ASeven: A cutting edge venue with its eyes set on the future
In the Beginning..
Few cities on this planet incubate and celebrate club culture like Berlin. From the hallowed techno heritage of Tresor to the legendary sunrise sessions at Watergate; the German capital has tangibly buzzed with nightlife since the earliest days of dance music. So much so, in 2017 the German government pledged to invest €1 million in the industry to ensure clubs could invest in noise protection to prevent them being closed. Prior to that in 2016, German law courts famously ruled that techno mecca Berghain should have the same tax status as classical concert theatres because of its contribution to music, art and culture.
But what if you wanted to open a new club in the city? From a music lover and DJ’s perspective, Berlin is a veritable candy store, sure. From a club owner’s point of view? Finding a place in one of the most crowded nightlife sectors imaginable is a challenge. A challenge that Berlin club owner Erik ven Hues rose to in 2017 when he opened ASeven slap bang in the centre of Berlin.
Create the Un-Created
“My inspiration was to open a club in Berlin that doesn’t exist yet,” explained club owner, DJ and serious tech enthusiast Erik in our recent video interview. “We have over 100 clubs here but I felt that a lot had that dirty underground vibe, there were some that are too uniform, so I’ve found the middle ground. The most important point is the high technology in the club; the screens, the soundsystem, the Denon DJ Prime set up. My inspiration is the system and the technical stuff.”
Ven Hues was onto something. The dirty dark room venues Berlin is best known for in electronic music will always command cathedral status in underground club culture, but with visual tech developing at such an accelerated rate, and becoming more affordable, there’s a space for something else; similar sized smaller venues that offer the same intimate vibe… But with a whole stack of technological possibilities thrown into the experience.
Cue ASeven, a versatile 300 capacity event space bedecked with immense floor-to-ceiling 150 m² LED screens that can transform the venue in any which way the performer or promoter wants. That is, of course, if you’ve got visuals that can handle it.
“The screen has 8k resolution, that’s double HD!” exclaims ven Hues. “Visually it’s way too clear for the quality but I work with the company who manufacture them to have the best equipment possible in the club.”
Erik’s aim has been to futureproof the club as much as possible. If anything, he over future-proofed the venue; just as his 8K screens require super high resolution graphics for the best visual experience, compatible technology to synchronise his previously existing DJ set up to the screens hasn’t been available either. That was until last August when he learnt of Denon DJ’s partnership with VJ and projection software Resolume which allows the controls in our Prime series to be mapped to visual effects on Resolume Arena.
“We could never synchronise before but now we are able to synchronise video shows to DJ set ups. That’s a perfect place for the future,” explains Erik who has worked with Resolume since the club opened in July 2017. As of October 2018, ASeven was one of the first event spaces to install our collaborative Prime (StagelinQ) and Resolume A/V solution.
“We’re super happy to work out of the box,” continues Erik. “This fits into my world. I’m a very technical person, we want to do something new. Denon DJ was fine with that. It’s a really cool set up.”
More importantly, it’s a very accessible and intuitive set-up. As demonstrated in our debut Resolume demo last month, and highlighted on DJ Tech Tools, the mapping protocol gives each control function and complimentary effect; filter knobs create a distorted effect on the visuals, loop rolls retrigger clips, EQ controls colour for example. Here’s our man Frank in ASeven showing you how simple and creative this is…
The Perfect Solution
What this means is that the DJ can provide an incredible A/V experience but still completely focus on their primary role; play the music and mix creatively and the visuals will respond in perfect sync. They don’t have to compromise anything musically or performance-wise to create a unique visual show. And as more acts across the underground/mainstream axis incorporate visuals into their sets, a set up like Erik’s at ASeven is the perfect solution.
“We are always going to the future,” explains Erik whose club fills Berlin’s nightlife menu with flavours from hip hop to hardstyle. “We will invest in technology when it comes out and when it’s necessary for our club and events. We are always working on being a future club.”
Incubating and celebrating live A/V technology just as his home city does has done with club culture itself, Erik and ASeven are the forefront of a new wave of venues that give DJs and performers a whole new level of creative freedom. For more information watch the full interview below…
Look out for more visually dynamic video content coming soon from ASeven and Denon DJ!