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KMI’s European Territory Manager was a Superbooth last week and has written up this recap of his time at the event. Sounds like a fun time with good people!

Last Friday for the first time in months the sun was shining in Berlin. Many would have taken the opportunity to stay outside and welcome a well overdue start of the spring in the German capital, but this was not the case for thousands of modular and music technology “nerds” who decided to attend SuperBooth 16 instead. The event organized by Andreas Schneider took place in an Ex-DDR radio facility that gave to the show a spectacular and well-fitted setting.

Many manufacturers made the trip from the US; Dave Smith and Roger Linn were present. The usual suspects from Europe did not miss the chance to showcase their new gear; Bastl Instruments, Vermona , Doepfer and many others had their own booths alongside more local companies such as Ableton, Bitwig and NI. The press was there too; I had a chat with Cuckoo while queuing for food and spotted the likes of Peter Kirn from CDM and Nick Batt from Sonic State.

During the course of the day participants could ask questions and exchange ideas with the actual creators and developers of the many modulars and synths out on display. Moog fans had the possibility to venture into the “Moog Island” to try their favorite instrument. While being seated on the floor with headphones many lost track of time creating their own sonic composition only to be brought back to reality by a live performance from Mad Zack on a wall of Moog modulars.

To me the show was a complete success thanks to the addition of such performances, but also thanks to panels with leading figures such as Robert Henke, Richie Hawtin and Daniel Miller to name a few. In the late afternoon I attended a vey interesting discussion on analogue/digital hybrid instruments organized by NI. While listening, it became clear that no matter which route one might prefer, analogue or digital, both tend now more than ever to merge and interlace. This thought could have been applied to the whole event. The show obviously had a strong emphasis on analogue gear, but without antagonizing the digital world and instead welcoming it as a trusted companion.

SuperBooth 16 was an excellent opportunity to try out all the gear one could possibly dream of, but also a very enriching experience because it was much more than that. Instead of being just another tradeshow similar to Messe or NAMM, this event felt much more like a festival celebrating sonic possibilities where likeminded people could meet and enjoy the best of what the “scene” has to offer; whether it be gear, sound creation or forward thinking. Can’t wait for SuperBooth 17!