Though he keeps a pretty low profile, Dimitri Hegemann is one of the most important figures in the history of techno. Most know him as the founder of Tresor, the legendary club that kickstarted Berlin’s techno scene and established the city’s creative dialogue with Detroit. But by the time Tresor opened in 1991, Hegemann was already an accomplished promoter. Starting in 1981, he ran a festival called Atonal, which played host to everyone from Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten to early electronic acts like 808 State. Like Tresor, Atonal pushed Berlin’s music scene forward and demonstrated Hegemann’s peerless vision as a curator. These days Atonal is in the midst of a comeback—last year the festival was held for the first time in more than two decades at Kraftwerk Berlin, a breathtakingly enormous space in the same building as Tresor. As he and his team prepare for this year’s edition, we invited Hegemann to RA’s Berlin office to reflect on his career in the city’s music scene.
July 27, 2014