On September 2nd, CTM’s Berghain-based Polymorphism series continues with an anniversary celebration for Diagonal Records, one of Europe’s most obstinate and prolific labels, musical networks, and creative incentives. Launched by Oscar Powell five years ago, Diagonal has come to be known for its intrepid, absurdist rhythmic innovations. Its deep-impact output is as playful as it is cocky, as gaudy as it is black and white, and as elastic as it is heavy-hitting. It gives its artists, who all have versatile capabilities and steadfast affinities for noise, a platform to hone their brainy powers into hi-def, acidic bendiness. For Polymorphism, Diagonal label heads Powell, Jamie Williams, and Jeremy Johnson join the label’s core crew and bring in like-minded artists from the label’s orbit of friends.
Level Jezzle, the DJ alias of Diagonal co-boss Jeremy Johnson, opens the evening with a short tour through the label’s archives and forthcoming material. Berlin’s N.M.O., a duo between percussionist Morten J. Olsen and computer musician Ruben Patiño, bring their military space music or "fluxus techno", often performed in the form of athletic endurance tests in its live version. Helena Hauff takes her kindred aesthetic and insistently lo-fi means to the DJ booth. Powell himself performs one of the trademark, stunning live sets that first got the Diagonal ball rolling. This one will consist of all new material. Drexciya affiliate DJ Stingray, Detroit’s slightly funkier answer to London’s assertions, provides some fresh air with his faster tempos, fine motor skills, and melodic sequences before teaming up with long-time Diagonal blood brother and hardware fanatic Russell Haswell, known for his violently tabulated noise. EVOL delivers a cleansing dose of laser incision with their "computer music for hooligans" while Not Waving, a representative of “new beta,” brings it home after a long tour of North America with the troop. Conor Thomas, who co-runs The Death of Rave and Boomkat editions, closes with a DJ set.