CTM.13 – The Golden Age

14th Edition, 2013

The 14th edition of CTM took place from January 28 – February 3, 2013 in different venues in Berlin including the HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, Berghain, Stattbad, and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, as well as the historic Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, home of the DDR National Broadcasting Corporation until 1990.

Entitled The Golden Age, CTM.13 reflected on the (over-)abundance of music in the modern world and its consequences for individuals, aesthetics, politics and the economy. Never before has such a plethora of fascinating and exciting new music existed, never before has communication between artists and their publics been so direct, and never before have listeners so eagerly opened their ears.

CTM’s 2013 theme took the festival’s mandate of exploring unconventional new music as a starting point to venture further than ever before into the nebulous zone beyond individual genres, styles, formats, scenes, or traditions. Within this murky frontier of interconnected yet radically diverse musical niches, the future of pop music coexists with the avant-gardes of past and present, historically-informed refinement stands next to eclectic mashups, and abstract sound research merges with the club sounds of the moment. The most exciting music emerges where unexpected encounters occur. And it might well be that the conditions for such unbridled creativity have likely never been as favourable as we find them today. The seven-day CTM.13 festival could only begin to convey an idea of this colourful cornucopia. And yet, even in this measure, the risk of overtaxing festival visitors and organizers was very real.

Over 200 artists and professionals from 25 different countries contributed to 120 performances and projects that made up the CTM.13 program, which also included the 6-day Transfer programme that encompassed the Discourse programme of artist talks and film screenings, a collaborative MusicMaker’s Hacklab for music technology, contributions from Universities via performances, installations, and an Education Networking Day, and an exhibition.

As always, the CTM festival was be held in parallel to and in collaboration with transmediale – festival for art and digital culture which took place at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The weekend before the festivals, CTM and transmediale’s P2P Vorspiel programme presented events and activities with partner organizations all around Berlin.

CTM.13 Theme

Under the conditions deployed by digital culture, globalization and postmodernism, that which has always been key aspirations and promise of art and pop culture now fully unfolds: unleashed subjectivity and an unharnessed imaginary meet the wide public acceptance of its diverse forms of expression. Those manifest not so much as essential originality but rather as the products of continuous processes of self-design based on the eclectic or syncretic appropriation and transformation of already existing materials.

Against this backdrop, today’s music presents itself as more diverse than ever before, and never before have the listeners’ ears been so receptive. This “anything goes” situation, barely constrained by canons, technological limitations or gatekeeper authorities, fosters what appears to be a paradisical flowering of fully realized creative potential: The Golden Age. Its hallmark is a kind of ubiquitous eclecticism or syncretism, that equally characterizes contemporary art music, pop-cultural niches and remnants of the mainstream, and brushes aside tired differentiation between high and low.

But when self-expression, once a heavily-contested strategy for emancipation, becomes the norm within digital capitalism’s gift economy, that which at first glance appears to be the manifestation of long-fought-for creative freedom quickly reveals its shadow side: the dire economic situation of many artists, the constraints imposed by major technology and communication providers’ own agendas, the breathless pressure of real-time media, arbitrariness, competition for the limelight, narcissism, redundancy, and the justifiable fear of going under in the current mass of fast-track productions, if ever one fails to constantly feed new output into the sheer endless channels through which music must make its mark today. are just some of the buzzwords up for discussion. Consequently, not all artists optimistically welcome the explosion of aesthetic diversity on the digital matrix, or the opportunities for recombination it affords them. By radically restricting themselves to a limited range of source material and strictly defined methods, or by stubbornly working through meticulous variations on long since established styles, such artists swim against the current, even when their work thereby turns out no less eclectic than anyone else’s. 

Eclecticism has been a base credo for the CTM Festival since the get-go, and 2013 was no different. Under the consciously polemic and glistening, ambivalent theme The Golden Age, the festival investigated artistic approaches to the contemporary cornucopia and the yawning chasms it hides.

What the Press Said

«hervorragendes Avantgarde-Festival
→ Musikexpress, Albert Koch

«…an endlessly questing spirit, gave the festival its aim – to challenge as well as entertain.
→ FACT, Maya Kalev

«Das CTM ist das beste und wichtigste Festival für elektronische Musik im deutschsprachigen Raum. Punkt.
→ De:Bug, Michael Doeringer

«Le plus aventureux des festivals berlinois.
Berlin Poche

«Mag ein Jahr noch so müde und leer beginnen, spätestens Ende Januar erlebt es seinen ersten echten Höhepunkt in Form des CTM Festivals in Berlin.
→ Spex, Thomas Vorreyer

«Berlin’s CTM.13 has a fine heritage of uniting the electronic avant-garde with emissaries from contemporary dance culture.

«Fuer jeden, der sich fuer neue, avancierte... Popmusik interessiert, ist es zur wichtigsten Veranstaltung im Land geworden.
→ Berliner Zeitung, Jens Balzer

«CTM brings contemporary electronic and experimental music to the city and has grown to become one of the most anticipated annual events in Europe.
→ Electronic Beats

«Der theoretische Schatten wird stets mitgedacht und gefühlt. Man lässt Konzeptperformance, experimentelle Klangforscher oder selbst die clubdressierte Partymaus selig zueinander finden.
→ Rolling Stone, Henrik Boerger

«…an urban creep away from the city’s monotheistic techno stronghold toward the diverse ... interaction of sounds for the new underground. These are the growing pains of a transitioning cultural landscape surrounding CTM’s ‘The Golden Age’: a shift in favour of a genderless, genre-less and culturally inclusive forum for discourse and experimentation.
→ Dummy Magazine, Steph Kretowicz

«...CTM lands in Berlin, turning the city into a hub of forward-thinking electronic music performance and discussion... it hosts an extraordinary line-up, covering the myriad offshoots and evolutions in contemporary electronic music and club culture in 2013… and beyond.
→ Electronic Beats

Visual Identity

↑ CTM.13 visual identity, design studio grau.


A Cell of One ⦁A Guy Called Gerald ⦁ Adam Harper ⦁ Agnieszka Dziubak ⦁ Alberto de Campo, Hannes Hoelzl, Julian Rohrhuber and Students ⦁ Alec Empire ⦁ Alex Williams ⦁ Alexander Dorn ⦁ Alexandra Droener ⦁ Ali Demirel ⦁ Andreas L. Hofbauer ⦁ Andy Stott ⦁ Anika ⦁ Atom™ ⦁ Atsuhiro Ito

Bader Motor ⦁ Ben Coonley ⦁ Benjamin Weiss ⦁ Bill Kouligas ⦁ Biosphere ⦁ BlackBlackGold ⦁ Boris Hegenbart

Call Super ⦁ Carl Schilde ⦁ Carsten Nicolai & Students ⦁ Carsten Seiffarth ⦁ Cavern of Anti-Matter ⦁ Chmmr ⦁ Christian Vialard ⦁ Christoph Fringeli ⦁ Conor Thomas ⦁ Constant Dullaart ⦁ Cyriak 

Dan O'Hara ⦁ Daniel Tyradellis ⦁ David Dworsky & Victor Köhler ⦁ Dean Blunt ⦁ Demdike Stare ⦁ Derek Holzer ⦁ Diamond Version ⦁ DJ Sotofett ⦁ 
DJ Sprinkles ⦁ Doppeldenk 

EAN ⦁ Easton West ⦁ Ellen Blumenstein ⦁ Emptyset ⦁ Ensemble L’Art pour L’Art ⦁ Ernstalbrecht Stiebler ⦁ EVOL 

Felix Denk ⦁ Felix Kubin ⦁ Florian Hecker ⦁ Forest Swords ⦁ Frank Bretschneider ⦁ Frederik Rzewski 

Gatekeeper ⦁ Gerhard Steinke ⦁ Ghédalia Tazartès ⦁ Greco-Roman Soundystem ⦁ Günter Schickert 

Half Girl / Half Sick ⦁ Heatsick ⦁ Heavylistening ⦁ Heimo Lattner ⦁ Holly Herndon 

Iceage ⦁ Imogen Heap & collaborators ⦁ Ina Pillat ⦁
In That Weird Part 

Jar Moff ⦁ Jem the Misfit ⦁ Jennifer Lucy Allan ⦁ Joanie Lemercier ⦁ Johnnie Stieler ⦁ Jörg Franzmann ⦁ Justice Yeldham 

Katrin Rönicke ⦁ Keith Fullerton Whitman ⦁ Kenneth Goldsmith ⦁ Khyam Allami ⦁ Kode9 ⦁ Kuedo 

Lando Kal ⦁ Laurel Halo ⦁ Lea Fabrikant ⦁ Lee Gamble ⦁ Lisa Blanning ⦁  Lorenzo Senni ⦁ Lower Order Ethics ⦁ Lucas Abela ⦁ Luke Robert Mason 

Manfred Schneider ⦁ Marc Behrens ⦁ Marcell Mars ⦁ Marcel Weber & Lucy Benson (MFO) ⦁ Mark Archer ⦁ Machinedrum ⦁ Mark Fell ⦁ Mark Fisher ⦁ Mark Leckey ⦁ Martin Treml ⦁ Material Object ⦁ Matmos ⦁ Matthias Fritsch ⦁ Max Dax ⦁ Mykki Blanco ⦁ Myrninerest 

Nam June Paik ⦁ Necro Deathmort ⦁ Network Awesome ⦁ Nicolas Metall ⦁ Nicolas Moulin 

Oneirogen ⦁ Opium Hum ⦁ Orphan Drift 

Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory ⦁ People Like Us ⦁ Pete Swanson ⦁  Peter Kirn ⦁ Pharoah Chromium ⦁ Powell

Rabih Beaini ⦁ Ravi Shardja ⦁ Reznik ⦁ Robert Henke & Students

Sam Barker ⦁ Sammy Dee ⦁ Samuel Kerridge ⦁ Science Fiction Children ⦁  Sensate Focus ⦁ Set Mosaic ⦁ Shackleton ⦁ Shed ⦁ Simian Mobile Disco ⦁  Skream feat. Sgt Pokes ⦁ Solar Year ⦁ Soundstudio ⦁ Soundwalk Collective ⦁ Sun Worship ⦁ Sunn O))) 

Tabor Robak ⦁ Tarik Barri ⦁ Terre Thaemlitz ⦁ The Pitch ⦁ Theo Burt / The Automatics Group ⦁ The Ways Things May Go ⦁ Tim Exile ⦁  Tim Tetzner ⦁ Tm404 ⦁ Tom Ass ⦁ Tom Lamberty ⦁ Tony Marcus 

Ulf Eriksson ⦁ Ulrich Gutmair ⦁ UZ 

Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez ⦁ Vasilis Sarikis 

Werner Dafeldecker ⦁ Wife ⦁ Will Lynch ⦁ Wolfgang Ernst 

Xiu Xiu + Eugene S. Robinson: Sal Mineo