By: Playful Magazine
Photos: Alina Rudya
You’ve seen them on the dance floor, early mornings, with infinite energy. In this issue of Playful, we choose to celebrate the audience and the characters that transform the city into a magical place where you can disappear from the outside world for a while.
In this series of four, we're starting with Miro Von Berlin.
Want to listen to Miro Von Berlin? Check out:
You’re one of the familiar in the Berlin club scene, how did it all start?
I've been going to clubs since I was 14, and dancing on the weekends has always been a crucial part of my life no matter where I lived - Zagreb (my hometown), Singapore, Shanghai, Paris... Moving to Berlin 8 years ago reinvigorated my party lifestyle for several reasons: the parties here were going on for longer than 24 hours (in pre-corona times), there were so many dancing options to choose from every weekend, also I got introduced to techno, and lastly I started meeting like-minded and inspiring ravers. The first few years I often went alone to the clubs, because I didn't really have friends who could follow my party tempo (or at least not every weekend or 2-3 nights in a row), and little by little I formed friendships with other ravers like me, mostly in my favorite place - the dance floor.
So, you can imagine how many people I have met by partying almost every weekend here in Berlin, over the last 8 years. Nowadays, it doesn't matter to which party I go to in Berlin, there will always be someone I know there.
Your style and clothing is personal and unique. What inspires you and what does dressing up do for you?
My style has been a form of expression ever since my childhood, and it brings me so much joy to play around with clothes and to show different sides of me. However, for me personally, everyday situations can be somewhat limiting in terms of what I could wear, but then parties offer me a space of limitless possibilities where I can fully express and reveal myself. One weekend I might show up wearing red mini playsuit with fringes that are moving as I'm dancing, reminiscent of showgirls from Berlin's Golden Twenties but then with a raver twist to it with my chunky platform shoes and long fingerless leather gloves, and next weekend I might be in a tight nude knee-length dress with a black beret and some kind of rope body chain worn over the dress, serving style-commander-gone-kinky look. And both of these sides are part of me - with clothes I choose which side of me I want to convey to the world at a given point in time. Also, I don't believe in making a difference between clothing for men/women, I simply get whatever I feel like wearing and often it happens to be sexy dresses and skirts.
I get inspired by my environment, what I see at parties, in the streets, on friends, on Instagram, etc. Previously I've been buying a lot of clothes from fast-fashion brands, but over the years I have shifted towards second-hand, and I love to go digging in Humana or flea markets, actually similar to how I love to dig for new music. Some of my favorite pieces are actually from friends in Berlin who are doing cool stuff, such as Wsiura, UY, Soba.32. Sometimes I also edit pieces, for instance cut off sleeves, or even cut off trouser legs and use them as an accessory to a mini skirt, by fixing them with sexy leather tight belts - these kinds of ideas usually emerge in my head once I'm wearing a piece.
What does the club community mean to you, and how does it differ from other relations?
As a clubber/raver I have a strong need to be surrounded by fellow ravers, on the dance floor with loud music. It's such a special feeling dancing to good music, around you friends and strangers from all possible backgrounds, fellow freaks, queer creatures, goth babes, and at a certain point you are 100% in that moment not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, time becomes irrelevant and everything that is happening outside stays outside. You feel the energy flowing through the dance floor and you can feel the special connection to everyone there - we are the ravers, united by the music and dance.
So many of my friends, especially the closest ones, I have met on the dance floor. Therefore, it was very hard during the lockdown times, not having the possibility to see all my raver friends at our usual meeting point. I missed dancing with my fellow ravers so much! The way you connect to people at parties is totally different from everyday life - most of the times you skip small talk and dive into a topic, whether it be music, style, experiences with psychedelics, sex desires, etc. For instance, there are some raver friends for whom I have no clue to what kind of job they do or even where exactly they are from, but I know about their experience with Scorpio zodiac, or the whole story of their craziest acid trip. You get to meet people from an angle that is completely different from the usual, and I believe that this broadens one's perspective.
Moreover, friendships emerging from this community can easily spill over on the everyday life sphere, whereas you start working with someone you met in the toilet at Homopatik and become close friends; or in the Berghain toilet where you are asked to be painted by an artist and this really happens one day. And over lockdown times you continuously find ways to have fun together and all the experiences you have enhances the bond between you; or the ravers you meet may turn into your besties and spiritual sisters. All of the aforementioned happened to me, and I'm forever grateful for being part of this community.
Do you have an all-time favorite memory from a club night or maybe a top 3 that you’d like to share?
I have so many amazing memories from Berghain, and one of the last ones was the Freddy K closing just before Berghain closed in March 2020 due to corona. I woke up on Sunday at 4am and started getting ready, and at 7am I arrived in Berghain alone just in time for my friend Tijana T who was playing in Panorama. There was a really nice vibe there with a bit of daylight seeping in through the shutters, mixing with the smoke and club lights, and Tijana got me immediately into the dancing mood with her groovy sensual tunes. Then she played the last track "Madame Hollywood" by Felix da Housecat, and I knew immediately Tijana played it for me as she somehow knew I love this track. That was such a special moment, I had goosebumps and sang out all the lyrics. One year later, Tijana invited me as her guest to Hör Berlin, and I started my set with none other than Madame Hollywood.
Back to Berghain on that Sunday: Later that afternoon Donato Dozzy was playing on the Berghain floor, and I was very excited to hear the maestro play, as it doesn't happen often that he plays in Berghain. I absolutely loved his set, it was hypnotic and deep, and I was dancing like under a spell for four hours straight. Some lady, who was in the booth with Donato was giving me water all the time, as she noticed that I didn't take breaks to go for a drink. After Donato's set I went into my 'energy-saving' mode, in order to conserve energy for Freddy K’s closing set, so I was hanging around with friends, flirting a bit and so on.
Meanwhile, there was such a crazy queue forming outside of Berghain, some of my friends waited for five hours in the rain and cold to get inside. Just imagine the amount of people who waited for hours and didn't manage to get in. So once Freddy K started on Monday at 2 am, the dance floor was full and he created such an energetic vibe with his fast groovy techno, that he kept rolling until the very end, which was around Monday noon or 1 pm. There was such a great atmosphere on the dance floor till the very end, so many ravers and friends of mine dancing raw, like there's no tomorrow... I can't describe this feeling when the lights went on, and I see all those fellow ravers, some in crazy cool outfits, dancing sexy, and I can feel this groove running through my body and I keep on dancing although I'm dead tired, carried by this positive energy and bliss. What a closing that was, it felt like we were dancing into the infinity.
You’re a DJ yourself, what do you seek within the musical experience when clubbing?
Actually, my idea to DJ was born on the dance floors, as I found myself yearning for a particular music experience that I wanted as a dancer. I wanted the music to take me on a transcendental journey in a way, to bring me to places I've never been to, to make me experience euphoria and bliss that wasn't attainable in everyday life, to make me feel as one with the people around me, to bring out body movements that I never knew I had, and to allow me to get closer to my essence. I am still exploring how to create this kind of journey to its fullest for others, as a DJ, and I believe I will be able to manifest this over the years as my experience and expertise accumulate.
I get a lot of inspiration at parties for my own music, ideas on how to create a certain vibe at a party, what works on the dance floor and what doesn't, what kind of sounds are needed in different environments and during each of the stages of the party, how to build up a warm-up, how to close a set, etc. After all, I'm lucky to be in Berlin where on any given weekend I can hear some of the best DJs in the world and learn from them.
I'm obviously very picky with my music and the sound quality, so when these 2 things are on a top level, I'm already very happy. Add to it trippy lights and a cool crowd and you're in for a crazy party!
Where are you from?
From Zagreb, Croatia.
How many years have you lived in Berlin?
What’s your signature look?
My signature is that my look is ever-changing.
What’s your fuel?
There are several, but if I had to name just one, then it would be Ellen Allien as she has been inspiring me ever since we met.
Favorite hour and day of the week at the club?
Entering Berghain fresh around Sunday noon and then dancing the night away...
Where to find you in the club?
See you on the dance floor bebe.
Listen to Miro Von Berlin through Soundcloud.