Dominik Eulberg, the 41-year-old recluse birdwatcher, who happens to also make some of the best German techno, says that he feels drawn to the animalistic aspects of the genre. The sweating, the entranced dancing, the rapture when the crescendo lifts your feet off the ground. He brought all of that to Night Tales, whose venue in Hackney has been operating since the summer of 2018 and offers entertainment quite uncharacteristic of the capital, on Friday, the 22nd of November.
Doing an all-night set is very brave, and for many DJs it doesn’t work out. I’ve seen many big ones fail to deliver the kind of performance that makes you stay until the end - even those who are spectacular in a more condensed 2-hour format. That wasn’t the case for Dominik. The young BoJo lookalike slowly ramped up the pressure, and it is as much down to his incredibly astute sense for mixing as it is due to his incredibly poignant and punchy discography that the set just kept getting better. The bed-like seats in the venue’s garden were also the perfect pitstop, helping keep legs fresh.
The atmosphere, which was the only thing preventing this from being a perfect set, was at first diluted by the abundant day-trippers and Hackney-hipster socialites. But slowly, in the front left corner, there seemed to be building an enclave of those who were there to tear up the dancefloor. There was the head-to-toe tattooed guy with hair down to his waist giving it his double-jointed all, twisting to the melodies like a venomous snake, his shirt long since on the floor next to him. There were his friends, ideal blackbodies in their Docs and leather, vibrating all around him like bey-blades. The few words that were exchanged were all in German. We didn’t need to speak. This was little Berlin in the heart of East London.
When Dominik talks about music, he talks about sea snails, about birds, and about the rustling of the leaves. These are sounds he regularly uses in his compositions, rounding them out with his beastly modular synths and perfectly symmetric clicky beats. His agenda is as much to make people dance as it is to spread awareness of environmental conservation. He might resemble the Tory leader but in politics he could not be further removed from him.
“When we see or hear a rare bird sing, we all giggle like little children,” he says of his everyday life in a little town between Frankfurt and Cologne. From this heart of nature, in a house overlooking a lake, next to a bird reserve, he makes his music. “Nature is the world’s greatest artist,” he explains. I am inclined to agree. If you’re passionate about both nature and techno, I sense that his music will make you feel things that no other music can. His deftness of touch, and the elegance of his melodies are unparalleled. His bass ALWAYS bites hard. You might be in the middle of a forest, dazzling colours all around, and then a storm comes. He flicks it around like that.
As an intro to the man, I recommend checking out his Cercle set on Youtube or his bird-themed website. You won’t be sorry.