With only one release under her belt, Esther Silex has managed to acquire a reputation as one of the most promising young producers on the scene. On her Pachamama EP, a reference to the old mother earth goddess of the indigenous people of the Andes, the well-travelled musician combines atmospheric yet functional house beats with euphoric synthesizer sounds and samples from guilty pleasures.
On the rare weekends she’s not travelling with her record bag, pleasing clubs with her eclectic selection that somehow weaves seamlessly through techno and house to soul, funk, afro and disco, she enjoys the off-time in Cologne. Here she reveals her favourite corners of her hometown.
THE RED BULLETIN: Where is the best place to go for breakfast in Cologne?
ESTHER SILEX: My favourite breakfast place is the little bistro on Maastrichter Strasse 47 in the city centre. You can’t help but be charmed by Christiane’s (the owner) cheerful ways and infectious laugh while you’re enjoying the delicious pastrami sandwiches! It’s a great place to start your day. Its called ‘Mischpoke’, the Hebrew word for ‘family’, and the name is on point. At any time of the day, you’ll be sure to make new friends there.
A hidden treasure not many people know about in your city.
You don’t have to leave the city in the summer. There are enough beaches along the Rhine River to make you feel like you’re in St. Tropez. You’ll need to turn a blind eye to the clichéd German socks and sandals combo during the height of the season though!
A fun fact about your city not many people know.
Cologne hosted one of the first skateboard shops in Germany. My father founded the place called ‘Blue Diamond’ in 1979. Later he sold roller skates and was given the title ‘Roller Priest of Cologne’.
The best place to go for a walk, relax, get a bit of nature in Cologne.
I love the rose garden in the Fort X in the north of the city. It’s the most beautiful garden with over 70 different types of roses. Furthermore walking along the river clears my mind and grounds me. The river gives me back some sort of basic trust if I ever feel a bit lost or overwhelmed.
What’s the city’s best club?
The ‘Gewölbe’ at Hans-Böckler-Platz. It’s one of the few proper dance clubs in town. Everyone involved with it does something artistically, which is reflected in their fantastic bookings, the great sound system and the design of the place. No matter how late it gets, you’re always in for a good time.
What’s the best record store?
There are two record stores worth mentioning. Kompakt and Groove Attack. Both are institutions here in Cologne and boast a fantastic and inspiring selection of records.
How should I get around the city?
By bike. It’s just a pleasure to ride from one place to another as there are so many parks and green spaces. The trains are always full and I don’t feel as comfortable travelling that way.