The pages of Swiss photographer Philipp Mueller’s photobook, 120 bpm, are filled with raw photographs of underground parties, street parades, club backstages and private events like we’ve never seen before. In the early 1990s, the Swiss photographer chronicled the birth of techno in Zürich for several publications, giving us rare and unique glimpses of the pulsating scene as it emerged from the beginnings of techno to become the dominant force it has become today.
The photo book’s name befittingly comes from the number of beats per minute on a typical club track – 120 bpm. It shows high-density, candid scenes from in and around the years of techno’s heyday in Switzerland. In Mueller’s unrehearsed, unscripted photos, he captures the emergence of Techno in his native Switzerland as one of the last great youth movements, leading to the evolution of electronic dance music still heard in Switzerland’s clubs and nightlife to this day.
In addition to the fascinating photographs, the book includes snippets from rave publications and fanzines, alongside first-hand accounts and stories from some of the early ravers who helped shape the budding scene. Philipp was joined by his friends and favorite people at the exclusive, invite-only book launch party at none other than the Kauz club, one of Switzerland’s top Techno spots! They were also in the company of some of Zürich’s creatives, designers, actors, and models.
Fans of extraordinary photography and Switzerland’s great techno scene can delve into more of Mueller’s work in 120 bpm, now available for purchase online.