Picture: Watergate - Berlin

It's similar with techno as with other elements of youth culture: most books devoted to the subject are horrible. There are only a few exceptions. So it's worth taking a look at our selection of the best books about techno.

Reinald Goetz Rave

There are many attempts to portray the technoculture and celebration in literature. Most have failed miserably, such as Joachim Lottmann (Die Jugend von heute), Airen (Strobo and I am Airen Man), not to mention Copy Cat Helene Hegemann. The only one who has succeeded is Reinald Goetz: Rave from 1998 has quite rightly achieved cult status. The book is a wild and intoxicating montage and collage of party experiences, it is - what a surprise - essentially about music, drugs and sex. And even if Tanith now claims that Reinald Goetz was after Sven Väth with the records: "Rave" is a masterpiece. "There is no yesterday in the life of night."

Reinald Goetz, Rave, 272 pages

Anton Waldt "To the Twelve"

This book is a collection of columns published in the Berghain-Flyer from 2004 to 2006 and before that in the Partysan. At the centre of the absurd and dadaistic short stories is Tom, "the raver". Tom drinks, takes drugs and is always horny, Tom has schnapps muesli and acid sausage for breakfast - and Tom goes partying without end, of course. Author Anton Waldt, today editor-in-chief of De:bug, makes fun of the techno scene in his stories in a humorous and charming way. 

Anton Waldt, To the twelve, 140 pages

Tobias Rapp "Lost and Sound"

This non-fiction book is about the Berlin techno scene of the noughties. Like an anthropologist, Tobias Rapp, once an author at the taz, now at Der Spiegel, describes techno in Berlin in all its facets in a detailed and knowledgeable way: from Wednesday to Monday, from the easyjet set to the afterhour. Individual chapters are dedicated to Bar 25 and Berghain, and DJ superstar Ricardo Villalobos is also introduced in detail. The pleasant thing about it: you can tell that the author really knows what he is talking about. He describes the techno scene not as an external observer, but as someone who actively participates in it.

Tobias Rapp Lost and Sound: Berlin, Techno and the Easyjetset, 268 pages

Felix Denk, Sven von Thülen The Sound of the Family

Unlike Tobias Rapp, this book does not deal with the techno scene of the present, but with its beginnings. The book shows how techno became what it is in Berlin. To this end, the two authors have conducted more than 150 interviews with the protagonists of the time. Their interview partners include former scene greats such as Tanith and Wolle XDP, but also all those who today evoke at best embarrassing youthful memories: Marusha, DJ Motte, Paul van Dyik and Westbam. Wolfgang Tilmans, Annette Humpe (2raumwohnung) and Berghain-Resident Boris will also have a short word. The result is the oral history of techno in Berlin. Most interesting is the description of the Wild West mood after the fall of the wall: The whole of Mitte was full of empty buildings, which were quickly converted into temporary, mostly illegal clubs. Logically, the book ends with the transition from techno to the mainstream. Funnily enough, all those interviewed agree: the decisive turning point, where the whole thing became scary and ugly, was Marusha's Somewhere over the Rainbow.

Felix Denk, Sven von Thülen The Sound of the Family: Berlin, Techno and the Wende, 423 pages

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