Giegling have come a long way from their humble beginnings as a clubnight at a small former student bar in Weimar.
Though most members of the crew have been making music for around a decade, in recent years Giegling has become one of the most talked-about labels in contemporary electronic music, and it’s been widely lauded for a trademark blend of downtempo beats and dreamlike melodies.
On the way to Funkhaus, where the penultimate concert of their 18-city ‘Planet Giegling’ world tour took place, I remembered a quote from Konstantin, in which he expressed concern at reaching a point where the label becomes too institutionalised. Nodding at the enormous crowd trekking alongside us towards the remote venue my friend jokes, “I thought I was the only one who was into this cool underground label Giegling?”
Indeed, the first thing you notice when entering Funkhaus is how many people it can accommodate. The main concert hall inside East Germany’s former broadcasting headquarters spans 900 m², with the artists set up in the lowest part of the room and more than 250 seats surrounding them. The immersive “pit” in which the Giegling crew are about to play is decorated with lush greenery and an elaborate bouquet of flowers on each desk.
There’s a sense of of heightened anticipation in the air as the crowd take their seats. Finally, a muscular young man dressed in white enters the the room, repeatedly singing what can be translated from Spanish into the phrase “I will go to where I came from”, before disappearing from the stage. The intense atmosphere develops as a girl dressed in a gown burns sage in our corner of the venue, raising her arms in a meditative fashion.
Vril, ATEQ, Edward, Kettenkarussell then begin their set with a mix of improvised ambient grooves, slow and distorted pianos and tracks such as Vril’s Torus XXXII. One of the strongest points of their hour-long set comes from the airing of a track in which jazzy percussions, playful piano chords and a restrained trumpet accompanied a high-pitched vocal sample of the words “Where You Are”. It may sound a little dramatic, but it’s an emotive highlight of an event that summarises the sense of sensuality and philsophical longing that the Giegling summon so well.