Cologne’s finest spots: a cityguide by Andy Kolwes

    Cologne is my hometown and I have spent nearly all my life in this town. It has a population of 1 Million residents circa and everything is close to each other. That’s why it sometimes feels more like a big village. It is famous for being an open minded city where the people definitely like to party. Of course you cannot compare its spirit to Berlin, but it obviously has a long history of club culture. As my studio is here it surely is my base and the place where I produce all my music.

    I use almost only analog stuff, a big analog Toft mixer, analog sequencers, TR 808, 909, modular stuff, E mu Sp 1200 Sampler, analog synthesizers and external effects too. During long bootcamp studio sessions, I jam with these machines. I don’t like computers very much and always prefer working with my hands on the knobs and keys. It’s just more fun playing around with machines, just like playing vinyl and it sounds amazing. Over the past 15 years, I’ve developed my personal kind of dream setup. But I am no technique nerd who you can chat with for hours about tech stuff. I am more up for jamming and getting loose.

    My favorite clubs are Gewölbe & Roxy. Gewölbe is a small club with 4 point Martin Audio Orgon Soundsystem and the sound is just amazing. Luckily my friends from Rheinrythmik host a monthly night there inviting interesting guests. So if I spend the weekend at home in my studio and feel a little stuck in the process, or feel a need for some social interactions I might jump on my bike and head over to catch some vibes.
    Roxy is the other place where I meet many of my friends and a great mix of people. The bookings here are often interesting because they have a strong focus on classic American artists you rarely have the chance to listen too. An unforgettable to me was the night with Moodyman for ca. 250 people. While Moodyman was offering shots to the dancers, his two chicks were playing vinyl back 2 back out of his box. In the 80’s it was the only club with a concession until 10 am. So literally this was the first after hour club in town.

    Record store
    I recommend Groove Attack with a small but concentrated interesting selection of records.
    As Cologne is very near to Belgium, I can as well highly recommend Wallys Groove World in Antwerp. Sometimes me and my friends go there by car for a short trip. It is not too far and Wally is known for buying big collections of 90’s records. You can easily find rare treasures and hot stuff here not everybody has. It is a very interesting place for digging new and second hand vinyls.

    Jazz Kiosk
    If I am at home & going out of drinks, tobacco, papers or ice-cream, my favorite Kiosk is the Jazz Kiosk. You can shop all your basics late at night while grooving to the top notch of Funk, Soul and Jazz.
    There is always a good vibe and you will leave this place with a smile. In summer they sometimes do crazy live jams in front of the store.

    Restaurant: Daikan
    I love the spicy miso Ramen Tantan they have and this is one of my favourite spots for Ramen in Cologne. Usually I take a break from studio work somewhere the midday. Then I go for a walk with my dog and sometimes I meet my father or friends to have some dinner there.

    Parks: Lohse Park
    Across the street from my house there is a beautiful park with a nice skate ramp. I love catching the late day sun here and to watch the skaters doing their tricks in the halfpipe. There is also a big skate contest each summer where the whole park is packed with people & nice options for food & drinks.

    Keep up with Cologne’s finest Andy Kolwes on FB, Resident Advisor, and check his latest release here.

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