Will electronic music soon become part of Unesco’s heritage?

(ETX Daily Up) – Electronic music has been struggling to find its groove for months. Prolonged nightclub closures and health restrictions threaten this multi-billion dollar industry. Faced with the situation, some of his performances campaign for techno to become part of Unesco’s intangible heritage.

Dr Motte is one of them. The German DJ and creator of the Love Parade recently launched a campaign for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to recognize the importance of Berlin techno. With the help of the Rave the Planet collective, he asks the German government to submit a case for this musical genre to be included on the list of intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations body. “Berlin is not the only place where techno culture has emerged. The origins can be found in Detroit, Chicago and more. However, the special circumstances, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the lack of a curfew , were crucial for the development of the exceptional local techno culture “, we can read on the collective’s social networks.

To back up its claim, Rave the Planet has done extensive research into electronic music in Berlin and produced a video featuring renowned DJs like Ellen Allien and Alan Oldham. Funds were also collected to support the collective in its activist initiative. According to Dr Mott, Unesco seems to take a positive view of their candidacy. “[Ils] seem to support us, because what they like is not just crafts – knitting or whatever – they want to have something urban, young “.

A threatened music scene

However, it remains to convince the German government to bring this file to the international body. If some professionals in the sector display a certain skepticism, Tomaz Guiddo is convinced of the merits of the approach. “If we don’t do something now and leave the scene [techno] to be recognized only for its commercial and entertainment aspects, it will be monopolized by the one who has the most money, explained the musician and member of the collective Rave the Planet to the magazine DJ Mag.

And for good reason, the hour is serious for the Berlin techno. As Germany grapples with an upsurge in Covid-19, the Senate has announced that dancing in clubs in the capital will be banned from December 8. An announcement that could give the final blow to a weakened sector. Although Berlin is considered the electronic music capital of the world, this distinction is increasingly threatened by the gentrification of the city. The Griessmühle paid the price and had to hurriedly close its doors on February 3, 2020, after the takeover by a large Austrian real estate group of the land where it was located.

Other clubs were also threatened by rising rents and gentrification of the German capital, even before the outbreak of the pandemic. Hence the importance of the entry of Berlin techno into the intangible cultural heritage of Unesco, according to Dr Motte. “It would mean that the government and the authorities must help the culture to perpetuate itself,” he told DJ Mag. “We are working to ensure that [scène] German techno be included in the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. And then the rest of Europe. But we start first with Berlin “.