Sergio Ben Mario was out in the streets of Berlin for while to make this video happen. A lot of your favorite skaters from Berlin are in the edit such as Kalle Wiehn, Julian Ruhe, Kaio and even Danny & Peter, just to name a few because the list goes on and on.
Tour edits are extremely rare these days. Never thought we would miss sitting in an airport, looking around the overcrowded gate while waiting for a delayed flight. Skatedeluxe went to Athens and took Manny Lopez, Matt Debauche, Ike Fromme, Denny Pham, Martin Sandberg & Willow Voges Fernandes with them.
A film by Dan Schulz, all photos by Dennis Scholz.
For me personally, Jeremy Reinhard got into my life when his adidas “Diagonal” part came on the screen. I immediately liked him. The intro by Torsten Frank is classic Frank, who is at his best when he is there not only to show the skating but most of all to tell a story. “The worst thing is that it has to be good, it can’t be sketchy” is a quote that stood out to me, I didn’t understand German yet but I knew what that felt like. In life, we often can get away with sketchy, “what did you score on your test?” – “I just passed by a 0,5 margin” – is common for us all but as a sponsored skater filming a video part you know that you judge and will get judged if things aren’t done right. In this interview, we mostly talk about music but the same comparison still stands, you can’t be half a count off on the timing, the whole thing will not sound right. One last thing, Jeremy’s song in Diagonal talks about someone that is always on the road, never at home. Obviously referring to the busy travel schedule of a sponsored skater but, that song still holds true because as a DJ’s he still frequents the road quite often (in non-pandemic times). Anyway listen to the music, watch the video and read the interview. You might learn a thing or two! If you are interested in buying the new EP you can do that here or on Soundcloud.
I am well, on my terrace in Cologne in the sun right now. How are you, have we ever met in person?
I am fine. Actually we haven’t met before.
Daniel (Pannemann) told me you are into music, do you listen to House music?
I do, I listen to Omar S, Moodymann etc.
Great, those are some of my idols, that Chicago, Detroit style of House music.
So tell me a bit about this release?
I produced a lot of music together with a friend of mine Niels Freidel and we both felt like, instead of contacting a bunch of labels, let us do this ourselves. It just felt right, not asking anyone, doing it for ourselves and at the start of 2018, we dropped our first Lekker EP. We had some help from other musicians people like David Schreiber & Moglis, locals from Cologne, they helped a lot.
What about when Covid-19 hit?
I went out and bought myself some really nice speakers. That was really important for me, to have a good sound system at home. Because you school your ears through your sound system. I made a little home studio.
Like most people, I had a lot more free time and I used that time collecting samples, jamming, just making things. But my goal was clear: To make my own EP, where I made every track, alone. I think it is important as an artist to try and do that so you know when you get feedback, that it is feedback for you and you personally.
I understand, the project is not out just yet but how has the feedback been from the people who have heard it?
Not many people have heard it yet, you are one of the first. Actually, the first EP I did was also connected to PLACE, I happened when was thirty then and it dropped on Vinyl. This new EP hasn’t fully dropped yet, so we will see what the feedback will be.
We appreciate that, it is nice to drop a song instead of a video part for once.
True and it is cool to see that electronic music now has become a bigger part of skating. Back in the day, Techno, Rave or House parties had a bad name. “Those people take a lot of drugs!” or you heard that some of your favorite skaters stopped skating just to Rave.
Nowadays, when I come to Berlin to spin at a party, I don’t even need to call anyone anymore, they just know. Julius Krappe will call me out of the blue and tell me he, Denny Pham and a whole gang of people are coming to my show! I guess Raving is more a part of the culture in Berlin, people come out, even if it is a small rave at Hasenheide park.
Do you think you get more support like that in Berlin versus Cologne?
For sure! Cologne has a strong Rave scene but in Berlin it is different. People start on Fridays and Rest on Monday. For some Berliners a work week is from Tuesday until Thursday, whereas in Cologne it is pretty hardcore if a party starts on Saturday night and lasts until 10 in the morning on a Sunday.
Let’s take a step back, when did music enter your life?
It was always a dream of mine, at 19-20 when I moved to Cologne I went to a lot of parties, back then it was more Drum n Bass & Hip Hop. I loved it and knew a lot of the promoters and DJs. At some point, my friends, people like Benni Markstein started talking about Kompakt (record label) and their parties where they had people like Michael Mayer, Tobias Thomas, etc.
At that time “Total Confusion” was THE party in Cologne, people came with buses from Paris, Brussels, etc. and that fascinated me. So, after a while of just going to parties, I arrived at a point that I wanted to throw my own party. At that time people at my work were also very into music and they would feed me Kerri Chandler, Omar S and he told me about Smallville Records (Hamburg), which only stoked the fire!
So at 25 I started my first series of parties called: Vogelfrei. I got lucky and got a big Techno DJ and people where shocked that I managed to book him. The party itself was a bit thrown together but it was probably one of the first Techno parties the skate scene went to!
It was funny because he drew people from the Techno scene in and I had the whole skate scene there dancing.
I think Jeremy always felt the sound of Cologne, his music reflected that, and that is why people believed in him and his work. During the weekend people flocked to the (Kompakt) parties in Bogen 2, where you could connect with each other both in the dark and in the light.
Benjamin (Benni) Markstein, 2021
Did they vibe well?
The vibe was cool right away! That was also the start of me as a party promoter/booker and also the start of me DJ-ing. Things went on like that from when I was about 25 to about 30 years of age. It was cool and it was not as serious as it is now, things went to the next level at 30 when we put out our first EP on the Terre des Pommes Record Label. That was crazy, it was on vinyl, so Daniel Nentwig from The Whitest Boy Alive had the A-side of the record and I had the B-side. And that was like getting my knighthood, the record went well and sold out relatively quick. Paco Hettich and Albert Gabriel helped me together with my father by playing certain instruments and pieces for me to use.
That was at 30, what has changed this time around?
I developed a lot as a musician and this time I could do it by myself and didn’t need my father or friends to play certain parts on the Rhoades. I did get a cool remix by Tilman from Mainz on the new EP.
Funnily in 2020 I got signed to a booking agency called Wilde but that happened right as the pandemic hit, so no real bookings yet (laughs). To be honest, I do notice a difference financially because of the pandemic.
I can imagine you can’t wait to perform your new music before a crowd right?
100%, I did some live streams, but DJ-ing is really by you for a crowd, you need to get that feedback, that energy, and without that you are staring at a screen. At the start it was a good idea but vibing with the crowd is so important!
We heard about your start in House music but what about music growing up? Your dad is a Jazz Pianist?
Well, I was a very hyperactive kid so when I was 6 years old my parents put a drum kit in our basement and that really gripped me. I was pretty good but at some point I needed something else, so I changed to piano. The thing is I could play but I could not read notes. Chuck Berry or Elvis Presley’s version of “Tutti Fruity” really struck a cord with me and my father taught me. I even sang, and we recorded a tape for my mother’s birthday, it was fun. I could play, but I could not keep the tempo. I always went faster and faster but it was sweet, i guess. I played for like 2-years, coming home hyped to play and then skating hit me.
After that only skating counted, I wish I continued playing piano but, after school, I would eat, go skate, maybe come back to have a drink, and go back out. Burned bright red, my mother was worried, I would go out every day even when it was 35-degree weather. That started at 10 and lasted all the way until now when music came back into my life.
Seems like the skate bug really bit you!
It did, I mean I would listen to music but skating was really what consumed me. My dad stayed with music and co-founded the Jazz & Rock school in Freiburg. He is still anchored in the Jazz scene and before corona, he told me he had about 10 projects going on. He plays multiple genres, he play in a country band, in a blues band and jams with jazz musicians. He is very active man!
During corona I got new speakers and he got himself a crazy Nord Piano. My dad listens to the music I make, I will send him my best tracks and he will write me his feedback. Or he will play over some of the loops, I hope we can do more in the future. The goal for the next 10 years is to do more father & son projects. He is so good, he will play the melody with one hand and the bass with the other. So it is pretty handy to have access to someone like that.
Unfortunately, due to the high covid number we haven’t seen each other since last June. I even skipped Christmas, we need to protect the elderly. I have been in a prison called Cologne for a year now. But let’s change the topic.
Still, it sounds like music connects and binds your family.
It does, he even listens to the radio show. The first show I did, he came back to me and told me to lower my voice. I was midway through an alcohol brake and i was super nervous, he picks up on all that stuff.
Is skateboarding and music connected, or do you see it as separate things?
It is connected for sure! And I like how skating and House music fit together. Palace kinda brought that back, raw edits with fast cutting music. In a way it is retro but it is also current.
Did anyone ever ask to skate to your music?
Not yet, but maybe now is the time!
Last question, how excited/nervous are you to play your music during a set?
Very excited! The timing isn’t the best right now, with the lockdown. But I hope people will get to know the songs through social media and when the time comes that I am standing in front of a crowd I can drop “Tu Tambien” and let the people dance to it!
What do you get when you put our favorite host Lea Isabell together with a very special shoe, THE SHANE? What does the shoe look like, what does it feel like, How does it smell? And do humans actually have a different opinion about footwear than animals do?
Text by Roland Hoogwater.
Photos by Louis Deschamps & Roland Hoogwater.
Besides that, we get Hyun Kummer, Denny Pham, Sascha Scharf and many others flying through the air onto our little L.A. safe-haven called 7th Street. What do the winners feel after they land their tricks? Well, watch Lea & Louis ask those hard-hitting questions as well.
Last but certainly not least, did you watch Shane’s new part yet? You might have it has only been all over the interwebs but what did the people who got to watch it first, the people who got to go to the world premiere think of the king of the “flip in flip out” newest part?
Well, find out your doggone self! Press play already and watch Episode 2 of our Place.tv series.
Nike SB thank you for supporting this episode of Place.tv also available through the Nike APP.
PUNK! That is what Mobina and Melika are. why, you might ask? Well, first of all, they are DIY people. Coming to Germany together with their whole family and finding a new way in a country, a society & a city that bares at best small resemblances to where you were born. That said, they took on that challenge and are well on their way of knocking it out of the park. All while staying humble but not shy and they are certainly not shy! HIGH ENERGY, that is what they bring, jokes for days, a lust for life that in all honesty, we haven’t seen that often. Mobina (18) is a wild child, dancing at parties, skating with the pros, finding out about all that Berlin has to offer while still maintaining a serious attitude to her education. Melika (15) is a bit more relaxed, strong-willed on the board, not afraid to take a slam or even go back to get what she feels she can land. All while putting great value into people treating each other with kindness and respect, she doesn’t suffer fools lightly either and will let her opinion be known. At the same time, they both like to pull pranks on one another, pretend like they hate each other saying things like “You make me want to vomit!”. But in all honesty, it is a game and they are playing the game well and have fun doing it together!
Text by Roland Hoogwater / Photography by Tina Willim.
We first met Melika Nazari one and a half years ago at Heidelberger skatepark in Berlin, a random skatepark to be at, if you are a young upstarting skater in the German capital. The transitions are steep, the ledge and the flatbar are pretty high & the flat ground is not the most fun but Melika found her way.
We all skated for about an hour after which our crew sat down, immediately Melika introduced herself and started asking questions:
“Who are you? What are your names? Where are you from? Do you skate here often? What are your IG handles?”
Needless to say, we where a bit overwhelmed but at the same time she was nice to us and obviously so interested in skateboarding that we obliged her and she made a real impression on us. It was only when we fired some questions back at her that we found out she wasn’t German, she was a refugee from Afghanistan. That fact almost seemed unreal to us because she was fluent in German (no real accent) and dressed like a skater no shyness either, it just showed us not to judge a book by its cover.
I met Melika a couple more times and each time she showed a lot of improvement, she had found a new home at the better-suited skatepark DOG SHIT SPOT. And that is where they really became a part of the Berlin skate scene. People have opened their arms and welcomed them in, helping them with boards, shoes and all the little things so that they could continue to skate.
Fast forward to November the 10th, at the Nike SB Shelter in Berlin to be exact. That Sunday we first saw the girls in their natural form… together. It was at the Skate For More Session that was part of the then-new Just Do It Campaign of which both sisters were a big part. That day hosted best tricks, a race, a potential to vote for a new Bowl section but most of all they stood out by co-hosting the workshops, investing their energy into giving back to new often young skaters from all walks of life.
How does a person that flees Afghanistan via Iran ending up in Berlin find skateboarding? Drop-In that is how! DROP-IN is a foundation that hosts projects for Refugees and as the founder Joest Schmidt explained uses sporting activities to engage in education and integration of new-comers into German society. Mobina & Melika entered a summer program that helped teach German, showed them the city and introduced them to their first love Skateboarding.
They were hooked from day one, we offered other sporting activities but they were only interested in one thing. If we would go swimming they would ask if they could go skate instead.
Joest Schmidt, Drop-In Founder.
Joest being a skateboarder himself obviously obliged them and so their journey began. Their German language skills developed at least as fast as their skating did, that is in part due to the fact that Drop-In’s courses involve mixing local Berlin kids in with the Refugees creating the necessity for both to find a way to get out of their comfort zone and talk to each other.
“That and the fact that we where hanging out at the skatepark a lot, really helped us learn German fast! We had to try and talk on a daily basis we couldn’t stay in our own language bubble.” Melika tells us.
Now within three years, they don’t only still attend skate classes, they are able to host them and teach new people, in a sense closing the circle that Drop-In created.
Imagine this, they came to Germany 3 years ago, found a new hobby, sport, art… whatever you want to call skateboarding and within 2 years they were not only fluent in German but also good enough at skating that they could stand in front of a group of native speakers and teach them their new hobby, their new lifestyle.
Joest Schmidt, Drop-In Founder.
As I said in the intro they are PUNK, they might not dress like PUNKS did in the ’80s but they are “Do It Yourself” people taking their own route and not following the mold that other refugees, skaters or teens have followed in the past. For a lot of girls with Muslim backgrounds, a lot of activity can be forbidden depending on the strictness of their religion. Riding a bike is one of those activities but skateboarding is so new that it is not Haram so it can be practiced freely. And even though skateboarding is an activity that you perform alone it is something that you do together with your friends, culture, heritage, age, ethnicity all fall to the side the only thing that counts is “are you a real skater?” and if you can fulfill that requirement you can hang.
So to close it off, this is, of course, a story about two young women who through hard work and having an open attitude managed to find their way into Berlin. But more than that it is a story about skateboarding, social work and that special mix that can help people from all walks of life.
We are proud to introduce the Skate for More Session Skatehalle Berlin x Just Do It.
The session will take place this Sunday on November 10th, 2019 @Skatehalle Berlin and the entry will be free! There will be multiple activities throughout the day more information below:
Skate for More, you never just do it for yourself. Join the session with the SB Team and contribute to a new bowl at Skatehalle Berlin.
This is what’s coming up: – 11 AM / 3 PM: Multiple open workshops provided by Skatehalle and the SB team – 3 PM Open Session, all levels – 4 PM Best Trick Session – 5 PM Shelter Race – 7PM Bowl Extension Session
This was the best event since your last event together.
London Lee, Wassertorplatz, 2019
And with that introduction, we would like to welcome you to the recap video for our Wassertorplatz invitational table tennis tournament. The idea started last year after /// teamed up with us for our first ever non-skate tournament, in fact, it was a table-soccer or Fooßbal competition.
Now, ever since they changed our famous skate spot into a playground area we have been veiled in black and to be honest the “Platz” has changed a lot as well. When we went to shoot the trailer for the event it was literally riddled with weeds. Needless to say, the new locals had not shown it the love we had :(…
So what better to do than to return and give the place “a years worth of love” in one day! And even though the city and some of the people didn’t seem to want us there they accepted us showing up this day to celebrate the place we love.
Of course, we adapted to the changed plaza and organized a Table Tennis tournament as well as 2 best trick sessions, recreating the rooftop ledge especially for this occasion.
The people came out and celebrate we did and truth be told the platz, the cops and the people living around wtp the place all showed up (the cops blessed us by not showing up) and celebrated with us.
A very special thank you goes out to adidas Skateboarding!
Enjoy the video and we hope to all see you at our next competition.
Denny Pham is back with a new video part and this time he brought it back to a classic. We said it before and we say it again, Denny remains one of the best technical skaters from Europe. And.. did i see a Tom Penny cameo!? Instant Classic!
Represent your boy and get some hot products HERE! <-
Design is often based on other design, how many Ferrari shaped bedsheets or My Little Pony shaped birthday cakes have we not seen in our life?
So when Nike remastered the Janoski for its 10-year anniversary they also looked outside, they probably looked at animals, the sky, cement patterns, but in the end, I believe they simply looked out of their Beaverton office window onto the parking lot and there they found the answer sitting in the swooshes own parking lot.
(disclaimer: this might not be factual, they might have just found pictures of the car on the internet)
Photos by Danny Sommerfeld.
Text by Roland Hoogwater.
The story continues below…
The Volkswagen Polo “Harlekin’s” story connects to the Janoski in multiple ways. It was in 1994 that the German company wanted to draw attention to their newly-updated Polo model but the problem they had to solve was:
“How do we get people to look at the newness?”.
The answer came in all colors! They devised a special showroom model of the new 6N, this model would breathe NEW! But this model was only meant to show off in the showroom it wasn’t available to the public… Well a couple of the showroom models actually did get sold afterwards and those cars began to create “word of mouth” on the streets and when the streets are talking the people at VW were listening.
1995 swings around and featured in the catalog is the now legendary VW 6N Harlekin as demanded by the public and in 2019 a similar story can be told about Nike SB’s Janoski shoe. Like the Polo, it looks similar but it is not quite the same, from little leather linings to the tape on the sole, everything has been tweaked for ’19 and that is where the two stories meet.
The story concludes below…
Fast forward to the 10th of May, Denny Pham, Jan Henrik Kongstein, Peter Buikema, Leo Preisinger and myself find ourselves driving around Berlin in a VW Harlekin wearing the Janoski Harlekin, we are putting both through the wringer for the next 2,5 days.
We didn’t do that alone, of course, we invited some Nike riders and Berlin locals to test it with us along the way.
To be honest the car has had a bit more mileage than the shoe but both held up quite well during our time even though Leo had his doubts about the car.
After the 2.5 days we concluded a couple of things:
Denny Pham skates like he is playing THPS.
The “new” Janoski looks better than the “old” Janoski (look closely).
Jan Kliewer can shove his board like it is 1991.
Jan Henrik like all people in Norway is hella tech.
Michael Mackrodt drives a car the same way he skates.
Thank you for the support Skatedeluxe and Nike SB <3
This video is a need to watch if you are into eastern-European style spots, besides that it is probably one of Guillaume’s nicest videos to date. Enjoy New flip Pro Denny Pham, Michi Mackrodt and Giorgi in Belarussia.
Do you really wonder why Denny Pham is a professional Skater? No, right? If you do, watch his new part and lose all your doubts about him. Best one yet! Now, get to work Denny, you have a lot of new responsibilities in your position. Mo’ money mo’ problems.
As you may have already heard, Berlin’s Denny Pham got himself a spot in the Flip Skateboards pro ranks and none other than Tom Penny himself took the honor to break the news to a clueless Denny. An overwhelming and honest joy was in the room and, besides a few technical difficulties, it was quite the perfect surprise.
Next to Tom Penny, Denny’s closest family & friends came to the Nike SB Shelter for some Pho, drinks and a piece of Denny. By the way – while Tom Penny was giving Denny his first two designs, the DJ was playing THIS song (Notorious BIG feat. Puff Daddy & Mase – Mo Money Mo Problems).
You guys think it has a deeper meaning to it? The video that introduced him to the pro life will be released tomorrow. All Photos by Julius Krappe.
The skatedeluxe team has been steadily evolving and it is shaping up quite nicely. Spearheaded by Denny Pham and now supported by Manny Lopez this Jon Wolf production have a nice BLN vibe to it. Enjoy.
What do you do when the weather goes from hot to cold? We guess you film a part while you still can.
A lot of people get the more dedicated you get to their craft once they get older and Denny got up really early for this one. Getting out of bed and skating before the city starts to move.
In our opinion, Mr. Pham is aging like wine instead of milk and his sponsors know that! So, Skatedeluxe and Nike SB decided to team up and drop a little winter capsule together with this part. Check it out here.
Last Saturday marked the start of this year’s Benchmark Contest’s. The 2017 series is special because it is the tenth year that Paris’s Nozbone is organizing this event and thus they chose to partner up with Berlin’s Civilist skate shop and have two contests instead of one.
That meant that the winner of the Berlin event would earn himself some money and a ticket to skate in the Paris event this coming weekend.