Monday, 11 April 2016

Berlin III - At Hansa

This unassuming building found on a side street off Potsdamer Platz is none other than Hansa Studios or Hansa By the Wall, the legendary studio that is home to some of my favourite albums. Bowie recorded parts of Low, the entire "Heroes" album and the Baal EP here, Tangerine Dream cut Force Majeure, a faulty Hansa mixing desk resulting in the famous bass distortion effect on Thru Metamorphic Rock, Einstürzende Neubauten made a racket with Halber Mensch, Nick Cave recorded the Mutiny EP with The Birthday Party and later returned with the Bad Seeds, and Depeche Mode mixed the great trio of albums Construction Time Again, Some Great Reward and Black Celebration at the Hansa. The building's facade has remained largely the same as when Bowie recorded here but the neighborhood no longer has that grim Cold War atmosphere that fed into the writing of "Heroes", and that view of the illicit rendezvous Bowie saw Tony Visconti make with a German girl standing by the Wall is now gone. Studio tours are available but require advance booking, unfortunately I only got as far as the door...

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