Berlin is the undisputed home of techno music, and many of its DJs enjoy rockstar status playing around the world. From the legendary to the avant-garde, and the ones that are still flying below the radar, here are some of Berlin’s top techno tastemakers.
Ben Klock wears the crown as king of the German techno dance floor. He has been a pioneer in the scene, and, since 2005, the resident conductor of one of Berlin’s most famous dance floors, Berghain. For almost a decade, his name has consistently appeared in the top-10 DJ list from Resident Advisor, the leading authority on dance music.
If Ben Klock is the king of techno, his queenly counterpart would be none other than Ellen Allien. A prolific producer and label head of the respected BPitch Control, Allien has an impressive eight full-length album discography under her belt. Her forward-thinking, pioneering fusion of techno and experimental electronica has earned her a seat at some of the most reputed residencies, clubs and festivals around the world.
Marcel Dentmann is Ben Klock’s partner in crime and collaboration, equally occupying a prestigious Berghain residency. The German native is easily considered one of the most influential figures in the contemporary techno genre and aims to integrate an artistic touch to electronic music. He grew up in the 1990s, hanging out in club institutions like E-Werk and Tresor where DJs would ignite his passion for the Chicago and Detroit sound. Today, his name is synonymous with the much-lauded holy trinity of techno music; Berlin, Hard Wax and Berghain.
Acid Pauli (Martin Gretschmann) is a phenomenal producer, selector and remixer whose music is ever-changing and expanding, making him hard to categorise. His production and originality make him a worthy choice for our list. Born in Bavaria and a child of the 1970s, Acid Pauli’s musical journey began with an indie punk band and a bass guitar. A serious player in the evolution of electronic dance music and its instruments, Acid Pauli’s music is spacey, wonky even, but always underpinned by that that four-to-the-floor beat and an otherworldly feeling. BLD, released in 2017, is his second full-length album.
A legend of the scene, Chilean-born but German-raised Ricardo Villalobos needs no introduction to electronic music lovers. After all the messy political business with General Augusto Pinochet in Chile, his family moved to Germany when Ricardo was just three years old. Micro-house, minimal and techno are his forté, earning him a reputation as one of the most prominent icons in the genre. Heavily influenced by the 1980s punk rock scene and the likes of Depeche Mode, he released his first record in 1994 before taking up DJing professionally in 1998.
A Berlin native and a regular on the German club circuit, Yetti is another leading lady rocking the decks. Yetti might not be a worldwide name in the scene, but she certainly has a loyal following at home and a there won’t be a weekend in Berlin with out her on the Sisyphos, Ritter Butzke or Wild Renate line up.