For the second year in a row, CTM joins forces with Red Bull Music Academy for the presentation of the 17th edition’s grand finale. Together the two partners have assembled an exciting roster, including:
London’s Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points appears at Astra together with a live band for a rendition of his new kaleidoscopic debut LP Elaenia. Constructed mainly with analogue synths, Fender Rhodes, and live instruments, the album — whose title was inspired by a dream about a lone migratory bird disappearing into a wild forest — is less electronic than its widely-lauded predecessor EPs. The scientist-turned-producer is inspired by a range of musical styles from classical and jazz to electronic, soul, and Brazillian pop, and is a long-time friend of the Red Bull Music Academy programme. Over the years he has established himself as one of the most beloved and versatile figures in electronic music, and as a mindful and curious explorer of new territories.
Floating Points shares the bill with Berlin experimental dub veteran Stefan Betke aka Pole together with audiovisual ace Marcel Weber MFO. This is the first Berlin performance of material from Betke’s recent album and first release in eight years, Wald. The record was inspired by long walks through Germany’s forests, and intricately portrays the spatial complexity, distinctive sonic signatures, and psychedelic patterning of the woods, resulting in a sound that’s as rugged and knotty as it is detail-oriented. For the performance, MFO, a prolific audiovisual-, installation-, and video artist, uses images of nature as his primary visual material. As he manipulates the sequences of stills, they slowly morph into animations.
Rising Istanbul scene presence and Red Bull Music Academy alumna Başak Günak aka Ah! Kosmos will also take the stage at Astra with a two-piece band in tow. Her debut LP, Bastards, was released by Denovali Records in April 2015 and combines buoyant, crunchy percussion with minor-key, determined melodic soundscapes. Günak splits her time between producing for live performance and composing for dance, theater, film, and visual art.
The concert will be followed by an afterparty, also co-hosted by Red Bull Music Academy, celebrating the conclusion of ten high-octane festival days. In contrast to last year’s party, which was held meters away at Urban Spree, this year’s party will take place close on the other side of the Spree, at Watergate.
CTM guest co-curator Rabih Beaini sets the stage with a special DJ set dedicated to this year’s festival edition, exhibiting his far-reaching tastes as a producer, rambler, and collector. His wild musical amalgams combine original recordings from around the globe, Middle Eastern-influenced rhythmic cells, African space-jazz, multiple sources of vocal and instrumental meanderings with homemade techno structures. The results are a new form of vivacious and raw eclectic sound.
Love Cult, who make murky, esoteric “militant house” or “goth jungle” as an outlet “for worries and fears”, join Beaini at Watergate for their second appearance at this year’s festival. They are tastemakers in a flourishing Russian music underground concerned with giving voice to angsty, prolific youth cultures in both urban and remote locations. The DJ sets of Ivan Zoloto and Anja Kuts — who is also a graduate of the Red Bull Music Academy programme — display their unique taste in edgy, beat-oriented sepulchral drudges.
Other additions to the afterparty are Nan Kolè and DJ Lakhe. The former is a Rome-born DJ and co- owner of Gqom Oh!, a label founded together with South Africa-based Lerato Phiri especially dedicated to spreading the scope of gqom, a dance music style that’s recently risen out of Durban. Gqom takes its cues from a specific dance, bhenga, and is characterised by low-key house tempos, broken beats, vocal samples, and juicy drum fills. Much of it is produced by teenagers from the suburbs and townships. Nan Kolè describes the style as “apocalyptic riot music” reflecting South Africa’s strained history and acting as a crossroads for UK funky, kwaito, hip hop, and traditional African rhythm. He will be joined by DJ Lakhe, a Durban native and one half of Cruel Boyz, one of the acts included Gqom Oh!’s new double-LP compilation, The Sound of Durban.
Tickets to the Whatever Is After – CTM 2016 Finale, presented by CTM x Red Bull Music Academy, that include both programmes at Astra and Watergate are available for 29 € via Eventbrite. Tickets only for Astra are available for 25 €, and those just for Watergate for 8 €.
Access to both events is granted to holders of CTM Festival Passes as well as the CTM + transmediale Connect Pass. Access to CTM Festival is also included in all press accreditations. Media representatives may apply for an accreditation until 5 January 2016.
This year's collaboration with RBMA begins earlier in the week, on Thursday February 4th, with back-to-back RBMA sessions featuring Mumdance, and Anna Homler with Steven Warwick. Open to the public and free of charge, the session takes place at 3:30 and 5:00 respectively at Red Bull Studios Berlin, and are hosted by RBMA's Hanna Bacher.
Venues: Astra, Watergate
Times: 20:00 at Astra, 23:00 at Watergate