Step inside the kaleidoscopic world of Lunchbox Candy
Crack Magazine is marking Pride season with a series of specialist mixes and playlists dedicated to LGBTQ+ club nights and promoters. From the iconic parties of bygone eras through to the emerging events breaking through in 2022, we’ll be highlighting the sounds of these parties and the artists that shape them.
Berlin has long been heralded as a cultural hotspot. Renowned for its easy-going spirit and progressive clubbing, it’s no surprise that the German capital plays host to extensive array of fabled club nights and venues, as well as an ever-expanding network of creatively-minded communities and collectives enticed in by its unrivalled reputation.
Lunchbox Candy is a relatively recent addition to the city’s clubbing landscape. Founded by DJ and producer Elninodiablo and filmmaker Adam Munnings in 2021, the queer, sex-positive party first launched as a gesture of thanks to friends and prior collaborators of the duo, who had been working on music videos together during the German lockdowns. It was a celebration of the efforts put into these videos by a cast of musicians, filmmakers, performers and visual artists.
The energy experienced on the night sparked something within the pair, who have since shaped the Lunchbox Candy concept into a fleshed-out event and wider collective. Their initial desires – to celebrate those around them and provide a space for connection – continue to guide them as they find their place within the city. Lunchbox Candy, as the name might suggest, is devoted to a more colourful way of life. Party-goers are encouraged to be their most expressive selves as they take in performances, live music and DJ sets spanning everything from Italo to EBM.
These musical inclinations are presented here, too, as Elninodiablo and Adam Munnings deliver an exclusive Buy Music Club playlist as part of our Pride audio series. Scroll down to check out their picks, and read an interview with the creative duo below.
Lunchbox Candy is…
Berlin’s glitter-spattered, sequin-studded, love bursting, high-heel-perched devotion to the groove. Our first party took place in September 2021 and its launch was inspired by some work released by us, Elninodiablo and Adam Munnings. (We are collaborators and the co-founders of Lunchbox Candy.) It was Elninodiablo’s track Lunchbox Candy, and its in-your-face queer punk music video, directed by Adam, that inspired the party.
Can you tell us more about your collaborative work?
Throughout the lockdowns, we worked on four music videos that brought together an incredible array of people. As a labour of love, it was all done on a shoe-string budget and our first party was a massive thank you to our cast and crew, friends and collaborators. This crowd alone was a dream, and it’s been epic ever since.
How does Lunchbox Candy differ from other nights operating in Berlin currently?
Lunchbox Candy begun among friends and creative collaborators within the music, film, visual arts and the queer, drag and gender-bender performance communities in Berlin, so it has a very intimate ‘family affair’ vibe. Our crowd is extremely diverse too, and we are always delighted to see the whole spectrum of queerness and age represented; people coming together and blending so effortlessly. Berlin is still one of the very few places in the world – if not the only place – where people over the age of 50 feel welcomed and comfortable in our club spaces.
We have also brought back a life-affirming sense of occasion, playfulness, colour and joyfulness that is much needed post-Covid. Alongside our DJs, for example, we also have our hosts and performers who spontaneously light up our trademark checkered dancefloor and send the crowd crazy with their jaw-dropping performances. They are proper fire-starters.
Let’s discuss musicial direction. Do you have a specific focus?
It’s all about finding that intimate connection with our crowd and creating a unifying field on the dancefloor. We embrace and facilitate both the light and the shadow, the joy and the struggle, the euphoria and the release people can experience while dancing. There is a live element to our musical direction with our resident percussionist Sudha Kheterpal, and also our performers and hosts.
On any given night, you’d expect to dance to [everything from] cosmic, psych, Italo and Balearic house through to 90s house and techno, breakbeat, tons of percussion and electro. Plus, a good dose of EBM and driving darkwave disco. Generally, we choose to play music that has been recorded with analogue synths and drum machines and sounds fat, big and penetrating on all levels. Sound quality is super important and we are lucky to have a great sound system at our home, ÆDEN.
What did you want revellers to take away from a Lunchbox Candy event?
We want them to feel completely safe and open to radically expressing their creativity with their personalities, outfits and looks. To be free to explore their sexuality and gender, meet like-minded people and keep building our colourful community, as well. Ultimately, we want people to leave Lunchbox Candy feeling amazed, inspired, connected, nourished and elevated.
“It’s all about finding that intimate connection with our crowd and creating a unifying field on the dancefloor”
Who else, aside from yourselves, is involved in the event?
We are the co-founders, creative directors and promoters of Lunchbox Candy, but we couldn’t have done it without the help and contribution of our amazing hosts and performers: Phoenix Chase-Meares, Purrja, Nancy Grrl, Sudha Kheterpal and Rainer Sellien). That’s not forgetting our fierce door whore Mark Gilleran and our core crew, Marie, Abbey and Hongor. Of course, while we focus more on our resident DJs, we are also thrilled to have had Kiwi, Chloé [Thenevin], Theus Mago and Borusiade among our guest DJs.
Any favourite memories from your previous parties?
There have been so many special moments at each event, but one that comes to mind would be Phoenix parting the dancefloor with such ease in order to make a runway so they could give a sickening performance – it made the crowd go wild.
What are your plans for the future?
For now, we’re focused on developing the party and our high level of production. We want to keep supporting our community and offering a platform for them to showcase their talent. We’re also looking forward to our first anniversary party on 15 October with Chloé and Kiwi.
Tell us a little about the tracks and artists you’ve chosen for your playlist?
Our selection represents the wide range of genres we play at Lunchbox Candy – we love the sound of South American producers such as Theus Mago, Rigopolar, Tyu and Inigo Vontier and a lot of the output from Chloé’s Lumiere Noire label. There’s also the synth-heavy Italo and darkwave disco of Golden Soul Records, Polari, Tici Taci, Duro, Correspondant and Italo Moderni, alongside more obscure and experimental sounds from Nikki Nair, Otto Riita, and Akira Arasawa.
What memories do you have of these tracks being played at previous parties?
These songs evoke the sense of togetherness and unity that comes when everyone vibes on the same frequency on the dancefloor. Memories of woos, claps and cheers, and people ripping their clothes off as tracks like Fist by Joshua James come on.
Lunchbox Candy returns to ÆDEN, Berlin, on 25 June. Ticket are on sale now