Long before bedroom producers from Finland to Uruguay could earn a small streaming fortune by winning the playlist lottery, Cologne was the breeding ground for a new and daring form of hip-hop, in which rappers no longer played the leading role. The scene took it back to its roots, where the DJs and producers were the real stars.

A young Cologne-based photographer with a love for soul and beats was crucial in documenting the beatmaker scene. Robert Winter’s bird’s-eye view black and white cover for the first Hi-Hat Club album by Twit One and Hulk Hodn, released on MPM in 2009, provided the aesthetic blueprint. German producers being depicted in that visual context was entirely new, and all credit for that goes to Robert.

Stephan Szillus | Berlin, 2019

No need for rap.

Around 2008, a generation of producers in Germany and all over Europe realized that their hip-hop beats could stand alone. Without any vocals but with a new-found confidence in instrumental music. Among those producers were now household names like Suff Daddy, Dexter, Brenk Sinatra, Twit One, Shuko, Hulk Hodn, Hubert Daviz, Bluestaeb, S.Fidelity, Flako, Flofilz and many more…

They went from beat tapes to full vinyl releases that attracted more and more attention and connected the local scene with a worldwide movement. Suddenly, those beatheads stepped out of the shadows and found themselves in the center of attention – on stage and with their faces on the record cover.

(Prod. by) is a photo book that captures the essence of this beatmaker decade by compiling its most iconic record covers, private snapshots and never-before-seen material from the vaults of photographer Robert Winter.

I have spent the past 10 years documenting and accompanying the local beat scene, designing its record covers and staying out late for parties, concerts and festivals. This book contains 256 pages of color and b/w photographs from this decade, an essay by Stephan Szillus and texts by Ralf Theil, who compiled various interviews and research for this book. Layout by Tim Wetter (S-Fidelity)
(Prod. by)
Robert Winter


(Prod. by)
A photo book by Robert Winter

Release Instore Session
w/ S. Fidelity, Suff Daddy, Robert Winter

VARY (Leipzig)
Feb.28th | 6-9pm
Maps | FB Event

Release Instore Session
w/ FloFilz, S. Fidelity, Suff Daddy, Robert Winter, V.Raeter and Kabuki (Live Set).

HHV Shop (Berlin)
March.6th | 5-9pm
Maps | FB Event

More exhibitions will be added soon.