“Klangkrieg was founded because we were all music fans. It was initially the extension of our living room into the clubs. By the mid-nineties, techno had become tired. The same beat everywhere, lasting for hours and hours. We missed all the other exciting music. So we started inviting a few bands and were then surprised how many like-minded people there were. It literally exploded. People were ready for it. Just imagine: we had shows with barely audible violin sounds at peak-time in the clubs. People were all sitting on the dance floor listening. And afterwards a breakcore dj would play and the same people would go crazy. Today divergent booking is much more accepted but back then, it was something quite new in berlin.”
On 1 March 1996, a deafening noise broke the silence of the idyllically situated “Insel der Jugend”, a youth club in the former eastern part of the city. Klangkrieg productions saw the light of day. The Japanese noise musician Merzbow helped give birth, and this was more than just a statement in the techno city of Berlin. It was a commitment to experimentation. Klangkrieg was founded by Christoph Winkler and Janet Krenzlin initially as a concert and party series for music that had a hard time being heard. The events were always surprising in their programming because the most diverse musical concepts clashed. Confusion was part of the concept. At a time when almost all the music in Berlin was techno, you could never be sure at Klangkrieg Parties. Beat followers waited in vain for the break and noise fans were confronted with anarchic disco music. There were between 5 and 500 people, but everyone who was there had the feeling of being part of something extraordinary. This mixture also inspired the musicians and often resulted in unusual sound-clashes during the shows.
Within a very sort time, the “Klangkriege” became an integral part of the Berlin music scene.
Especially many young music fans came to the events. As a result, the association “Jugend hoert” e.V. and a label were founded. The association enabled young people to organise concerts for their favourite bands. So, there were numerous concert series in clubs like the Bastard im Prater, the Maria or the Insel der Jugend. The association also made sure that scenes like the Gabba Nation or breakcore fans had the opportunity to celebrate their parties. Klangkrieg organised “International Underground”, a meeting for the international hardcore scene as part of the Fuckparade. Klangkrieg also worked with numerous institutions such as the Podewil and the Volksbühne. Curated festival formats such as the “Avant Pop” and “Yaburitsugi” festivals not only opened the institutions to the various scenes of experimental pop music but also brought these artists together with musicians of the electronic avant-garde.
The Klangkrieg Productions label followed the concepts of the events and released a wide range of music.
For several years Christoph Winkler worked in parallel as choreographer and artistic director of Klangkrieg. At a certain point, the double burden was no longer manageable and so Klangkrieg was ended in 2003.
However, Christoph Winkler’s special relationship to music can still be felt in his choreographic work today.