06 Feb

Apparat – Walls

Walls is one of those albums showing that two decades in, electronic music still has legs. There’s really good stuff coming from Germany these days. I haven’t been in Berlin since about 18 months after the fall of the wall (crap, I can’t remember for sure whether I went there in the summer of ’90 or ’91). By then civilians drove through from West to East unimpeded, but since my father was in the military we had to check in through checkpoint Alpha at the start of the Autobahn. It was the weirdest thing to lose 20 minutes to what was obviously an obsolete remnant of the cold war, what with the thousands of cars driving by freely and Charlie gone. Already different from the experience related by another “military brat” in 1988. In the fall of 1989 I remember feeling elated for Eastern Europe but thinking it would take a generation for Germany to reunite. It was only mildly comforting for my self esteem to be proven so wrong in company of people such as Mitterrand, the French president at the time.
East Berlin at the time was still a ghost town in some places, with drab buildings showing ugly WWII scars, grey figures looking at us through heavy curtains, Trabant testaments to Communist ineptitude. Cranes were starting to rise though and I’m sure it’s a very different city now. Berlin is a sprawling city ten times the size of Paris for just 50% more people, which makes it hard to wrap your head around, sort of Europe’s LA, giving you the cold shoulder and not caring one bit about you.
Remembering this trip makes me think of my late uncle Andr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>