By Toshiki Shimada

Note for playlist:
This playlist consists of Japanese artists that visualize the metamorphosis of reality and myself into something new before it hatches out of its shell and shows its  new shape. I hope these magnificent tracks invoke inspiration or some sort of fulfillment.

It’s summertime in Berlin. Even after the clock hits 9 pm, the Sun is still high up in the sky and fills the streets with citrus color, shining over the cracked walls peppered with stains and dripped paints of graffiti. You would see streets packed with people, sitting on the pedestrian road. You could tell that they hail from various countries as you hear not only German , but also English,  French, Spanish and so on. If you go down a few blocks deeper towards the south, the town shows the spectrum of german demographics in a more condensed way. Arabic typographies fill up the street, sweet fragrance floating from those shisha stores hits your nose. What you notice while wandering around the neighborhood is how the walls are filled with graffiti and piles of stickers and posters, displaying the layers of short term history.

Political accusation, sarcastic joke about capitalism, the party you missed, minimalistic record label logo, “BNE WAS HERE”, the logo mark of a pizza restaurant in Wedding, “FUK AFD”, a call for diversity, agitation for a demonstration against a real estate company.

With all the statements being treated brutally, equally, all the colors, pictures, and semantics of those fuses into the abstract dadaism-like pattern to decorate summer nights. In such a neighborhood, I first met the Soydivision crew when they had their monthly event, Soy & Synth.

Social constructs are refined and examined through execution of our activities, which is partly restricted by social distancing policies and various regulations on social and economical activities. Now we all are asked to be creative to adapt the new reality, which is taking an obscure shape: Dub version of what we’ve seen before, resonating and vibrating with signs of the time.
Bars and cafes opening their windows, with sprayed lines to show the distance of 1.5m in the front. Masks on the faces. Sanitizers. transparent walls between customers and cashiers. Marathon of isolated artists’ performance on live streaming. Dance music that never fulfills  its  intrinsic value in a sweaty smokey dungeon.
Now, we all challenge new theories and its application, stretching out to grab something new outside of the boundaries, stirring the ideas, articulating them in the new set of vocabularies.
Would we try to find resemblances of what existed before? Would we try to replicate it in the same way? Would we try to preserve it as it was?

I believe that resilience of the society comes from trivial individual activities and collective efforts as the history of the city has proved now and again over the turbulence of the times
As of writing, as the day gets longer and longer and more people are hanging outside by canals, enjoying the new brace of summer, it’s easy to feel like everything’s almost like before.
The other day, while I was walking, which has become my daily routine since the lockdown, a sticker that has a black background written in a bold font stole my eyes. It bluntly says “I miss the old Berlin”. While it’s quite obvious that “the old Berlin” refers to Berlin before people like me moved here, it struck me as if it was implying something else.
As much as I miss the old Berlin desperately, I’m so excited to see the new shape of Berlin.

Editor’s note:
 We met Tosh last year during Soy & Synth, our monthly event at Motif Wein. He has been one of our closest supporters ever since, even taking over the decks for an edition of Soy & Synth where he showcased his spiritual and free jazz collection, once again underlining his credentials, not only as an excellent DJ but also as a thoughtful selector and student of all things musical. He will return to take part in our next streamed edition of Soy & Synth next week on the 30th of May 2020.

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Jan Thedja

Music hasn't managed to loosen its grip on Berlin-based selector Jan K since he listened to the likes of Mozart. and the Beatles on his Father’s stereo as a young child. Having gone on phases of listening to classical, rock, pop, punk, jazz, hip-hop and electronic music, he decided some years ago to share with people his own personal musical narrative. While his literary output has slowed down for the moment, he is increasingly sharing his music through mixes and performances, more recently with the Berlin collective l-kw. He is currently working a music project loosely based on his experience as a doctor. https://www.mixcloud.com/jan_k/