It was an American night in Berlin. Teengirl Fantasy and Fatima Al Qadiri, both NYC residents, played in the crowded Naherholung Sternchen in Berlin-Friedrichshain. But you could get the impression that you were in Kreuzkölln – the up-and-coming part of Berlin where the hipster expats live, in between bars, second hand shops and small art galleries. There were a lot of skinny jeans, see-through blouses and beards to be spotted in rooms filled with English chatter.
Fatima Al Qadiri was born in Senegal, raised in Kuwait and is living in New York. She does works of visual and perfomance art, curates exhibitions and sometimes writes, as well as making music, of course. It would be unfair to limit her to being a muslim in the US, but her set this eveing seemed to match this, consisting mostly of tribal beats and hip hop. With that, she got the room bouncing and sweating, but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed about the thick layer of the latter hiding the former for the most part. But the set disjointed when she dropped some tribal-only sounds in the last few minutes – and the audience stopped dancing almost immediately. So she must have done something right before.
Teengirl Fantasy never had such a moment – their set was impressively smooth and coherent, while at the same time meandering through so many different styles, I lost count somewhere along the way. But they never lost me, relying mostly on some warm pop synths over an electronic drum pattern – played live! Those patterns changed from house to post-dubstep to drum and bass to instrumental hip hop so elegantly, I sometimes forgot to dance and just stood there contemplating on where the sound was going next, while the crowd moved around me. Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss did a great job there, so watch out if they play near you some time in the future. I am so looking forward to their second LP Tracer now, to be released on True Panther/R&S on August 21st.