Crystal Stilts

Monbijoupark, 2009

Last time Brooklyn-based Crystal Stilts were touring Europe, their fifth man – Kyle Forester, the fair-haired guy on the keyboard – was missing. Now it’s his turn to embrace in a good-mooded and talkative way every aspect of tour life. Not only does he play the entertainer at their show at Bang Bang Club, when it comes to the more or less obligatory talk to the audience, while singer Brad Hargett prefers to stay on the aloof-side; it was also Kyle, who paved the way for this inspiring video shoot. So when we step out the venue in the late afternoon, we find ourselves in this chilled atmosphere in Park Monbijou, where the quintet starts experimenting on songs. Once they make clear how to graft their characteristically echoed-up, deep-in-the-mix vocals with the reduced equipment, they go for “Prismatic Room” with the bells of the close-by Berliner Dom pealing throughout the song. Crystal Stilts’ reverb-laden pop with its dark aura still feels uplifting and this is not just because Kyle is amusing himself playing his part as “a real American hippie”, when they perform “Crippled Croon”. Crystal Stilts’ hypnotic sound may be inspired by “distorted fragments” and their mind may “imbibe the city’s madness”, as Brad sings in “Prismatic Room”, yet they still get to transfer it to something opalescent and magic.

Michael Luger
Sound Recording
Christian Frefel
Post production
Michael Luger
Sarah Brugner
Crystal Stilts


Embedded between river Spree, touristy-animated Hackescher Markt and Oranienburger Straße lies Monbijoupark. The park stretches over the area of a former palace (Schloss Monbijou), that was severely damaged in World War II and finally removed in 1959. The park was then conceived for recreation and leisure. Apart from the lawn to chill on, it pleases with a broad waterside promenade and in summer with an amphitheater-stage as well as with – exclusively for kids – an open-air pool. Considering the high number of oh-so-popular parks in Berlin, the not-so-big-sized Monbijoupark might not be suggested in your travel guide. But once you stroll around in Berlin-Mitte, you may easily find yourself sitting here in the grass with the background noise of playing kids or the peal of bells from the nearby Berliner Dom in your ears. And while watching tourist-ships chugging by in front of the pictorial coulisse of the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), you may understand why this green space in this unwound atmosphere close to all the hustle and bustle is called „mon bijou“ – my jewel.