Berlin’s nightlife is one of the German capital’s greatest and strangest success stories, a modern postwar legend that has grown over the course of the past four decades, making the city an object of longing for those in search of nightlife adventure: music, dancing, exhilaration, drugs and excess.
“Berlin cleaves, self-consciously, to underground principles,” wrote Tony Naylor in Britain’s Guardian newspaper in 2011. “It is seen as deeply uncool to brashly promote yourself, commercialize your art, or chase the money, and Berlin’s clubs are products of that ethos.” The clubs are the stars of this underground scene, which has transformed itself again and again over the decades. The legends that swirl (or have swirled) around clubs such as Risiko, Tresor, Berghain, Bar 25 and Watergate have brought Berlin the fame that now draws a global hedonistic mass market.
The Berlin underground scene is now available in coffee table book format as well. Nachtleben Berlin offers an exhilarating record of the evolution of this heaving contemporary form of collective excess. By cultivating its underground mythos, the German capital achieved one of its greatest and strangest success stories.. But not without paying a price.