Words by Songwriting student Sophia Glender and photos by Music Production student Davide Ruffini
If you live in Berlin and are between the ages of 18-50, then chances are you’ve visited a club within the last month. If you’re a frequent club-goer who loves EDM and is based in Berlin, then you’ve probably heard of #INSTANTBONER.
#INSTANTBONER is a modular electronic DJ-duo from Kreuzberg, Berlin. The duo consists of drum engineer Joe Steyer and modular synthesizer player Matthias Millhoff. The duo invited the students at BIMM Berlin to an exclusive Masterclass on 13th January.
They set up their booth in front of the stage, facing the audience, complete with all their stage equipment. They invited us to stand around them whilst they played a small set for us. Joe started it off with some percussion and Matthias soon joined in with his synths. There were very few moments where they looked at each other or communicated, which made it all seem rehearsed, but after asking them how they chose what to play, they made it clear that they improvise on stage. Joe said it comes from hours and hours of working together and shows that they’re both sure of their roles within the duo. They made it seem so simple whilst they were up on that stage.
#INSTANTBONER took over one of Watergate’s DJ booths at 5am. We left the Masterclass at 3pm and went home to prepare ourselves for the night. The club was already alive when we got there. Almost a day had gone by since we saw them at the Masterclass and we had managed to sneak in a nap, two meals, and a full party before going to the club. Watergate is one of the most popular clubs in Berlin and it overlooks the beautiful river Spree. It was very different to see the duo whilst being out on a pulsating dance floor, seeing as earlier we were a group of 30, but there were over a hundred people in front of them at the club.
Having spoken to the guys earlier, it felt as if I knew a secret that the rest of the audience didn’t. I asked Joe and Matthias what influences they have and what I should look out for, and they had one clear answer that they couldn’t stress enough: jazz. The strong kick and the melodic synthesizers filled up the room and the floor started vibrating. The guys were in their element up in that booth. It wasn’t hard to understand why they’ve shot to fame within the underground scene here in Berlin. Looking around the room and seeing the amazement on the audience members’ faces, I understood it – they fit in perfectly and stand out at the same time.