Diesel Teams Up With Berlin’s Most Famous Kebab Kiosk On A New Capsule Collection

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The fashion world is no stranger to collaborations. In the last year alone, Calvin Klein has teamed up with Andy Warhol, Raf Simons with Robert Mapplethorpe and Coach with our favorite Disney characters. Now, Diesel has partnered with famous Berlin kebab kiosk Mustafa Gemüse Kebap, on a streetwear-inspired capsule collection designed by the owner. The line, which features sweatshirts, t-shirts and hats, shows a reimagined version of their logo alongside colorful patches on each piece.

“I just tried to add some special ingredients,” Gemüse told DAZED, “and make sure everybody involved was happy and not hungry, holding a fresh kebab in their hand.”

Along with the collection, the brand made a teaser video that showcases just how popular Mustafa Gemüse Kebap really is. In one of the world’s coolest cities, skaters, punks, tourists and fashion girls alike all line up for blocks to taste one of Gemüse’s exalted delectables. (Now we’re hungry, and can’t wait to get back to Berlin.)

Watch the Diesel x Mustafa Gemüse Kebap teaser video, below, and be sure to cop the collection online and in select stores, starting September 3.

 


 

Photo/video courtesy of Diesel

 

Revolutionary Punk Activists Inevitably Used to Sell Lingerie

Last year, if your current events attention span even goes back that far, a Russian feminist punk group called Pussy Riot was arrested for performing a “punk prayer” calling for the removal of Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral. As two of the members were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, the band’s plight became an international rallying cry—Madonna, Yoko Ono and others called for their liberation, while Peaches wrote a song and created an all-star music video demanding their release, with other folks donning the group’s trademark balaclavas.

Now, a year after Pussy Riot’s concert in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Berlin-based lingerie label blush takes their aesthetic, and the track from Peaches, and turns it into an ad campaign. Models strut through Moscow’s streets in a “sexy protest march,” donning intimate apparel and balaclavas. Because if Che Guevara has taught us anything, it’s that the Revolution makes for a brilliant commercial strategy. And while, yes, it is totally possible to fight the patriarchy and other repressive forces in bikinis and balaclavas and if that’s how you want to go about it, by all means, but it’s hard to overlook the ickiness of co-opting a revolutionary message to sell stuff. What would the real Pussy Riot say to all this? Probably nothing favorable. Especially because two of them are in jail, while you are profiting off their brand. Good job, everyone.

Get a First Look at Xavier Dolan’s Next Film ‘Tom at the Farm’

A few weeks back, we showed you the latest trailer for Xavier Dolan’s upcoming drama, Laurence Anyways. At just 23-years-old, the Canadian writer, director, and actor has opened three features to critical success and established himself as one of cinemas best young auteurs. Always dealing in the realm of sexual exploration and the psychologically challenging effects of love, Dolan’s next feature was anticipated to have been completed before the new year—but without making a formal announcement on the progress of the project, A Life in Film has spotted the poster for the feature, Tom at the Farm, while covering the Berlin International Film Festival. And judging from the looks of it, this appears to be a darker turn for Dolan, yet still falling into the themes of his oeuvre thus far. 

Adapted from Michael-Marc Bouchard’s Tom a la Ferme, Tom at the Farm is a psychological thriller where…

Stockholm Syndrome, mourning and latent violence permeate a story of lies and imposters. A young ad executive travels to the country for a funeral and discovers that no one there knows his name or his relationship with the deceased.Set deep in the farmlands of Quebec, TOM AT THE FARM tells of the growing fissure separating city and country and the respective natures of the men that reside there.

When I spoke to Dolan for the release of Heartbeats, he told me, “Love is really a theme that I want to talk about. Love, human nature—I’m not a thriller guy. Although I would love to direct one good thriller. Everybody dreams of directing something like Se7en or Silence of the Lambs. I want to try different things and test my limits.” Well Mr. Dolan, perhaps this is the one; and test away because we’re excited.

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Berlinale Unveils Classics Retrospective Lineup

Sundance may have come to a close this week, but the annual Berlin International Film Festival kicks off Thursday and will host the premiere of a plethora of new films, running until the 17th. And just in, the festival—which shows about 400 films per yearhas announced an expanded retrospective titled, Berlin Classics. With each film presented by a prominent festival guest, the retrospective will screen recently restored classic films, featuring the European premiere of the 3D Dial M for Murder and the world premiere of a new restoration of On the Waterfront. Yesterday we saw the cast of Cabaret reunite on the Today Show, marking the 40th anniversary of Bob Fosse’s masterpiece musical. Some of the films in competition at the festival include the long-awaited Before Midnight, Camille Claudel 1915, Night Train to Lisbon, Prince Avalanche, Child’s Pose, and In the Name of. Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster will be opening the ceremony. 

Here are the five films included in the Berlin Classics. 

cabaret
Cabaret, 1972
Directed by Bob Fosse

waterfront
On the Waterfront, 1954
Directed by Elia Kazan

dial m
Dial M for Murder, 1954
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

fff
Der Student von Prag (The Student of Prague), 1935
Directed by Arthur Robison

tokyostory
Tokyo Story, 1953
Directed by Yasujirô Ozu

I Wish I Loved Something as Much as Gay Guys Love Posing in Front of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial

A couple of days ago, Jezebel posted about fashion blogger Pelayo Diaz, who shared his personal meditation on looking fly while visiting Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The monument, spanning over four acres and featuring 2,711 concrete slabs, is a popular tourist spot, even for those rocking Balenciaga and a hot-pink Céline bag. More surprising: the growing number of gay guys who post pictures of themselves at the monument on Grindr. 

Thankfully, there’s Totem and Taboo: Grindr Remembers (via Heeb), a blog that collects the images of young men in deep thought about the horrors of the human existence while keeping the always-frustrating search for sex at the front of their mind. The mission statement for the site is as follows:

In an age when ignorance is prevalent than ever, Grindr, the latest most addictive gay obsession, has wowed its members in relentlessly promoting the memory of the holocaust. While the gay community is being under scrutiny for promoting hedonism and alienation, this tribute seems all the more compelling.

Totem and Taboo, our new blog, asks nothing more but to harness the vibrant blogosphere to Grindr users’ innovative maneuvers to keep the memory alive, fresh and attractive. Now, you gals don’t just stand and watch! Be the change you want to see in the world. We kindly urge you to join our team: Help us collecting pics of the spreading new trend. (NSA)

While I generally don’t advocate the publishing of Grindr photos (can’t these dudes look for fun in peace and without shame?), it’s somewhat nice to see so many people considering making tribute to the millions of lost Jewish souls. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, gay guys have been doing this for years!) Bless their hearts. Especially sexmusclebtm.

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Talking with Nina Hoss on the Subtle Beauty of ‘Barbara’

When one thinks of cinematic depictions of Germany in the 1980s, the mind usually imagines a world drained of color—the desolate grey coldness lingering through the air between the tortured souls that fill the streets à la Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire. But with Christian Petzold’s latest Silver Bear-winning drama, Barbara, we see this antithesis of that bleakness: a film rich with the nature and color, void of symbols and the dark veil of oppression. However, the lush and vibrant physical atmosphere is juxtaposed by the psychology of the film’s titular character, who must restrain her emotions and build a wall around herself as a means of preservation. 

Taking place in the year 1980 in East Germany, Barbara tells the story of a brilliant young doctor Barbara Wolff, who has been transferred from a prestigious post in Berlin to a small pediatric hospital in the country after applying for an ausreiseantrag, or exit visa, from the GDR. Her new life in the East requires exhbiting a great deal of strength—constantly having to ward off emotional connection to those around her, as well as advances of friendship and attraction from a fellow doctor, Andre (played wondefully by Roland Zehrfeld). But it’s in her work as a physician that we see the other side of Barbara, the dedication and passion that binds her to her patients, and makes us question whether or not she could abandon this new world to escape out of the East. This year’s Best Foreign Film Academy Award entry for Germany, the film’s quiet subtly and sense of disillusionment leave you wondering just how far the past seeps into the present and if it’s ever truly possible to leave one life behind.

We sat down with Nina Hoss to talk about her working relationship with Christian, building the past of Barbara, and experiencing the world of East Germany.

You’ve worked with Christian before. How did this film come about for the two of you?
Actually it’s a long time ago, like ten years ago, when we worked on our first movie that was made for television. He gave me a novel called Barbara, which is the basis of this movie. It’s also about a doctor but she lives in the second World War and she’s a communist—that’s what makes her an outcast in that sense. I read it in those days and forgot about it other than it was a great novel. But he worked on it in his mind and he started talking about it three or four years ago and then by having the idea of setting it in this time, I always thought that as a fascinating thing to do. So I was always been involved in the process of the story.

So he knew you were going to play Barbara?
Yeah, he said that pretty early on. The way we work is that he writes—or even before he starts writing, he tells me the story and we take these long walks and I ask questions: but what if she did this or what if he felt that? And then throughout these questions I think he gets more and more clear. That’s as much as I do.

That’s really interesting because there are a lot of directors who have an actor they love to work with, but it’s interesting to see how collaborative it is between the two of you.
Yeah, I pretty much see it as a partnership. I’m not involved in the writing process but I approach it from the acting standpoint and the emotional standpoint—not just my character but the whole. So I research it on that level—if I can emotionally follow each character, that it makes sense the way they react or act. We talk a lot about acting and filmmaking itself, so that’s why I think we’re so curious and both know we want to go on further. By finding someone who is now a real friend but also someone you can be open and frank about things with and you trust each other very much, you can criticize each other without thinking, oh this person wants to harm me or. It’s just always for the better and that’s such a great gift.

And does having that level of trust enhance your performance?
You have to have trust, especially if you play these parts. As an actress, if I didn’t have the stage and I just did Christian’s movies I think I would go die like a little flower because as an actress you want to express yourself, of course. But here you have to concentrate and hold back so much and do it all internally—which I love, I love that kind of work—but you have to trust that the other person really gets you in your work because someone might oversee what you’re actually doing and focus on something else. You have to be very much together so that I’m free in not doing anything.

Barbara had such a complexity but was so restrained, so your performance had to be restrained as well. How do you approach a role like that where everything is happening so internally?
In this, I definitely had to have a background story. I asked myself, who was she before she got into a conflict with the state? So I thought: well, she must have gone along with the whole system for quite a bit because other than that you wouldn’t have become a doctor, you weren’t even allowed to study medicine. So I then I thought: but during that period of time when she was a student in Berlin, which even back then was very exciting city, she was a lively positive woman. I mean, in the film now she has make up on, so she did back then as well, and she had that positive side about her but she had a guilt, For me in my head, it was that she didn’t stand up for a very good friend when she had to in school days and that always stayed with her. And when there came another situation where she had the option to not look at it or look at it,  and she did. So she’s fine with that but it made her feel like, I can’ stay here, I have to leave this country because it always pushes me to this moment and I have to do too many compromises to actually stay here. So that’s when we meet her, she’s being punished for that attitude and she keeps up that attitude because she knows she has the option to flee. That gives you strength because you have an option. But that’s why she can’t show the world, I don’t like you I want nothing to do with you and I’m leaving you. So she’s closed up for anything that’s around her. But only in her work she can manage.

She had to be so turned off to most things around her—Andre would be so warm and welcoming to her and she’d be so cold. But then you’d see her with a patient and she was so loving and protective.
That’s when she can’t keep up that wall and that’s why he can get to her.

And Andre can see that side to her. Their relationship was so great to watch as the dynamic between then changed—how was working with Ronald?
Oh, I love him, I really do. It’s always such a present that’s been given to you when you rehearse up to a certain point, and then when they call “action” I could rely on the fact that whatever happens he can go along with it and the subtly. I just loved that about it. And I also thought, it’s so great to have him who is such a warm person but portraying someone where you can’t be sure if you can trust him. But he gives the whole movie this warm and the whole movie, this warmth comes closer to this iceberg and slowly melts her so I thought it was perfect.

He added to that juxtaposition between this world and that she is fleeing to. When she has these secret meetings with Jorg, everything seems so much colder and they’re always in hotels. When he’s talking about the future if she runs away and says, "you won’t have to work," the second I heard that, I thought, how could she leave something she loves so much? So there’s the East that feels much more warm and she gets to be this intelligent working woman, but there’s another world that might be better.
Yeah, and Jorg doesn’t even know her. That’s the moment where she finds out, oh god he doesn’t have a clue what I’m about; I’m about my job, that’s me.

He doesn’t challenge her like Andre.
I’m sure she wouldn’t have the same conversations. It’s like a holiday romance because it’s always exciting because it’s in secret and you know, all of a sudden when it comes to this decision to leave everything behind and not be able to ever come back, I think in that moment you think, hang on what’s going on on this other side? Women don’t work and I mean it was the difference. In East Germany in the 80s, there was no question that women worked, it was no question because it was no option because otherwise they wouldn’t have enough workmanship; they had to have the women working or else it would have collapsed much earlier. So that was also their self-esteem, being a working person. And so that was not an option at all for her. I thought that was always the turning moment when he says that.

The film was mainly shot chronologically; did that help create an atmosphere or a tone because you were building up to something rather than have to remember the narrative arc in your mind?
It definitely helped. The only thing we shot not chronologically was the kiss, which Christian insisted on because he said, if you act towards that kiss you make the moment too big. And I thought, yeah maybe but also we’re intelligent actors so I’m not sure if we really needed it to be early on. 

And it’s not a lustful kiss.
No, she always so restrain herself because she’s leaving that night. It comes from also knowing that she’s leaving, I have to give into that just for a second.

It was filmed so beautifully and much different than other films that depict the time; was that something Christian as very conscious of doing?
It mainly had to do with Chrsitian’s remembrance. Because as a child, his family came from the East, and I think they fled before the wall was built, and so when they got back each summer on holiday to see their family, that was his rememberance. The grass was green, it smelled great, and it still is a difference if you’re in the West in rural areas, it’s all worked on. You see humans working. But in the East it’s very wild because they just had their farms and it was a huge collective thing, but other than that they left nature alone. So it is beautiful. It’s much different, and he wanted to portray that. Also, that the colors are vibrant and beautiful also.

It’s a place where Barbara can be more alive. 
It shows also what you leave behind. It’s much harder to leave that behind than a gray, grim, cold place. And that’s also a reality but not only.

And did you speak to other cast members who had experienced living in the East at this time?
There was an actress in the film that had fled East Germany. It was really great to have her there because I was so interested in this moment—which was quite tricky to play—when Barbara lies to Andre. He wants her to be part of the operation and he says, “don’t you want to be part of it,” and she says, “yeah” and tells him she can make it and you know, I’m not there anymore. So I have to act like the audiences gets this is hard for her, but it must be convincing that she doesn’t see that. So what’s going on inside of you, I wanted to understand that and this actress, she explained it to me. She was with a theater in the West and she was pretending to go back with them and she fled through the woods, through the window like a movie as well. She made appointments at home—we meet then and then and then and then next Saturday we have lunch, or whatever—meanwhile she was saying that, she said it was hot and cold and hot and cold, and it was so hard to do that because you know you’ll never see them again. So that was amazing to talk to someone who actually went through that.

In terms of female characters, I liked Barbara because she did lie, make bad decisions, and did things she shouldn’t have done, but you don’t judge her, you look at her from a very human standpoint because she’s not in a position she wants to be in. So did you think about that when you were going into it, about how to make this woman that people would understand?
For me it as very important, that in her job, I wanted to portray a doctor and I was actually watching doctors in hospital. What makes a good doctor? It’s someone that has the right amount of warmth but also is confident in what they know and that they are not afraid of saying things you might not want to hear. So I wanted her to say to the girl, it’s going to hurt and you know, prepare them but be there for them and go through with it, no question.  And that’s when you feel safe as a patient. So I wanted her to be the amazing doctor that you want to have, that you want to go to. And from that point on, it revealed to me how I wanted to portray Barbara because if you can be that kind of doctor, you must be a good person. 

Did you do a lot of research?
I talked a lot with people who had lived in this period, and read a lot of books to create a background story, to get ideas and to get this atmosphere. Because living in the West, I just never experienced anything like it—not trusting anyone, that you can’t talk freely.

L.A. Openings: Eat Where Fatty Arbuckle Once Lived, Devour Berlin Street Sausages

Fatty’s Public House, on the edge of West Hollywood is named after silent-film actor Fatty Arbuckle, who once lived at this exact address. Now, the home is an airy pub with a big old-school "Hollywoodland" mural overhead, and they’re dishing out short-rib pizzas, Guinness bratwurst, burgers, and chicken and waffles. At brunch there’s a DIY Bloody Mary cart rolling around, and after a couple of those – if you squint hard enough up and down the street from the outdoor patio – you can still see old Hollywood just as it once was. But that’s just because you’ve accidentally internalized Instagram filters.

Just opened Downtown, Coco Laurent is a breezy, sun-lit French bistro serving beef Bourgogne, sandwiches, and an impressive by-the-glass red wine list. And Berlin Currywurst also just debuted in Hollywood with a beautiful beer garden and lots of sausages and beers.

Want to be first? Sign up for BlackBook Happenings now and get the latest openings and events in the city of your choice delivered to your inbox every Monday.

Boys Noize Talks About ‘Out Of The Black’ And His Upcoming Tour

German producer/DJ Boys Noize, aka Alex Ridha, predates the ongoing EDMsplosion. He’s been a staple of the dance music scene for years, remixing everyone from N*E*R*D to Cut Copy. He’s also a tastemaker with his own label, Boysnoize Records, which just released Le1f and Boody’s Liquid EP. Last month, Ridha released his third album as Boys Noize, Out Of The Black, a collection of pulsing, simmering tracks to keep the dancefloor fresh. Snoop Dogg’s even along for the party, throwing a couple verses over the woozy bass of “Got It.”

I called Ridha at his home in Berlin to talk about his city, his album, and his North American tour that’s kicking off now.

What’s a normal day in Berlin like for you?
Normally, when I get up, I have to go out with the dog first, because she needs to go out. She has the most priority in the mornings. When I go back, I do a lot of my label stuff, working out the music we’re releasing and talking to all the artists on my label, figuring all of that out. Basically, I’m doing the whole creative side of Boysnoize Records. That’s a lot of fun for me. Then when the sun goes down, then I go to the studio, which is also at home. Then it depends. I’m not a guy who can go in the studio from 9 to 5, that’s why I have it at home so I can go in a moment, because you can’t really force creativity, not in my sense.

If you were meeting someone who had never been to Berlin before, what would you tell them is the first thing they should do or see?
Probably go to Kreuzberg and go through the streets and get a Turkish kebab, which is almost like the German traditional meal. It’s getting there. At night time, a lot of people come to Berlin to party, and I think you can do that really well because there’s a lot of illegal parties, there’s a lot of parties that start on Saturday and end up on Tuesday morning, so you have a lot of places like that, like the Berghain. Actually, you have to see the Berghain if you’re coming to Berlin for the first time, it’s probably one of the most amazing clubs in Berlin, it’s super techno and very dark. There’s no cameras allowed, you won’t get in if you have a camera on you. If you take a picture, you get thrown out as well. And then after that, you can eat a currywurst, that’s a traditional sausage, you know. And then there’s a lot of flea markets on Sunday. You should visit the wall as well, there’s still part of it in Berlin.

How is the way this record came together different from your previous albums?
The first two albums I pretty much produced while touring, during my DJ gigs. Most of the time, I’m away on the weekends, and during the week I’m back in my studio. On this record, it was different, because after the second record I did, I wanted to try out new things and work with other people, that’s why I got into productions for other people like Santigold and Spank Rock. I did a full album with Chilly Gonzales, who’s a piano player, and we did this really fun electronic piano [project]. After that time working with other people, I felt the urge of making my own music again. So basically for this album, I took some time off to be in the studio only, I didn’t do any festivals or club shows this year and just enjoyed being at my home and in my studio all the time to make this album.

Is there a particular track that you’re the most proud of?
It changes all the time. Right now, I’m pretty happy with the track I did with Snoop Dogg, it’s a pretty big honor for me to have him on my album. For me, it was kind of a statement to only have him on my album as a feature. For me, the most important thing was to make something fucking cool with him.

How did that collaboration come about?
I did an official remix for him in 2009, I think it was, for his track "Sensual Seduction." You know how it is, the big record label asked me to do the remix, so I didn’t know if he knew it, and when I discovered Twitter, I wrote him directly asking him if he knew the remix, and he replied right away, saying he loved it and I should send more beats. Ever since, we’ve kept in contact. I met last year in LA for the first time, and this year I met him again and he invited me to his place and we recorded two songs together. It was really, really cool to meet him, he’s such a nice dude.

Do you have any dream collaborations for next time around?
It’s always difficult for me to have a feature on my own music, because although I’m making a lot of different kinds of music as a producer for other people, for my own music I have a very pure vision and I’m more a fan of robotic voices than real human voices. On my album, you can hear a lot of electronic voices and different kinds of robotic voices I’ve been studying. Another thing is that once I work with other people, like a singer or someone, then it turns too much to me into a song or it’s getting too poppy, then it doesn’t really reflect me as a DJ or a performer. I’m not someone who plays shitty house records with cheesy vocals on it. It’s fine for the radio, but for my own sets I like it when it’s more in your face and not too much like mainstream or commercial stuff. It also means that for my music, I can’t really do that, just because I’m not doing that for my own music. I’m open to everything as a producer for other people, but for my own music, I prefer my own robotic voices and stuff like that.

Can you talk about the album title a little bit?
I kind of started with the English thing almost immediately. I really liked the twist with the blue and the black, because out of the black doesn’t really mean anything. I liked that. It also kind of reflects me being in the studio at night. When the sun goes down, I can make some noise when everyone’s sleeping. I feel most relaxed at night as well, and most creative. The image sounded cool.

With this album, you’re finally going on your first full American tour. Would you say that has to do with the US finally catching up to the world of electronic music?
No, actually, I’ve been touring a lot in the US since 2006, even 2005. I’ve been playing a lot of gigs pretty much everywhere. This is the first time I’m playing live, which is a new challenge and it makes sense, now that I have three albums. So I will perform my own music only, like a punk rock kind of concert. I’m bringing a big production as well, there are going to be some crazy things going on. I have one element which is pretty big, but I can’t go into much detail about it. I’m pretty excited to do that, it’s a new way of touring as well, I’m going on a bus for six or seven weeks. It’s pretty rock ‘n’ roll, I’m looking forward to it.

What can we expect from your show?
I’ll be performing my own music only. I haven’t really done that, though a lot of people were wondering [how that would work out]. As a DJ, I do a lot of things in the moment, and a lot of things are spontaneous. I’m not mixing two records only, I do a lot of live remixing and live editing in the moment. This time, it’s my own music that I will tweak and remix live and have different variations on. I have a lot of controllers and effects units and a big production around it. There’s going to be one big element onstage, which is quite crazy. You should actually check it out, if you can.

Do you have any particular favorite places to go on tour?
In the US, there’s a lot of cool cities. I’m a big fan of San Francisco, of Chicago, New York, L.A. Montreal is also a great city. There’s a lot of cities this time around that I haven’t visited yet, especially in the middle of America, Texas and stuff. I haven’t hit those places, I’m curious.

Those are probably places where it has taken a little longer to build a dance music following.
Yeah, I feel like I’m on a mission, to be honest. Obviously, there’s the whole EDM thing, I guess I’m a big part of that as well. I think that’s a lot of music where it’s very functional, and I get to a lot of place where I hear the same music. It feels good to really be on a mission, to show different aspects of electronic music.

After having done this for years, I’m sure you know you’ve been ahead of the curve.
I wouldn’t say that to myself. (laughs) But it’s true, there’s a new generation in America that is totally into electronic music. I think it’s amazing, because it opens a lot of doors for me as well. But obviously, once something gets really big, it’s most of the time driven by the really mainstream stuff and the more popular stuff. In the end, it’s just a new way of pop music. I think a lot of people that have just discovered it that like that, they will eventually move on to what’s after David Guetta and that kind of music. Once that happens, all those people will be discovered, especially in electronic music, there’s so much. I’ve been buying records, I have 15,000 vinyl records at home, and I still discover amazing electronic music every day, I’m buying new music every day, I’m finding old tracks, I rediscover them. So me as a total nerd in that, discovering new music, imagine someone who’s just discovered electronic music. There’s just so much to look out for after the mainstream stuff.

Who are some new artists you’re currently excited about?
There are a lot of new artists that I love. There’s one guy I just found for Boysnoize Records, his name is SCNTST, he just turned 18 and he’s a very talented producer. We just put out an EP from him, there’s another one coming this fall, I’m very excited about him. You know how it is when you start off something and you don’t really know what to do, there’s a lot of magic happening in this moment. He’s really good. There’s another guy called Strip Steve who’s really more into the indie disco kind of thing, which I love. I’m going on tour with Spank Rock, who’s a rapper from Baltimore signed to my label, he’s super amazing. I produced his new album, which just got out as well.

Any other up-and-coming rappers you’re excited about, too?
Yeah, there’s this guy Le1f, we’re putting out an EP he did as well. He’s part of this up-and-coming gay rap scene. He’s also a producer, he makes a lot of amazing beats as well. He also produced "Nasty” on that Spank Rock album. We just signed him, going to put out his EP with his friend Boody very soon on Boysnoize Records.

Follow Katie Chow on Twitter.

Let’s Rent Helen DeWitt’s Berlin Apartment

Helen DeWitt, author of The Last Samurai and, more recently, the ripping good American satire Lightning Rods, is subletting her gorgeous, sunny Berlin apartment—complete with a collection of over 3000 books, it seems! Who wouldn’t want to paw through that? Seeing as DeWitt is famous for her lengthy, well-considered and thoroughly entertaining comments on a variety of literature blogs, the answer should be: no one.

For just $1411 a month (whoa, I’d be saving money), and a minimum stay of 30 days, all this can be yours:

84 meter square apartment with parquet wood floors, high ceilings with baroque plaster moldings, sofa-futon & single bed, upright piano, large desk, dining table, WiFi, free local calls; large kitchen with roomy fridge, washing machine.

And it’s even within walking distance of Möckernbrücke, whatever that is! So what do you say, can we go? I’ll play the piano for you, though there’s a historic jazz café around the corner when you get sick of that. Then we can eat knockwurst and go clubbing. It’s going to be so cool.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.