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tv   Witness  LINKTV  August 3, 2022 3:00am-3:31am PDT

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man: why do you go out at night to go to a party? you know, what is compelling about a night? maybe it's just this optimistic thininside me thinking like, "maybe tonight's the night that erybody just comes together and we just all experience nirvana." you know, maybe it's as simple as that. [techno music playing] coffee: any kind of problem i have, i just throw on some music. man: i always said that it's a
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very colorful palette that came from hits. man: the techno parties did not stop. they started 11:00, 2:00 in the morning, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:00. though sometimes there were parties like 36 hours. and they want escape from the-- from the real world, you know, from the reality. it's like a therapy. they want to enter this door and, uh, want to find a world they really like, you know? they wanted to feel protected from profession, from this pressure. you know, they
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can't stand this pressure, so they get lost. if you can make it to be in this kind ofarties, then you discover something special. [techno music playing] if you leave the club, you close the door, and the only thing that stays is it was somehow great. you do not remember any melody line of some. it was just a great feeling, and you enter the reality again. but you find
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good other spaces--breakfast cafes, parks--where the bridge from the club to the reality is not so difficult. and this, you only find in berlin. man: change has always happened in berlin's history, especially after the second world war. there was this law that you don't havto go to the military service when you're living in-- in west berlin. man: so, if you were clever, thenou finished school in west germany and just left your hometown and went to west berlin. man: so, berlin became in the eighties very, very political
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and very alternative. man: we had the extremely strong gay scene and a very creative underground scene here that is-- was not based on people that was born in berlin. man: it was a kind of artistic freedom situation in berlin. everything was possible. and when the wall came down, the atmosphere was burning. [techno music playing] man: the wall falls down, and, like, a small scene in west berlin takes over huge empty spaces in east berlin. so, they celebrate t freedom. that's one big historical accident. i mean, nobody could ha anticipated anything like that. man: the wall coming down, east berlin being totally unexplored, um, people going into houses, making warehouse parties, lower living costs. only in this
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environment you can actually have a club culture and a music culture like this growing. this is basically what made it all possible. man: and the first 3 years, there were no control by authorities, so we could do what we wanted to do. man: back then in 1990 in east berlin, you didn't have normal in that sense because the city wasn't normal. squatters like us, on the one hand, we represented freedom. on the other hand, we were also scary and unusual. i mean, squat-- there hadn't been no squatters in the--in east germany. i mean, it was an unusual sight anan unusual attitude to just move into a house and say, "that's our house."
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in our squat, we could do what we wanted, too, because the police didn't give a ... or didn't know a ... crazy stuff, but that's the way it was in '91. part of the experience was lking for the spots where the party is, running through this empty city looking for a party. man: everything was about sharing, you know. it was a very friendly atmosphere and relations between the people. it didn't matter if you come from east berlin or west berlin. the music really did play an important role for this reunion, and it was really wild. [techno music playing] man: the reason why i came here and the whole feeling the city had, it was inspiring. like, this--this dark attitude-- dirt, the gray buildings. that was definitely inspiring, and it made me what i am today.
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man: the real heyday of squatting, the real summer of squatting ended in--in--in november 1990, when the city started to kick out people. but the attitude of squatting remained. i mean, e whole history of techno in berlin in the nineties is unthinkable without this attitude that people learned in the summer of 1990-ou can te houses and do with them what you want to. that's what the trezor people got their ideas and energy from--that they had this huge, amazing space they just found. [door slams] [footsteps] man: we found this old vault, the trezor club in the heart of the city. we discovered it like in '91. we came in and it was untouched over nearly 45 years. and we discovered that it was
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like opening a pyramid, and it was big adventure. and i felt it immediately was dedicated for something special. we could transform this space, and it became symbol, you know, for the reunion of kids from east and west berlin, you know. it was a perfect space for this new adventure called techno. [techno music playing] man: i think that lots of people who...were in berlin at this-- at that time and who went to trezor or to otherlubs that you had the feeling, "ok, ts is ourew beginning." that was a very, very, very strong feeling lots of people shared. man: the trezor club was a long time illegal, and every ... taxi driver knew about the trezor club. you don't needed to give an address. you say "trezor," and you--they brought you there. back then, it was,
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like, all the freaks. and, um...i felt attracted to that...more to the music maybe. i felt attracted to--to the-- to the people that were there, to the situation that, uh, you had the feeling only you know about it. and that was something that, yeah, made me feel special and i want to be part of it. [techno music playing] man: i think the idea of escaping from where you have been, getting rid of the old, heavy feelings is, uh... that was like--that was like the mood a lot of people had. man: you could go out every night. it was just parties on monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, open end. that was really--it was a really nice time. man: you have, like, girls, guys, gays all dancing together, no matter like sexual orientation or anything. th're
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just, like, enjoying the music, and that's--that's the whole point. [techno music playing] man: i don't really know when this ninetie' german adventure changed into this berlin that we have right now, which is like an international kind of hotspot. but i know--i remember the--the moment i realized it. and that was 2004, and i was standing in the line of a club. i realized, "wow, all these people around me speak different languages. nobody speaks german." man: in the early days, i think we had...only 20% tourists, and the rest came from germany or maybe from berlin. today, we have 60%, up to 70%,
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80% tourists and foreigners. and, uh, that's why we also have many more clubs. man: have the clubs in the--in the tourist guides. man: yeah. man: and we, as a club, it's-- at first, you're like, "oh, cool. we're in a tourist guide." but then you end up--everybody who's never heard about techno for about electronic music in general just turnsp at the club. and then you have this strange mixture of people that actually come from a underground culture background. they meet people that have never been to--to a club before in their life. this--this is why we have, um, selection at the door, separating the ones that themselves wouldn't like the club. we make a decision for them, actually, because they-- they just don't fit. they--they've never experienced this culture, and it kills the vibe inside ifou have too many of them inside. man: at the moment, we have to take care a little bit that not too many, uh, um...stupid people come into the scene, like just drinking and getting lost and like, uh...
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in majorca [indistinct] like the germans go to ... this is, uh--this is cheap tourism. [people shouting and whooping] [techno music playing] today, i think the club scene is more like an indury. it works like an industry. man: it became a business. techno became a business in berlin. man: we are part of this whole creative industry. man: in berlin, it got more professional, yeah, of course. people, like, starting labels, starting businesses, whatever, merchandise and everything. and it got more serious. man: i basically think that everyone that was doing illegal things, you don't want it to hide anymo. you don't want to run anymore. you wanted to have the great sound system that you don't need to build up and build down after the party. once you
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do something crazy, at a certain point, you wants to establish it and make it legal and make living out of it. man: think it's getting more and more international, which is really good for the club industry in a way. of course, the real berliners who are really pud to be berliners try to hide more and more the big marketplaces, yeah? you see a trend in berlin that is going more and more to pop-up venues just for couple of weeks, and also there's outdoor events. [techno music playing] man: now the government becomes interested in--in club life. they say to protect it, they want to promote it to--to push it a little. they want to promote it internationally. you
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can get support from--from the govnment and try to get tourists and especially investors to town because there's so much creativity going on to actually sell the city. but in the end, it's--this is my true belief--it's only meant to pull investors, to pull the big money to town. and when the big money comes, as we already said, club scene is the first thing that has to leave. man: but still, you find new spots every week here. berlin still, um... offers many secret spaces, and young kids find them, discover them, and start a new thing. man: the gaps where the wall was are still not filled. and there's still areas that are to be discovered. and this areas are not in the suburbs. this areas are still in the center.
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man: so this is the--the club renata. you know we have very many different rooms in this building. this is just a normal residential building. and yes, as you can see, it's almost untouched. ha ha! man: as we got this, you know, we started looking around in the house, we found this first floor and was, like, "whoa!" this is...for us, the most exciting place we saw, and "let's do something here." we started to do some parties, and we had fun. man: and somehow it's the charm of renata, that it has so many small rooms so it can get really lost inside of the building. and a big party, we have, like, 4 floors. all are totally equal. so you can change the room, like, every 2 or 3 hours and that's why the party doesn't get boring. it's the whole atmosphere, like, to hang out, to hide away sometimes. you know, like, that's the special thing about renata. man: ooh. well, they come to the
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dungeon. man: ha ha ha! man: i think, like, the history of berlin in the last 20 years is like a novel. iean, you have a great entry, you know. it's like an emptiness. it's--it's an adventure. and then it gets more mature in a way. it gets more complicated. it gets more complex. and it gets more successful, and it gets more, uh, uh...colorful. [techno music playing] man: sometimes if something is established, it starts to suck. and this is not what happened here. all the established nightclubs that are legal are owned by people that started illegal parties and became legal. which means, the owners of the clubs, they really know what it's about.
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man: this scene is so much bigger than people out there can imagine, you know. they're thinking we're opening this door at 11:00 in the evening, and, um, doing a strange party, and the next day it's all over. it's a little--little culture and a little onomy. man: it's not common for german cities to be that attractive for the rest of the world. it's a very, very new situation for a german city to be, like, the hotspot. when i walk through the streets in berlin, still, up to now, i have the feeling, um, on the pulse of the present. you know, it's happening here. man: berlin will also stay very amazing for the next 20 years. i am here now 30 years, or longer 30 years, and i still think it's--every day, it's a
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new life, it's a new adventure. man: what do you want to know? all of it. [techno music playing] my life has never been dull up to this point. it's been an adventure. i think my life has been an adventure. within a moment, there was, like, 6 cars jumped onto the sidewalk, and at least 10 officers with guns drawn, yelling at us and screaming at us to hit the ground. people were stopping their cars and just lining up on the bridge, just looking down, like dancing up there, doing their thing. was amazing.
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for me, the loss was over $100,000. it was probably around $130,000, $140,000. woma you are my only child. man: yeah, of course. woman: i cannot even comprehend the repercussion of what you've been doing. [techno music playing] n: i wou describe myself as a hustler. i was willing to always take the ri to get the reward. woman: he always had so many things going on. he never seemed to struggle, um, with money. he alwayseemed to just, like, figure something out. man: i didn't need the stability. i could be broke one day, and if i needed to make $1,000 the next, i'd find a way to do it. and i definitely think
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i probably got that from my mother and my father, you know? my whole ancestry is russian. we lived in st. petersburg or leningrad. we came to minnesota. they both got engineer jobs. unfortunately, their marriage fell apart, and they always joked that the only good thing that came out of their marriage was me. woman: we emigrated from russia. we needed to start in amica from ground zero. we came to america with 5 suitcases, $300. i could not speak english. man: having the last name that i had, khutoretsky, i stood out where i lived. you know, like, as a child, all you want to do is fit in with everyone. woman: they were laughing at you. they were laughing, and yo-and they-ou had some fights because you were russian and they call you "commie." man: yes. woman: and--and you were embarrassed that i speak with accent. man: yeah. i didn't want anyone talkin' bad to me. so, if somebody did, i stood up to 'em. and, uh, it probably got me in trouble a
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lot, you know? inded up physically fighting with people, rebelling against things, skipping classes. probably like when i was 12 or 13, i really started to get in trouble. i really started to push back against everything that my parents were doing. and they had no control. they couldn't stop me. right by that water tower, there's a bunch of woods. ahem. and that's where the woods were. we used to always skip class and--and go have fun. i was more interested on the hustle outside of school. i was more interested in what we were doing after and where we were gonna sneak out and how we were gonna sneak out. so i think that already started my path of being, uh, creative, you know? ha ha! i don't know if there was a reason why i was rebellious, other than the fact that i was free enough to do it and i was ... enough to try it. i mean, if i had to feel guilty for anything in my life, i would probably say it's what i put my
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mother through growing up. she was already struggling as a single mother, trying to not only have a child but being in a foreign country, and i think she probably sacrificed a lot in her life to--to keep me in line enough so that i didn't completely destroy myself. they finally asked me to leave. at one point, i ended up at another school about 10 minutes away. and after about 6 months there, they politely kind of same thing asked my mom, take me out of there. she put me in the boarding school in connecticut. and at that same time, it was kind of-- i was finding music here and i was finding music in new york because i was living between the two. [techno music playing] you know, when i was looking for this apartment, i had just come in possession of this record colleion fromhomas
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spiegel--man x. my living room became the whole record collection. so, basically, we shelved everything up. i spent more money than i've ever spent at ikea on the shelves, and, uh, basically brought 'em all here and set 'em up kind of left to right across the whole apartment. and really, the collection that i acquired was about 25,000 records. and i've slowly been going through the collection and kind of, uh, weeding out the filler and getting rid of me of the stuff that i'm not interested in. his collection is that wall and this front, and then my collection is on this wall. i was always interested in music, but i--i think my addiction to records came from watching djs. 'cause the djs at the time--there waso cd players, there was no usb sticks. it was pure vinyl. so i mean, i got my first set of turntables when i was in boarding school. so i was, like, 16 1/2. and then i, you know, was going to new york just buying records off people, going to the used record shops to new record shops, and i just became
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addicted. [techno music playing] this is proper old minneapolis warehouses. like, now they've all been converted, but this is what the city was known for was all these old warehouses. my friends who come here from detroit, they would always joke that minneapolis is like detroit but with people. because i had been traveling to new york so much, i had witnessed one of the first times electric indigo from vienna had played her first set ever in america. i was so blown away by her that i was, like, i want to book her for a party in minneapolis. there was a guy here back in t day named dj slip--troy geary-- who was 10, 15 years ahead of his time. and he was, like, "make your wish list. who do you
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want to book?" and i made it, and he got 'em for me. a local dj here named dj apollo--dory--he helped us get the space by saying that we were all filming a video for mtv and that we were gonna have 2,000 to 3,000 extras. so, yeah, this is, like, where i did my biggest party ever. ha ha ha! by far. the only demand they had was we wanted insurance papers, we wanted proof. so, literally, the night before, i'm at the local kinko's copy shop, and i'm basically drawing up fake insurance papers. i've got about 30 crew ready to drop speakers. i've got 7 artists from europe, and they were not gonna give me the keys unless i show the security guy for the weekend these insurance papers. so i just walk in and pull 'em out of my backpack, hand it to him, and i'm just waiting patiently. he looks at it, he's like, "everything looks in order. here's the keys." open the door, and we just proceeded to set up
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one of the biggest parties i'd ever done. [techno music playing] people dancing dug out inches off the floor and created a dust storm inside, you know, but it was amazing. i mean, i--i wish i could do that again and repeat that. we were the epitome of midwest rave culture, american rave culture. we had map point events, where you would just get a phone number to call. the phone number would take you to a parking lot. in the parking lot would be a guy who would hand you another set of directions. and that way, we kept the police out. we kept the wrong crowd out. the people who were there wanted to be there and they wanted to be a part of this community. and they wanted to be a part of this music and this revolution that was happening.
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i was coming home from work, and my roommate at the time, chuck, one of my best friends was at the neighbor's place down there. and i drove up. chuck jumped on the hood. we drove it over here. we parked it. locked the doors. as we started walking up to the house... maybe about halfway here, we both turned around and we saw a police car driving down the street with the sirens going but no--the lights on, but no sound. and then, as we turned literally andust blinked, within a mont, there was, like, 6 cars jumped onto the sidewalk, and at least 10 officers with guns drawn yelling at us and screaming at us to go to the-- hit the ground. and, um, you know,hey handcuffed us both, walked us into the porch, decided to raid my house. they basically arrested me and charged me, and that was the beginning of the next 2 years of my life facing charges and facing repercussion for making
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bad decisions. during the 1997 event, i was already heavily involved with... with selling drugs. and at that point, i had funded my party based on that money. even though i'd lost so much money on that party, i didn't care. the money was disposable. the money was easy. so i ontinued to work in that hustle to try to basically make my money back and continue making money. for at least a year and a half, i was basically, um... i was--i was selling acid. it's not a thing about bragging about my street cred and what i did or being tough or being, uh, you know, a hustler in that sense. i mean, it was stupid, and i didn't realize at 20 years old that i was across that line of being 18 and the penalties for what i could do was on an adult level.
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the worst case scenario for my case could have been a 9-year sentence. so this is the ramsey county workhouse, correctional facility. i got to spend about 8 months of my life here. after the judge had heard both sides-- my lawyers, the cops, the detectives, the evidence, everything--and she heard my final plea of "please don't put me away for a long time becau i will become something else," she believed me. and she allowed me to take the minimum sentence, which was a year and, uh, nearly 30 years probation. you did push ups. you did pull ups. you played cards. you played dominoes. you watched some tv. but you were in a room with 40 guys all day. had those mistakes not happened and had i not been caught, who
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knows if i would have been doing it 5, 6, 7 years later and gone deeper into it. the penalties at that point would have been, you know, something at i wouldn't havbeen able to come back from. this was my lesson. i mean, after this, my life changed. i mean, maybe it took me a few years to realize that i was a changed person, but i think since then, you see the difference in me and the fact that i--that was my turning point, that that was kind of my changing point of taking life serious and taking my choices serious and taking what i love and what i want serious. woman: but you don't understand one thing. you are my only child. man: yeah, of course. woman: and bei the only child, i cannot, in my mind...


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