Berlin Soundsystems: Barney Millah and Nik Nowak
Live from RBMA Berlin! We discuss the city’s unique soundsystem culture with top DJ and promoter Barney Millah and sound artist Nik Nowak.
Peak Time explores soundsystem culture in Berlin from a few different angles: Vivian talks to DJ and promoter Barney Millah, widely considered a pioneer of the reggae-dancehall scene in Berlin. He is the founder of one of Germany’s first soundsystems, Concrete Jungle, and is known for fusing calypso, soca and other island genres with traditional riddims. Now involved in running YAAM – Berlin’s epicenter for reggae, soca, dub and beyond – Millah joins us to talk about his 20-plus years in the game, the ins and outs of the Berlin scene and his recent interest in modern African styles like coupé decalé and kuduro. Next, we talk to Nik Nowak about his “sound objects,” which include both noise-making sculptures and functional soundsystems — notable among these is the Panzer sound tank, a hybrid of a Jamaican soundsystem, tank and stealth aircraft. We talk with Nowak about how sound occupies space, sonic moments that interest him and the psychic and physical effects of his work.