Paris-born, Berlin-based trio Evvol take us on a tour of Berlin charting the sounds of the city.
Having reinvented themselves following their previous musical output – Kool – Paris-born, Berlin-based trio Evvol (Julie Chance, Jon Dark and Valentin Plessy) are on our radar for all the right reasons.
Making music that plays on dualities – light and dark, entrapment and escape, immersion and surrender – their debut album Eternalism is both reserved and introverted, whilst powered by full-throttle energy. Fronting complex minimalism, you can expect 80s synths, off-kilter beats, infectious guitar riffs and dream-confidential vocals that transport you to a place where the rulebook goes out of the window. Berlin, maybe?
Whilst each band member already boasts extensive solo experience, having each worked on various individual projects, collectively Evvol have toured with Grimes and Peaches, founded a house label and spent many late nights and early mornings DJing across Berlin. Eternalism sees Evvol hone their true sound. The product of their devotion to creativity, it’s euphoric, experimental and addictive in equal measure. We suggest you get lost in their eerie groove.
Here, the Evvol girls give us the low-down on Berlin, before curating us a Wonderland playlist for the city.
“We’ve been living in Berlin about seven years, and all of that time has been in Kreuzberg. Kreuzberg is like a little village and it has everything you need there, so really it’s very hard to leave and we rarely do, except of course to go to our studio, which is in Neukoelln. So most of our fave spots are based in an around Kreuzberg or close by.”
“For new music and vinyl we normally head to OYE Kreuzkoelln (Friedelstrasse 49), they have an excellent selection of new and local music there. And one of our favourite DJs works at the one in Prenzlauer Berg. For second hand vinyl we go to Q Tip Records (Reichenberger Straße 120), it’s like four doors down from our apartment on Reichenbergerstr. Their selection is unbelievable. So much good stuff, all original pressings. The guy who works there is the best and really helpful and always gives a discount.”
FOR GETTING INKED
“Our favourite tattoo shop is called AKA, and our drummer just happens to own it. Some of the best artists in Berlin and Europe work there. If you are lucky you might be able to get a walk in appointment.”
“Obviously for clubbing our number one favourite is Berghain, it is without a doubt the best club in the world and long may it last. We like to go Sunday evenings, depending on the lineup of course. It’s a nice way to kill 12 hours. Our other favourite club would be Schwuz (Rollbergstraße 26), pretty much open every night of the week. We put on a monthly party there on a Thursday called My Haus. Berlin also throws a lot of monthly and bi-mothly parties, some of the best would be Homopatik at About Blank and right now our favourite bi-mothly party is the queer party Gegen. Its held at Kit-Kat club. From the organisers and door staff to the music and crowd selection, they just do it right.”
“For bars, we love Mobel Olfe (Reichenberger Straße 177), Silver Future (Weserstrasse 206) and Sudblock (Admiralstraße 1-2) is great any day of the week and also do a really nice brunch.”
“Again our favourite coffee place is just a few doors down from where we live. 5 Elephants (Reichenberger Straße 101) coffee is great, the staff are mostly Australians and Kiwis. Those guys always know how to make the perfect cup of coffee.”
“For food we love the Italian place Der Goldene Hahn (Pücklerstraße 20), their pasta is amazing! When we decide to venture out of the hood then we head to Lokal (Linienstraße 160) in Mitte, the idea here is about wild and locally sourced produce – its delicious and inline with our food politics – and the atmosphere is warm and really friendly.”
IN THE SUMMER
“Berlin is best in the summer time, there’s always so much happening from the street food markets like Bite Club to impromptu dance parties in the parks. We like to hang out at Gorlitzer Park. The minute the temperature rises, everyone heads there, sets up the BBQ and just chills, we also have a dog so it’s perfect for us. Because Berlin is surrounded by land and has no beaches, in the summer time everyone heads out to the lakes. They are really easy to get to by train. Wannsee is our favourite one.”
EVVOL’s PLAYLIST FOR THE CITY
Einstürzende Neubauten – ‘Autobahn’
“First up is Einstürzende Neubauten and their song Autobahn. Julie recently had a scene with Blixa Bargeld in Yony Leysers’ Desire Will Set You Free.”
David Bowie – ‘Neuköln’
“We can’t really talk about Berlin and not mention David Bowie, he recorded three albums here between 1976 and 1979.”
Iggy Pop – ‘Night Clubbing’
“And we can’t really talk about David Bowie in Berlin and not mention Iggy Pop. The album The Idiot was a collab between him and David Bowie when they both lived here in the 70s.”
Kraftwerk – ‘Trans Europa Express’
“Their sound was so far ahead of their time, we still listen today and marvel at this music.”
Neu – ‘Hallogallo’
“Neu! And from Kraftwerk came Neu! Well part of Kraftwerk at least. Their driving and relentless beats & rhythms put you into a trance, perfect for long car journeys. Here’s Hallogallo.”
Peaches – ‘AA XXX’
“Peaches is a Berlin legend, really supportive to up and coming artists, we love her!”
Schwesta Ewa – ‘Escort Flow’
“German Hip Hop is huge, some of it better than others, our German friend introduced us to Schwesta Ewa, originally from Poland, she used to be a prostitute and now raps about her life. This track is called Escort Flow.”
Closer Musik – ‘One Two Three (No Gravity)’
“We love Closer Musik, they were only around for a few years but their music is still played in clubs today.”
Steffi & Virginia – ‘Yours’
“Steffi & Virginia are a couple of our favourite DJs and producers and Panorama bar residents. Guaranteed good night if either of these are behind the decks. Yours was a huge dance floor hit a few years ago.”
The Knife – ‘Silent Shout’
“One half of the Knife are based in Berlin, needless to say they have been a huge influence on our music.”
Eternalism is out May 18th on Mad Dog and Love Records.
Words: Brooke McCord.