Afterthoughts: Savour The Moment with Donna Leake, Ahadadream and Freakenstein

There’s often a certain bravado attached when going out for a dance in Berlin, many factors that rarely play into dancefloor experiences elsewhere in the world. Yet beneath the pretensions lies a safe haven in the form of Marlon Hoffstadt’s, Savour The Moment party. Finding a home at long standing club ‘Salon zur Wilden Renate’ (or as most refer to it ‘Renate’) just under two years ago, Berlin native, Marlon sought to build a party with a difference, embodying his own personal mottos for life; be kind, be humble, take care, give love. As the name would suggest ‘Savour The Moment’ takes strides to encourage dancers to do just that with a strict ‘no phones on the dancefloor’ policy. Flying over to celebrate their recent label launch, we reflect on our first Savour The Moment experience that went above and beyond other parties in the city.

Whilst Renate still employs certain methods of ‘door picking’ synonymous with many Berlin-based institutions such as Berghain, ://about blank and Hoppetosse, inside, the dance floor looks and feels diverse, the vibe markedly free flowing. Widely known for its unorthodox interior resembling a house party, Renate creates the sense that you’re dancing in someone’s living room. Although dated and somewhat kitsch, this styling works, providing a variance of spaces to curate a real party, rather than just a club night.

To add to this, Savour The Moment’s previously mentioned ‘no phones on the dancefloor’ policy works like a charm. This ethos takes the well-known and regarded ‘no camera’ policy rolled out across Berlin venues one step further; something that should make other venues, however big or small, sit up and listen. As discussed with Marlon in an interview, he speaks of how simply placing stickers over party-goers cameras, for him, ‘is not enough’. Diving deeper into this, he explains the motivations for his stance:

“This is what music is here for, to connect people. If you’re constantly stuck in your little internet world with all of its technological possibilities, you’ll never meet new people. If there is a real person standing in front of you, then go and talk to them. I’ve even seen people going on Tinder in the club. Come on man, look around, what is wrong with you? There are endless amounts of possibilities literally running around you. Phones give people an ego – they make you only look after yourself and not those around you.”

As with any house party, you have that signature ‘first awkward hour’ when everyone has just arrived, they’re finding their bearings and clueing in, yet at Savour The Moment, this period evaporated almost instantaneously with the crowd oozing good-times from the first beat. Given its international reputation, Renate’s status as some form of ‘tourist attraction’ was unnoticeable at Savour The Moment, largely as the party has begun to slowly but surely accrue a loyal following. What started as a two-monthly thing has now grown into a regular monthly residence, with dancers rolling through regardless of names billed on the line-up.

It’s the dream for any promoter to build this trust with a crowd, seeing them continually coming back for more. This relationship Savour The Moment has shaped with their regular attendees speaks volumes of the care taken in each aspect of curation. Month on month, the artists booked by Savour The Moment are increasingly interesting, a further reflection of their tireless work to seek out and invite new artists to the city; placing a focus on bringing artists in for Berlin debut’s.

Kicking off downstairs in the blacked out Schwarzer Raum, Ahadadream saw out the first three weaving together dubbed out, bass sensibilities with a world feel, taking clear cues from his own heritage. Although playing to an empty room for the first part, Ahadadream transmitted true energy having the time of his life in the booth, truly feeling his music; refreshing to see. Flowing swiftly on though, Freakenstein landed straight after for a peak time dose of booty shaking electro, before Savour The Moment residents Double A Battery Team sealed the deal with devilish clout.

When looking for that special dancefloor ‘moment’ this fell under the power of Mr. Felix a.k.a FufiSNC. One third of the Ingolstadt-based SNC crew, Fufi is the first artist to release via Savour The Moment’s new label venture with his ‘Homebase’ EP. Delivering an electrifying live set, he glided through pumping rhythms and complex arrangements seamlessly. A newer name on the block with real promise, FufiSNC’s sound resonantes sweetly with labels such as DJ Haus’ Unknown To The Unknown, matched with the technical proficiency of live-machine-wizard, DMX Krew.

One of Ireland’s finest selector’s Sally C unleashed raw rave energy, known for house-y vibes she delved deeper with a definite move into tougher stomp outs. From ice cool vocal cuts to gurn inducing breaks, she kept the room sweating until sunlight hours; an energy only the most special DJ’s are able to maintain. Outside of ravey realms, Donna Leake and MaryisonAcid held down the Roter Raum, manifesting in a cosmic pocket of relief with a soothing, mellifluous soundtrack to bring one down to earth. In a similar fashion, Savour The Moment’s Philip Schultheis piloted Absinth from open to close; a glowing Italo angel from above.

Having recently launched their new label under the same name, Savour The Moment’s celebration on 11th January proceeded with the sentiments that any true party should. Across Renate’s four main rooms, an eclectic mix of party starters provided maximum levels of pump and respite in equal measure; no matter where you found yourself on the party continuum, there was something for every mood at any given time. Unravelled with utmost care at its core, Savour The Moment provides a sure benchmark for how parties can be when pretenses are left at the front door; something the wider Berlin scene would do well to take notes from.

Words: Sophie McNulty

NEXT – Marlon Hoffstadt: Inspirations, affirmations and building a career over time

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