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The Berlin-Detroit Axis of Techno

Science Gallery Berlin, Science Gallery Detroit | Luis-Manuel Garcia, Ben Gook

About the boom of electronic music in the two cities.

Beginning in the early 1990s shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the cities of Detroit and Berlin became synonymous with complementary electronic music scenes that explored a new electronic music genre called ‚techno.‘ This creative axis saw a number of Detroit DJs and music producers move to Berlin just as the rise in underground clubs and venues for live electronic music in the city boomed. We will host a live DJ set and discuss the music and creative impetus of this historical axis and its lasting legacy using a sociological, ethnological and aesthetic lens.


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Luis-Manuel Garcia


Luis-Manuel Garcia is a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham, with previous appointments at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin) and the University of Groningen (NL). His research focuses on urban electronic dance music scenes, with a particular focus on affect, intimacy, stranger-sociability, embodiment, sexuality, creative industries and musical migration. He is currently conducting research on “techno tourism” and other forms of musical mobility in Berlin; he has also completed a book manuscript based on earlier research, entitled Together Somehow: Music, Affect, and Intimacy on the Dancefloor.

Ben Gook


Ben Gook is lecturer in cultural studies at the University of Melbourne. He was previously an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin. Relevant publications include Divided Subjects, Invisible Borders: Re-unified Germany after 1989 (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015) and “Ecstatic Melancholic: Ambivalence, Electronic Music and Social Change around the Fall of the Berlin Wall” in Emotions: History, Culture, Society (2017).

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