Neighbourhood guide

A little kiez of my heart… with DJ Einkaufswagen

Ben Jones aka DJ Einkaufswagen gives us a tour of his little neighbourhood in Kreuzberg. Let's explore Wrangelkiez.

Photo: Makar Artemev

DJ Einkaufswagen, aka Ben Jones, is a mobile DJ who’s off his trolley. What started as a lighthearted prank has grown into part performance art, part musical project, one that’s landed him at festivals and clubs in Berlin and beyond.

DJ Einkaufswagen has two mini turntables and a mixer in his shopping trolley, which he hooks up to his portable speaker – always ready to wheel his setup to different locations and get a party started. But what does Irishman Jones do when his Einkaufswagen is parked in the garage?

He gives us a tour of his favourite places in and around his neighbourhood: Kreuzberg’s Wrangelkiez.

Zum Goldenen Hahn

Photo: Makar Artemev

One step inside this bar, and you feel like you’re stuck in some alternative 1980s time warp. Zum Goldenen Hahn stands at the corner of the recently-renamed Rio-Reiser Platz like the monument of a fading world – a meeting point for old punks, left-wing types and colourful locals.

Sunday night is a good time to drop by, when the shutters are drawn and a punk band, perhaps from the far side of Germany, takes the floor for a raucous packed session.

  • Oranienstr. 14a, Sun-Thu 15-1, Fri 15-4, Sat 14-4

Regenbogenfabrik

Photo: Imago

A former squat, this building is now a hostel-cum-Kita, cafe, bike workshop and cinema. Most of my hours spent here have been repairing or building bikes in the well-equipped workshop. You pay by the hour to use the facilities, and there is always someone there to help, as well as a treasure trove of secondhand spare parts to sift through.

It saves on expensive bike shop repairs, plus you learn how to fix stuff and how your bike actually works.

  • Lausitzerstr. 21a

Just Music

Photo: Makar Artemev

Do you have a rainy day list? The ‘keys floor’ in Just Music at Moritzplatz is at the top of mine. Where else can you spend an hour tootling about on the new Dread- box synth, or get completely lost in an ocean of sound on a modular system?

Last time I was here, I found a nice bassline, memorised it, went home and built a track around it. I do go there to buy things, too, but mostly it’s hours of fun on grey days.

  • Oranienstr. 140-142, Mon-Fri 10-19, Sat 10-18

Hard Wax

I buy most of the 45 vinyls for my Einkaufswagen online these days; I feel like I’ve exhausted the supply of secondhand bins in Berlin. A regular go-to to catch up on new releases, though, is Hard Wax. With a lean towards dub and reggae and a good selection of new house and techno from the UK, it’s hard to leave here empty handed.

A hot tip is the strictly seven-inch label ZamZam Sounds, who release all things dub/electronic with tasty screen-printed sleeves.

  • Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a, Mon-Sat 15-20

DAAD Galerie

One of the reasons I moved to Berlin in the first place is the DIY creative spirit that seemed to emanate from every corner whenever I visited. In my area, I am spoiled by a wide array of contemporary art galleries that offer a high quality programme of monthly events and exhibitions.

DAAD Gallery is an absolute favourite; it draws international artists through its longstanding residency programme and consistently presents work that inspires and provides discourse on topical and relevant sociological issues.

  • Oranienstr. 161, Tue-Sun 12-19

DJ Einkaufswagen plays Conscious Madness festival Aug 31-Sep 3, conscious-madness.de