The Berghain space hosts Courtesy's in-vogue label for one of its best parties yet.
Some may argue that Copenhagen techno is the best Danish export after pork and donor sperm. The scene, characterised by relentlessly fast BPMs and a nostalgia for '90s trance and rave music, has enjoyed explosive success in recent years. At its center stands Kulør, the label run by Courtesy, whose first release in October last year brought international attention to the scene's sharpest talents. Last Thursday, the label threw a party at Berghain's Säule.
Early in the night, I found myself surrounded by Danish speakers. Despite their efforts with blonde messy buns and hair scrunchies, it wasn't hard to spot Danes in the crowd, their clothes almost too clean to be mistaken for Berliners. It felt like being back at Culture Box, one of Copenhagen's most important techno clubs. As I wandered through the upstairs area to take a break from Kasper Marott's unforgiving trance set, I ran into a few friends who were Säule regulars. "I've never seen Säule this packed," they said. "I think this might be the biggest night the venue has ever seen." As we looked over the booth and the dance floor, it seemed intimidatingly rammed.
It was cool to see Courtesy, a well-known DJ in her own right, take the opening slot. This was in line with the way she runs the label, consciously creating space for other artists to shine. She played slower than usual without compromising on quality, using the opportunity to experiment with more eclectic rhythms. Despite Schacke's seemingly nonchalant style, the mix of green lasers and the elevated DJ booth gave him a powerful aura. People became frantic when he began playing the final track of his live set, "Kisloty People," from his latest release. Never have I seen such enthusiastic jumping and singing in Berghain, especially for such a new record.
Sugar harnessed this energy and pushed it even further. The music was so banging that I wished I'd eaten more dinner. Just as I thought I was too exhausted to stay, Repro kept me on the floor with consistently propulsive tracks with warm synths—another trademark of the Copenhagen sound. During his closing set, everyone closed their eyes, their foreheads glowing in sweat, as if we were all basking in the nostalgia of a time we couldn't remember. There was a flowing feeling of connection and intimacy among the crowd. It was a truly hygge moment.