Picturing the early beginnings of a veteran DJ conjures the classic image of turntables and crates full of vinyl. But Michael Fiedler – better known as Fiedel, Berghain’s longtime resident DJ – began on tapes.
“I come from eastern Germany, and there was hardly vinyl available, no turntables…I started recording tapes on the radio, and then I played tapes with two tape decks… I had long, long lists with a counter.”
Over the course of Fiedel’s influential, decades-long career, much has changed in Berlin’s dance scene. Techno has risen to international prominence, tapes and vinyl have been largely replaced by digital media, and Berghain has gained a more mainstream audience. Nonetheless, Fiedel insists some things haven’t changed: “when you go to South Korea, to France, or wherever, it’s nice to see that the young people half my age have the same spirit that there was in the clubs in Berlin back then… a kind of open-mindedness, and the urge to dance.”