Tag Archives: tresor

Insiders – Eric Wahlforss

Eric Wahlforss

This month’s interviewee is Eric Wahlforss. Eric is co-founder and CTO of the Berlin-based company SoundCloud, known for their online music streaming service with 175 million monthly visitors. Just yesterday (10.05.2016) SoundCloud has launched their new subscription service SoundCloud Go in the US, UK and France which allows you to stream millions of songs from all the major labels ad-free! 

Q: Hey Eric. Pleasure to have you here. So, you and SoundCloud, huh? How did that all start?

A: Me and Alex Ljung met in Stockholm in the early 2000s. We both played music and Alex had this studio where we started hanging out. We did some projects together and at some point decided to solve a really obvious problem. There was no dedicated online platform for musicians to share their music with people who wanted to listen to it. We realised how huge the demand was when we made SoundCloud public after 2 years of testing. The user numbers went through the roof. Today we have 12 million creators, 175 million listeners per month and more than 125 million tracks online. In comparison – Spotify and Apple music have about 30 million songs.

Q: Almost 10 years into leading a company – you must be stressed out!

A: You learn to cope with the stress. These days I try to disconnect as often as possible. My girlfriend Sophie is a big help for me. She’s also running a company and we’re amazing at being lazy together.

Q: You’re a musician. Do you still find time to play?

A: Well, I released an album in 2012. It’s made from the sounds of strings, organs and choirs. For the percussion I used only wood, stone and metal. The album took 3 years to produce and with SoundCloud going stronger than ever, I don’t really find time to play often these days. But we’ve had this concert at Berghain a few years back and me and Alex played at Burning Man last year. That was intense!  

Q: Ever feel tempted to feature your own songs on SoundCloud’s homepage? 

A (laughs): The most important thing is that the right music finds the right people. So… no.

Q: Just a trick question. What drew you to Berlin?

A: I first came to Berlin for the love parade in 1997. It was a total game changer. I had the most amazing time and went to clubs like Tresor even though I was only 17. For SoundCloud we also considered London, Vienna and Barcelona but were drawn back to Berlin in 2007 because we found an investor here. Berlin has grown up since. But it’s still rougher and crazier than other places. Compared to London or New York, Berlin is very chilled out. The energy is on a whole different level. 

Q: What do you not like about the city?

A: The service is terrible. TERRIBLE. Maybe it’s worse in Russia or Poland, but Berlin isn’t far behind. Especially when you want to bring new people to Berlin. They either have a great time and instantly love it, or they’re unlucky and have a terrible experience with human interactions here. Shouting cab drivers, unfriendly staff in restaurant, the whole service sector.

Q: Cool things you’ve experienced in Berlin?

A: Last summer Sophie and me drove around on our bikes. We heard electronic music in the distance and spontaneously decided to check it out. It was this amazing open air festival at Rummelsburg, located right at the Spree. After a little dancing we saw people swimming and thought what the hell, let’s go swimming! A few minutes later we were sitting in a small boat, drinking beers with strangers while listening to techno music. That’s the vibe that makes Berlin special and that it has always kept over the years.

Q: Your favourite place in Berlin?

A: I live between the office, my flat and Soho House, where I work out. I also really love the Piano Salon Christophori. It’s this super rough piano factory, like an old warehouse, and they also give concerts with great pianists. 

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: Probably still in Berlin. Maybe with a family… :-) 

Thanks for your time and all the best for you!

The Scene – 5 hidden bars and clubs

Berlin boasts the best clubbing scene in the world. Period. With locations like Berghain, Kater Blau, Sisyphos, Watergate and KitKat, you can party from Friday to Monday, Monday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Friday and then start all over again. These clubs are world famous and often more crowded than a gym after New Year’s Day, so we handpicked a small but exclusive selection of hidden bars and clubs that will give you the Berlin experience on a much more intimate level. We present to you: 5 of Berlin’s best kept secrets.

Anita Berber

Does the name Anita Berber ring a bell with you? Known to wear a pet-monkey around her neck and regularly showing up completely wasted in public, Berlin’s notorious actress and dancer Anita filled the newspapers in the roaring 20’s with her drug and sex escapades. Thanks to local techno heroes Tom Clark and Sammy Dee, Anita is still making people dance today – as a cozy intimate Berlin night club. Don’t expect a bass heavy Berghain-style techno bunker, but rather an intimate cosmopolitan mixture of bar and night club whose decoration pays hommage to the 1920’s while groovy electronic beats guide you through the night. This is where the centuries meet!

How to get there: Coming from train station Wedding, head down Lindower Straße and turn right into Gerichtsstraße at the huge place at the end of the street. After a hundred meters or so you’ll reach house number 23 – the entrance is divided by a small pillar in the middle. Enter the premises and walk on until you’ve reached the last backyard. There, you made it!

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Larry Bar

One more fancy-shmancy bar in the once underground district Mitte and we’re going to throw up our champagne!! Wait, what? Nevermind. You can’t help but to take a liking to “anti-cocktail” bar Larry, which is filled to bursting with young, energetic people. Finally we have an edgy counterpart to match all the overpriced bars in Mitte, where the nights don’t get half as hot and nowhere as entertaining.  If you’re looking for some serious fun and have the same weakness for electro pop, drunk girls and 70’s slot machines, we’ll see you soon at Larry Bar. 

How to get there: From the intersection Friedrichstraße / Torstraße, turn left diagonally and you’ll see the bar sitting right at the crossing on ground level. It’s not illuminated from the outside so keep your eyes wide open!

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Ipse

Berlin is getting ready for a hot summer and what is predicted to be the biggest Open Air Party summer the city has ever seen! Ipse is amongst the most promising newcomers in the scene – with world class acts like Super Flu and andhim rocking the premises, the line up’s quality often compares to Berghain and the likes, though it’s aimed at a relaxed sunday afterhour crowd rather than full blown all night ravers (even though there’s an well-sounding indoor floor for when it gets too cold). The location feels very inviting, too: the vast outdoor area is determined by the typical Bar-25-style woodwork and a cozy touch of nature. Surrounded by trees, a river flowing past you, a cold beer in your hand and relaxed techno tunes to please your ears. What more could you ask for?!

How to get there: The entrance is right next to the gas station = to reach the entrance walk down the dark path just right next to the gas station (passing the entrance to restaurant Freischwimmer)

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Fairytale Bar

Tell ‘em the fairytale gone bad”. Sorry but no can do, Sunrise Avenue! Near Märchenbrunnen in Friedrichshain you’ve got all the ingredients for a fairytale gone great. The bar staff – or rather, mythical bar figures – are dressed up as fairytale characters and serve legendary drinks in a location that’s somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and an erotic fox’s den. The cocktail card looks like an ancient storybook and features mysterious drinks like Creshire Cat, The Black Knight or Jabberwocky. Legend has it that some frogs have been turned into princes in this location already, which may partly be due to the welcome drink you get. Its bottle looks like it was originally intended to hold venom, but don’t be fooled. This shot is your ticket into Wonderland and if you’re still not convinced – drink a cocktail from Cinderella’s high heels. Literally.

How to get there: On the other side of the Märchebrunnen in Friedrichshain, there’s this one dark inconspicuous door that looks like it leads to nowhere. Ring the bell and enter at own risk.

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OHM

We imagine OHM to be the short version of OHMYGOD. Located in a former thermal power station’s battery room, OHM is both art and party space and best known for its electrifying atmosphere and electronic dance music parties that regularly go through the roof. It’s located right next to Berlin’s techno temple Tresor and you can joyfully wink at the clueless tourists standing in line to Tresor as you pass them to a much cooler location. OHM hasn’t shown up on the touristic nightlife maps yet, so even though it’s right next to one of Berlin’s most famous clubs, it’s hidden right under their noses. Rule number one: Don’t talk about OHM. Rule number two: Have an unlabelled yet delicious beer from the bar. Rule number three: See Rule number one and two.

How to get there: From subway station Heinrich-Heine-Straße, follow the Köpenicker Straße for about 150m before turning left. It’s located in a huge industrial complex, but don’t take the main entrance (that’s Tresor). Pass the building and you’ll find an inconspicuous door that says “OHM”.

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