SolarSoundSystem – Let the eco clubbing begin!

Dancing is a great source of spiritual energy but what if clubbing could also generate a clean electricity? The French ONG SolarSoundSystem has come up with some innovative solutions for a daily use of sustainable energy? While connecting two of the most popular Berliner activities biking and dancing in the sun, the French-Swiss collective just made ecology more FUN!!

Founded in 1999 by Cedric Carles a designer who developed the concept of Paleo Energetic, the SolarSoundSystem is quickly joined by Julien a young engineer and Rubens a webmaster and cybernomad. Operating as an open source, the collective expends all over the globes with their research/party hubs. Already implanted in London, Switzerland and in major music festival in France (Weather, Nuits Sonores among others), the SolarSoundSystem has already been adopted by musicians such as Jarvis Cocker, Civil Civic, Matt Black, DJ Yellow or our local superstar Boris.

Save the dates for the Berlin hub Launch next April 29th in Yaam and 30th in Urban Spree with a full on line up broadcast live on their solar web radio 3S. Bring your sneakers and be ready to pedal if the sun plays hide and seek as Human power remains the most sustainable energy of all!


KB : As a designer what is more boring than a still DJ booth?

SolarSoundSystem : A DJ booth powered by nuclear energy ?

KB: You are not only recycling energy but also concepts that were not developed can you tell us more about the Paleo Energetic research?

SolarSoundSystem : is a collaborative research to enquire about the forgotten innovation of the energy history. Since 2000, we work and think about energy transition, with a bunch of people between France and Switzerland. We always thought we missed a tool to gather all the interesting innovations we go across our researches, to put them all on a timeline to create a common database to save time and precious energy.

We decided to use the power of collaboration and digital to bring all this innovations stories together. we launch the website in March 2015 in La Paillasse Paris, a biohacking laboratory dedicated to open-research.

Since then, we also carried several exhibitions and conferences. It is really important for us to bring this project out of the screen, in the real life. It also helps us to collect oral memory, since old people with a lot of knowledge sometimes do not use digital devices.

There are many reasons why some innovations did not become mainstream back in the time :  price of energy, invention in advance on his time, a missing technological part. We purposely don’t spend time talking about lobbies or conspiracy theories, as we decided to be solution oriented. We let people shapes their own opinion about that.

There have always been more inventions than things that industries can really turn into real prototypes or products.

Of course there is a lot of “garbage” and forgotten good ideas. They are in public domain which is a common, it’s ours, it‘s yours, so why not using it ?

We want to collectively go to explore in the patent offices to exhumate and share. This could be an efficient way to accelerate the energy shift, quicker than relying on new technologies under patent, that will take too long to be in application for the whole world.

KB : What was the most surprising innovative patent that you have found?

SolarSoundSystem : The research had already shown a proof of concept, turning an exhumed patent from the 80’s into a contemporary open-source project: RegenBox, the first Open-Source alkaline battery regenerator. We designed a remake of this invention, combining it with an Open-Source Arduino micro-chip in order for the user to be able to connect the RegenBox to their computer to get and share information and data about their batteries. We do not doubt this research will permit to enlighten several others interesting approach to energy Storage.

KB : The Solar Sound System is working as an open source and collective, who can join the movement and contribute?

SolarSoundSystem : We are based on an international multidisciplinary collective composed of artists, engineers, designers, musicians, makers, Djs and more. They all bring something different to create unique experiences and events. We always thought energy transition and culture were a multi-field purpose without frontiers.

We have several partners supporting us and we always welcome volunteers and people who wants to bring something. We really feel our purpose is stimulating people around us.

KB: Launching several hubs in Tel Aviv, Paris, Lausanne or Marseille what was the most surprising situation or welcoming?

SolarSoundSystem : For the first French KiteSnow championship, we were invited in La rosière, 2000m high a the mountain pass between France and Italy. When we arrived on the mountain pass with the sound-system on a snow plow at 7pm (since we had to wait until the ski slope close to bring the material the day before) the night came and the storm began.

We took down the SolarSoundSystem from the snow plow and when we arrived near the door of the old abandoned building where we had to put the material inside for the night but guess what ? The size of the door was too small… We have a moment of loneliness… Finally, we decided to put the system under the snow, in a igloo, cause it’s 0 degree centigrad and it is usually ok for the electronics. So we dug a big hole, protected the sound system with a plastic sheet and close with the snow.

The day after, the sunshine was there. We dug 5 minutes under the snow to find where it was, take off the snow and put the solar on the sun to rewarm all the system. After 10 minutes, we turned it on and it worked. We were happy and had a great moment there with all the kitesnowboarders around us !

KB : You have launch several crowdfunding campaigns, one reward is a mixtape by one of the SolarSoundSystem artist, can you tell us more?

SolarSoundSystem : We collaborate with a bunch of artists playing really different kinds of music, mainly on vinyls records but not only. Lately, we had the chance to welcome on our system for instance :

Matt Black (Ninja Tune, ColdCut) , Jarvis Cocker (Pulp), Dj Boris (Panorama Bar) Ben Green ( Civil Civic ), Alain Ho ( dj Yellow) and more …

KB : Promoting a self-sufficient sustainable world is not quite planned obsolescence friendly, how does the industry react to your researches?

SolarSoundSystem : Nowadays, a new paradigm has started, replacing products by services, this new economical attitude is disrupting the capitalistic world and shaking the elephants. They have to re-invent themselves and play with these new constraints or they will collapse trying to preserve their old monopoles and industries. People are embracing more and more this new ways of consumption. I remember when we started, the general mindset was not that clear about transition and renewable energies. We really think our creative work helps to spread the word and talk to people who are not experts or usually connected with these topics.

KB :  You have attended the COP 21 can you feel a change in the institutions direction since then?

SolarSoundSystem : We are not sure about that, maybe we should ask the American president ?

More seriously, the good thing with the COP events is that it brings together NGO from all over the world. It is a good opportunity to reinforce international networks among positive thinkers and doers.

KB:  Back to the future, what are the next cities on the map?

SolarSoundSystem : Our last requests are San Fransisco and Hong Kong… Work in Progress. No matter what, the network is in an exponential extension !

KB: Will we find you biking on your Open Air Marathon in Berlin?

SolarSoundSystem : Of course ! I am biking and the crew too.

But quickly this is the public who take the lead on the bike, they produce their own energy for the party and the atmosphere become really participative.

We plan to be at YAAM for the 29th and at Urban Spree the 30th. The location for the 1st of May is still secret but will be revealed soon.

KB : Do you plan on meeting some other NGO in Germany?

SolarSoundSystem : Of course. We always collaborate with many different actors. For the Berlin project, we are already have nice partners like Lemonaid, Schneider Electric Foundation, Cadenza Records, Native Instruments…

Once we will perform with the system in the public space, we know it will give a lot of ideas to others potential partners.

KB : Can we imagine to see a Solar Sound System Tour de France this summer?

SolarSoundSystem : We are preparing a lot of gigs and parties in France in many different kinds of places like festivals, venues or private cocktail parties… We are always well received as they are all excited to see how the system work.

Interview by Marianne Jacquet





===== 29th of April at YAAM Berlin = 12h – 20h
Qzen //
Epilady Bruce / Ladybruce //
Nathanael Ha //
Ferdinger //
Oscar Guerrero / oscargvz //

===== 30th of April at Urban Spree = 12h – 22h
Pierre Stone Caillou (Chateau Chepère) //
Josefowski //
Rasmus Erasmus //
signal deluxe //
Meisterfackt (Bruit Noir Records) //
Zaspéro + Tonte Concept // +
– Mane //

===== 1st of May, TBA 12h – 22h
– Maison Saucisse
– @Perila (Berlin Community Radio ) //
OWL //
Çaykh / Nicolas Sheikholeslami //
Omri Shmulewitz //
Eva Peelband (DEVIANT DISCO / Paris) //

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