CTM joins forces with Red Bull Music to close its 19th edition on sonically divergent notes. For a fourth year in a row, the two partners have collaboratively assembled two back-to-back events.
The Red Bull Music x CTM high-voltage closing concert will act as a grand finale to the festival’s 10-day marathon of musical Turmoil. And no band epitomizes such turmoil more than legendary techno-primitivists Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft or DAF. Formed in 1978, the group consists of Gabriel "Gabi" Delgado-López on vocals and Robert Görl on percussion & electronics. They quickly set out to challenge even those who meant to be most provocative themselves: the punk circles at Düsseldorf’s infamous Rattinger Hof. Says Gabi: "Robert studied music. I was rooted in the the punk scene though I never wrote 'Sex Pistols' on my leather jacket, but rather 'Yves Saint Laurent' to provoke the Punks." DAF wanted to keep up the energy and DIY philosophy of punk but through an utterly new, as-yet unheard sound based on new electronic machines. With a stripped-down mix of aggressive militant beats, minimal synth lines, and expressive vocals, they created a style that is as cold, calculated, and uncompromising as it is corporeal, arousing, and hedonistic. Little did they know this would end up providing a new blueprint for electronic dance music for generations to follow; an electrifyingly corporeal, disciplined, and mobilizing music in perfect unity with elliptic, equally arousing German lyrics shouted in imperative speech. This signature vocal style was an echo of the old Hollywood movies that the Spanish-born Delgado watched as a kid, and that fascinated and amused him with their depiction of Nazis that did nothing but shout commands.
Provocation, subverting expectations, and messing up taboos have always been at the core of DAF’s campy enactment of totalitarian manoeuvres and lustrous, hard-bodied sex, of their arty abstractions, and their politically-charged mockery which they aimed against all ideologies: "We make music for the booty and for the brain. Music that is rhythmic and intelligent at the same time. The main thing is that it makes you move."
Revisiting the band’s almost 40-year history, DAS IST DAF, the first authorized biography of DAF, was published last month. A new box set of DAF’s seminal first four albums was also published by Grönland Records this September. It includes remixes by Boys Noize and others.
Opening the night, Berlin via NYC & LA darkwave outfit Bestial Mouths combines pumping industrial synth lines with raw, fearless vocals that range from operatic, extended-technique furies to shouted monologues. Their bewitching music takes audiences on a dialectical journey juxtaposing consciousness and unconsciousness. Vocalist Lynette Cerezo recounts soul-shaking visions with anecdotal abstractions from her personal past, invoking the darkest depths of the human condition.
Following the concert, a spirited afterparty at the multi-room club and community center SchwuZ, which since its establishment in 1977 has been an indispensable resource in Berlin’s gay and queer scenes, will spotlight a range of voices to celebrate the diversity and unity that has shaped the very foundations of club culture.
Curator and founder of the Burschenschaft Hysteria sorority, Marlene Engel aka Angel warms up the main floor ahead of post-digital art/feminist duo Klitclique, who will break open their vault of neo-electronic low-tech sounds and satirical word ammunition.
South African performance art duo and NON Worldwide affiliates FAKA, i.e. Fela Gucci and Desire Marea, explore “the intricacies of love and romance within the black queer experience” via “ancestral gqom-gospel” sonics, video, literature, and photography.
Multifaceted producer and vocalist Born In Flamez, a co-curator of this year’s club programme, will grace us with an eclectic DJ set drawing inspiration from the fringes of club music. In the process of traversing the nether-regions of grime, industrial pop, and future electronics, s/he subverts both genre and gender.
A core member of London’s Butterz record label, Flava D creates energetic club sets at the confluence of house, UK garage, and grime. The prolific producer has remixed the likes of Craig David and Diplo, while receiving airtime support from veterans like DJ EZ and frequent collaborator Wiley.
Longtime CTM collaborator Opium Hum rounds out the night.
The second floor at Schwuz features electronic solo projects from 33EMYBW and GOOOOSE, two members of Duck Fight Goose, one of the best-known bands currently propelling Shanghai’s nascent experimental rock scene.
Cairo’s ZULI, who will also be presenting his winning proposal for the CTM 2018 Radio Lab within the festival’s exhibition, will appear for a live set highlighting his unconventional broken rhythms and plenty of alien timbres.
As one of the Metalheadz label's chief selectors, the ‘First Lady of Drum and Bass’, DJ Storm, has been tirelessly representing the crew at their residencies, label nights, and tours as well as killing the dancefloor with countless solo gigs.
Closing the night, previously announced producer Pixelord assembles tributes to an imagined future with dystopian sci-fi / video-game aesthetics. His marriages of new IDM with UK bass and glitch range from the somber to the ecstatic.