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70s Berlin
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The Encounter

By Marianne Bunyan

In Schoeneberg's main street we had to take a turn. Two arches marked the extent of the building and we drove through the one on the right into the dark courtyard. Was this where it was supposed to be? We carefully locked the car because it all seemed a little strange around here. Then a few blacks with long leather coats strolled by, stared at us. There were a few pimpmobiles in the inner courtyard. We followed the muffled sounds of the funk to their source and instantly knew that we were at the right place. The entrance was a dull little square room with a wooden table in it. Behind the table sat a group of black guys. I think we were the only whites in there. Naive as you luckily are when you're young, we answered their stare with a simple smile and began to groove to the beat. Somehow this was our ticket; suddenly we were inside.

The door to the real temple of funk opened to show a dark room furnished with simple benches and tables covered with red plastic. There was a small dancefloor in the middle of the room. Behind the dancefloor was a wooden box where the DJ was doing his thing, and the whole party was crying out, clapping, blowing their whistles and screaming "Yeah man!" to the sound of the funk.

All hell seemed to have broken loose. These soul brothers really got into the groove and would dance until they reached a euphoric trance-like state. Anyhow, who could stand still with Mr. Please Please doing his Sex Machine? It was unbelievable. In every corner they were grooving and dancin and nearly every beat would be interpreted differently by every single person in the room, accompanied by their own dance style. It was like a contest. Who got the groove? Who's the "hottest" (guess you'd say "coolest" these days) dancer? We couldn't stand still either, and went straight to the middle of the crowd and started to dance. Who would have thought that we could swing our asses (almost) as coolly as they did? Wow, what a surprise! Suddenly, being right in there, what mattered was the feeling and the groove, not the color of our skin. Who's the funkiest dancer, who's more elegant, who's more crazy? That's all that mattered.

As we hit the floor, the DJ and the loudspeakers screamed 'Do the Funky Penguin'. The track turned everything into a frenzy. That first evening at the "International" was a sensational party. It was in what our parents would call a derelict building, but for us it was the beginning of a long relationship with that club. From now on we would freak out here and just here, every Saturday... at least!

All site contents ©2001 blaxploitation.com. The author has asserted his moral rights. Cover scans, album reviews, all other text content and/or pictures may only be used by prior permission of the.man@blaxploitation.com. But what the hell, I'm a nice guy, so drop me a line!