FvF Mixtape #133: Nico Adomako
Berlin collective Einhundert bypass music industry gatekeepers through their boundary-pushing concerts, exhibitions, and parties, Berlin
Mixtapes > FvF Mixtape #133: Nico Adomako

Ever-changing locations, no fear of crossing genres, and a good nose for up and coming local and international talent are just some of the reasons why Nicolas Adomako and Flo Hettenbach stand out in the vast landscape of Berlin’s party organizers.

Do it yourself—whether it be in arts, music, or design—means creating and promoting what you love. Einhundert were the first to invite artists such as Stormzy and Post Malone to play shows in Berlin, which fast built them a reputation amongst a dedicated crowd of music lovers. And yet, despite their popularity, the duo still strives to keep up their momentum by constantly reinventing themselves. As co-founder of the collective, Nicolas Adomako has compiled a mixtape for FvF that’s perfect for “hanging out with friends on a night when we’re just having fun.”

To start this off coffee table magazine style: Who is Nico Adomako?

I DJ, create, curate for brands and clubs, do A&R work, and I co-founded Berlin based platform “Einhundert” a few years back. There were a few other party series along the way like my Nico Adomako & Friends night.

What does a regular day look like for you?

A regular day involves walking around Kreuzberg staring on my phone, sending out emails from way too many accounts, and throwing around ideas with my good friend Flo (Hettenbach) via WeChat.

Einhundert mostly organize parties and exhibitions. Can you elaborate on how Einhundert came into being and why you started it?

We had this vague idea of a platform that we could use to feature new artists we liked in a format that’s open to everyone. Berlin collectives like Bass Gang or Through My Speakers had already started switching things up, and were combining different genres that didn’t cater to anyone but their own taste, which was really inspiring and eye-opening. There were lots of brand-sponsored events that were limited to whoever these brands considered to be cool at this time. Yet all that was too cool and too exclusive for us. On the other hand, you’d have the big booking agencies that are just in it for the money. We felt like both exclude the kids that are actually into the music, the ones that create what these organizations ultimately profit from.

So you chose a different approach?

We wanted to feature and release up and coming artists that we liked, adding local DJs to the lineup, and then making everything as affordable as possible. We also decided to never use the same logo, venue, and lineup more than once and to change formats frequently. It was never just parties; we’ve always done merch, radio shows, live performances, and exhibitions. It’s all about trying new things and working with people we like. For our events, we partner up with Adidas and were lucky enough to find the right people there that were really open to the idea of doing something without a specific campaign behind it. Without them, none of this would have been possible.

“We simply bypass the gatekeepers,
the elites who run this industry.”

Nico Adomako and Flo Hettenbach hang out on the roof of FvF Headquaters.

How did it develop from there?

We sat in Flo’s kitchen one day and figured out that lots of our friends liked the same music, but either didn’t want to or couldn’t go to any brand events or industry shows. We figured maybe we should just do it ourselves. Melt! Booking helped us bring out a then barely known artist Post Malone to St. Georg in Berlin. Around the same time we started hosting a radio show on Berlin Community Radio. That was the base of everything that came afterwards. We met a lot of great people that have supported us. Through just being around Johannes from Native Teenage—a Berlin based zine label—we figured it could be cool to work with all the photographers we were friends with anyway and to show our version of Berlin. That’s how we further got into publishing zines and hosting exhibitions. There is so much talent here so it made sense to collaborate and expand from only doing parties into different spheres.

“It’s all about trying new things and working with people we like.”

What are your future plans?

We want to keep on working with talented people and the exhibition part is really fun. It breaks a bit with the notion that there are rules you have to follow about who can exhibit their work and who can’t. Along with our friends HVW8, we simply bypass the gatekeepers, the elites who run this industry. We’d like to hijack that a bit more also outside of photography. Other than that, we did a few things in Malaysia, Japan, and China and we’d definitely like to work more with people there and bring artists to Germany. As corny as it may sound, we really want to make this a platform to present ideas and artists we believe in. Another thing we want to do is to just continuously switch up formats and genres. Why shouldn’t we be able to do a grime event, followed by a Gqom Party, and then have Charlotte Dos Santos perform?

Tell us a bit about the playlist. Why did you choose these songs?

This playlist is split into three different phases—or emotions, if you want to call them that. I really had fun curating it. The first phase is chill and sets the mood. The second is basically a smooth bridge to the third and final phase which should have you ready to celebrate in style for whatever you have to celebrate–it’s just about enjoying life for a bit. I hope the listeners will get it and hopefully won’t put the list on shuffle mode. The way it’s set up is just how I would have it playing while hanging out with friends on a night when we’re just having fun and chilling and not going to clubs.

Binker&Moses live at FvF Friends Space

Binker&Moses brought their special blend of Experimental Jazz to the FvF Friends Space in collaboration with EINHUNDERT on October 14th, 2018. Check the FvF Mixtape Section for more selections of tracks from our friends. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out more about programming and events.

Text: Fabian Ebeling
Photography: Jenny Peñas