Now following the likes of Agoria and Jozif by mixing a stunner of a Balance mix compilation, Deetron took Helen S on a tour of his home city, Bern, and here's what we found out.
Dachstock at Reitschule: A beautiful venue with excellent acoustics in the attic of the cultural centre "Reitschule". The programming covers an eclectic selection of music ranging from Pop over Rock and Folk to Dubstep and House and this is where greats such as Moodymann, Little Dragon, Jimi Tenor and Saul Williams have made appearances.
Dead End: Bern's only afterhours club is technically a member’s only club open from Wednesday until Sunday pretty much 24 hours. Believe it or not, I've never been there myself but heard many good and memorable stories about it. They are funding their soup kitchen and night shelter for the homeless with the profits from the club.
Kapitel Bollwerk: This soon-to-be opened restaurant and bar run by the owners of the now closed Formbar and promoters of Festmacher will be fusing culinary treats with musical delicacies and promises to become an instant favourite.
Tab Tim Shop: A tiny Thai hole-in-the-wall eatery with around 8 seats located in one of Bern's most beautiful alleys in the old town, which is part of the UNESCO world heritage. It's particularly nice in summer when you can sit at one of the tables outside, which are placed right on the cobblestone pavement in front of the place.
Fariboles: Speaking of tiny places, Fariboles is a canaperia offering delicious wood oven baked bread layered with delicacies such as hot goats cheese with pear or salametti from the Italian part of Switzerland with artichokes.
Gelateria di Berna: Lovely gelateria in Bern's university neighbourhood offering a big variety of house-made gelato produced with original recipes from Verona offering flavours ranging from Zuppa Inglese over Cru Sauvage Chocolate to Mojito sorbet.
Layup: The finest selection of vinyl records in Bern can be found at local DJ hero Smat's little shop-in-shop, which is housed within a selection of street wear and art supply for graffiti artists. Here is where pretty much all the DJ's from Bern get their vinyl fix on a weekly basis.
Studio Sounds: My favourite music gear store stocking beautiful synths such as the Moog Voyager and providing for all software and hardware needs of the music producer.
Oldies Shop: This paradise for crate-diggers has been open for impressive 25 years and is going stronger than ever.
While it is a little bit more quiet than Zürich in terms of clubs, Bern certainly has a lot of great musical talent in electronic music. Stefan Riesen is running the ever consistent Morris Audio label, Wunderkind Dimlite is signed to the Stones Throw sublabel Now Again, the Round Table Knights conquer the world via Jesse Rose's Made to Play imprint, Mercury are releasing superb rave house tunes on Gomma, the guys from Sirion Records are now also on vinyl and last but not least Jagged have released great records on Quintessentials.
Bern is embedded in and surrounded by beautiful nature and I really like taking strolls in the many parks or along the river Aare. In summer, everything is happening around the beautiful river whether it be camping, barbecue in the park or swimming away in the strong current. To get impressive views of the city you can board a little train up to the Gurten where the infamous Gurtenfestival also takes place every summer.
Art, Culture, Concerts:
Paul Klee Museum: Art lovers should definitely not miss this architecturally impressive building by Renzo Piano playing host to a big part of the collection of the master as well as changing exhibitions by various artists.
Dampfzentrale: Another must-visit for cultural events located next to the river covering modern dance, film, theatre and music. Furthermore the beautiful brick stone building with its industrial charm is a destination of its own.
Stadttheater: Should you feel a craving for opera, operetta or the odd musical, head to Bern's little "opera house". Chances are you could hear my father play the double bass in the Bernese Symphony Orchestra in the orchestra pit.
Off the beaten path:
I love the fact that Bern is really close to rural areas so I'd suggest going on a trip to the deepest Emmental where cheeses have holes and cows are wearing bells. It's best to hire a car for this venture out to the Emmental and a visit to Affoltern where you can watch Swiss cheese being made and of course sample it as well. After a breathtaking ride through beautiful scenery you can stop at the Restaurant "Zum Wilde Maa" in Ferrenberg. You'll find yourself transported back in time when munching on your Rösti in the beautifully preserved dining room of this 120 year old institution.
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