English uber-producer Clark was better known as Chris Clark when his debut album Clarence Park was released via Warp in 2001. The record is named after a local reserve in the St Albans area where Clark grew up, but the music itself revealed an imagination that had traveled far and wide. Clark draws upon a world of sound, everything from hip hop and abstract beats, to techno, jazz and soul. These days the European dance hub of Berlin is his adopted home, but he's escaping winter with a trip to Australia, a RBMA presents tour that sees Clark playing material from his extraordinary self-titled LP of 2014. If you were lucky to catch Clark back in Berlin though, here are the places he'd take you on his guided tour of the city.
Musikinstrumente & Design
Clark: "This shop is the one. The guy that runs it is amazing. He's the most blasé non-capitalist I've ever met, he hardly ever wants to even sell the gear in there. But he has it all, old tape machines/ extremely rare Italian synths/strange midi sitars from Iran. He was selling these old analogue drum machine pedals from the 70's, for about 50 Euro. Sometimes he unintentionally rips you off though. Sometimes you get a total bargain. I bought the Wersi bass synth that I used on "Petroleum Tinged" on my album from this place. It's a beast. Mean filters."
Japanese Restaurant Sasaya
"Amazing Japanese restaurant. You always have to book in advance. I always end up eating about three times as much as I should, and then buying Haribos on the walk home, and then eating them as well, and then falling into a blissful sleep. Pretty weird life sometimes. They do an awesome range of whiskies as well. Jesus, I sound like some kind of bloated 18th century prince, I don't just purely indulge when I'm in Berlin you know. I cook as well."
"It's a club night run by my trusty ol' pal Ned Beckett. He usually puts it on at the Berghain, it's basically a night of live acts/djs that plays consistently amazing electronic music of great variety. It's fun hearing jungle in the Berghain also. I'm not sure if jungle will ever really kick off in German though."
"The fact that my old apartment used to be sandwiched in between a bondage/leather/sex toy shop on the left side, and a kindergarten on the right…So very Berlin. I actually love my old apartment, it had this amazing courtyard, the reverb was intense, I used to make loads of guitar recordings in that courtyard, it's all over my Iradelphic album. There was a porn studio on the top floor, pretty sure I heard distinct fornication sounds on a few occasions, but it was lit really bright, like a film studio, and it sounded a little porny. Like, no one makes that amount of noise when they're having sex, surely?"
Trams / City At Night.
"One of my favorite things about Berlin is how easy it is to nip about on public transport. It's such an open city, and so safe to zip about on little nighttime adventures. The scale of the city is vast but it never feels as claustrophobic or aggressive as other big cites can. It's definitely made for a big influx of tourists and expats; I can see this being slightly irksome for native Berliners. As a result you feel like you want contribute something."