As Walter Pater claimed, every kind of art “constantly aspires to the condition of music”, but what does he mean by that? Music is vastly different from, say, embroidery or painting. It is universally understood and experienced and, most importantly, all people can listen to and create music with no special tools required — you can clap your hands or whistle and this is still music. It’s a democratic expression available to all with its own subcultures, genres and sensibilities. Sabrina Jeblaoui presents us with a glimpse at one particular breed of music lovers — techno fans partying in Berlin — and brings to the fore complex psychological problems which might elude us at first glance.
The sense of community and belonging permeates, yet with it comes the distress if one doesn’t fit in the expectations of party-goers — wearing a particular kind of clothes, make-up, drug use and so forth. Is there something deeper lying under the polished surface of ecstatic dancing and fun which institutions like Berghain give off?
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