Addison Chase [Cosmic Compositions]
Former Auckland resident Addison chase has resided in Berlin for the past few years. Initially part of the #Jusayin crew his latest work at Cosmic Compositions has garnered international attention. A steady stream of releases from New Zealand and also international artists has consolidated him as a worldwide leader of future sounds. He took a few hours while back home to give us the down-low on his time in Berlin.
So what are you actually doing in Berlin?
I’m working a part-time job, running the record label, DJing here and there and doing a bit of styling too.
And you’re enjoying it?
I love it. But I’m not really a huge fan of winters there. They can be pretty bleak and depressing. But in summertime it’s my favourite city in the world.
It’s alive, your free to do as you please and it’s cheap. But I think freedom, more than anything, enticed me to the city. If you’re weird or different most people don’t look at you twice. People are more likely to look at you if you’re not weird. In saying that, that has completely changed in the 4 years I’ve been there. Gentrification is on full blast. Housing prices have skyrocketed and the demographics of people moving there has changed. More techies and normies than creatives these days.
There’s an ever-growing number of people from Auckland/NZ that are moving to Berlin. Do you see them much?
Last census I heard there were only around 900 NZ’ers that voted from Berlin but I’ve definitely noticed an influx of Kiwis and Australians in town over the past few years.
So there’s a bunch of NZers doing hangis and hakas?
Not many Maori’s bro.
It can’t be all goodness though, what have the struggles been?
It’s a pretty tough city. It can be unforgiving and quite hard to get by if you don’t speak German. Bureaucracy can be difficult. Getting a visa can been difficult. There have definitely been alot of ups and downs in my time there but overall it’s allowed me to grow in ways i probably wouldn’t of in New Zealand.
And how are things with the label?
It’s slowly growing & evolving. Working closer with HHV has been good, they’re support has really helped us assimilate into the European market.
They’re traditionally more of a hip hop label and distributor but as a label we’re been heading further and further away from that realm so it’s nice they’ve supported us in our new direction and are open minded to whatever we present to them.
We’ve got lots of releases on the way across all genres and will be doing a lot of merch/fashion this year too.
Do you think Berlin has changed the direction of the label?
Definitely. Living in Berlin has exposed me to alot of sounds and environments that have altered my perception and taste which has likely changed the direction i’ve chosen to take the label going forward. The club environment has probably played a big part in that too.
Are there any particular parties that excite you?
Theres a few but I don’t really go clubbing that often to be honest. I go out quite a bit but It’s not based on a party and more based on the act i want to see. There used to be a party, African Acid Is the Future which was was cool but shit gets played out real quick in Berlin. Once there’s hype around something it changes the vibe / environment rapidly. But in saying that Berghain is pretty consistent and one place that i venture too frequently. But there’s so many different parties here and a lot of cool festivals and event spaces which have different completely different approaches to programming. Events like Atonal or venues like Haus Der Kulturen der Welt & Funkhaus offer a alternate angle of ingesting music and the arts.
Do you think drug culture in Berlin is a good thing?
For the clubbing/music scene it’s a good thing. For the general public, probably not. You’ve probably seen the before and after Berlin memes. That ain’t no lie, without discipline and self control this city can eat you up.
I don’t think you could achieve certain moments on dance floors without it…
100%! The drugs definitely fuel an energy and environment that when matched with great music just can’t be beat or replicated without their presence. And because it’s so cheap for Alcohol there you find people don’t drink as much or intensely. The high drink prices and earlier curfew of clubs in New Zealand certainly encourages people to pre drink before they go out and to do down everything in a rush. Germans are known for drinking but they’re relatively chill when they do, you rarely see fights here which is a nice contrast to Auckland city. Their whole attitude and view on drugs and alcohol is more tolerant and respectful than in NZ which i think also changes the state of mind of those under the influence, less fear and anger. But i’d say that most of these ideologies are centred around Berlin and the inner city as in rural Germany or the other main cities it’s completely different.
Addison put together an exclusive playlist for your listening pleasure, inspired by the city of Berlin. Check it out below.