Sometime in early January 1991 two men are driving along Leipziger Straße on the lookout for a successor to Berlin’s acid-house club “UFO”. They spot the abandoned Wertheim department store and decide to get out and have a look. More by chance than anything else, they meet the caretaker who provides the key to the place and together they proceed to the first encounter with the vault underneath the derelict building. The lock has the shape of two concentric circles with a horizontal bar underneath them. The logo of Tresor is born.Three months later the club opens its doors and the first party is already packed. Young people from both sides of the recently reunited city dance to hard industrial music, surrounded on all sides by hundreds of old, walled deposit boxes and are covered in dust, mud and sweat. Old categories – east and west – are without meaning in this new space which reverberates fully with the new sounds of rough, pounding Techno.
So begins the story of one the world’s best known clubs. So many seminal artists are tied to the beginnings of Tresor: Sven Väth, Tanith, Maruscha, Paul van Dyk, Ellen Allien and Pacou are just a few of them. But it is especially the musical link to Detroit’s musical groundbreakers such as Mike Banks, Jeff Mills (the founders of Underground Resistance), Juan Atkins, Kenny Larkin and Blake Baxter which grounded the famous and enduring Tresor sound.
Rumours about a possible closure of the club repeatedly surfaced from the end of the 90s on. In 2005 the time had indeed come. The last party of Tresor in Leipziger Straße was held on April 16th after a fortnight-long party marathon during which all the old artists came one last time to bow in reverence.
After two years of searching for the perfect new home, Tresor’s original founder Dimitri Hegemann found an abandoned heating plant on Köpenicker Straße in the heart of Berlin Mitte that fit the Tresor aesthetic absolutely. Concrete passages maze into basement vaults and industrial halls. Within this labyrinth there are three separate but connected floors: Globus for house music, +4 for experimental electronic music and, of course, the vault which carries the Tresor sound uncompromisingly.