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In Session: Boris

Rip-roaring techno from the Berghain linchpin

  • Words: Patrick Hinton | Images: Sven Marquardt
  • 24 June 2016

If you were to survey global dance fans to select the two finest institutions in house and techno clubbing history, New York’s Paradise Garage and Berlin’s Berghain would undoubtedly ride high among the highest echelon of picks.

Boris is one of the few DJs who can accurately claim to have been strongly influenced by and exerted influence over both. He grew up in the West Berlin borough of Neukölln in the 60s, and lived in Barcelona for a time before moving to the USA’s Big Apple midway through the 80s. During his time there he regularly attended Paradise Garage and basked in the glory of certified house legend Larry Levan’s sets while the American DJ was at the peak of his deified residency.

Levan’s penchant for eclecticism instilled a drive within Boris to explore the wide spectrum of dance music on offer, searching for mood and feeling within records rather being confined by the constraints of genres. Towards the end of the 80s New York’s nightlife began to suffer and buckle under the legislation imposed by mayor Ed Koch, and in March 1990 Boris opted to return home to Berlin.

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