CTM collaborates for the first time this year with Neukölln’s Werkstatt der Kulturen. The cooperation’s inaugurative evening features several artists who channel disparate and eclectic influences for kaleidoscopic results.
On the main floor, DJ sets by Pharoah Chromium bookend each act. The creative collective Batuk, founded by South African electronic music producers Aero Manyelo and Spoek Mathambo together with vocalist Manteiga, uses house music as a vehicle to connect the African diaspora. Maurice Louca shatters the confines of musical categories by absorbing styles ranging from psychedelia to Egyptian shaabi. The Lebanese-Swiss duo Praed employs the experimental electronic music and free jazz traditions to tweak samples from Middle Eastern popular media.
Following a DJ set by New Yorker Dis Fig, the club room at Werkstatt der Kulturen honours the buzzed-about Mexican label NAAFI by presenting two of its most important producers, Zutzut and Paul Marmota. The Puerto Escondido-based initiative and collective, like Berlin’s Janus crew, assembles and absorbs musical trends from the world over at a steady clip, overseeing the production of styles from ballroom house to grime to Jersey club and tribal. Renaissance Man have long been known for their relentlessly playful techno inventions.
The foyer presents hand-picked sounds by experts in novel musical frontiers. Ziad Nawfal is a Beirut-based DJ, radio host, music promoter and producer. He has spent the better part of the last 20 years excavating, researching, and exposing local and regional independent music talent on his long-standing radio shows ‘Ruptures’ and ‘Decalages’ on Radio-Lebanon 96.2FM. The Seattle label Sublime Frequencies picks up where most Western musical initiatives leave off; that is, on the “extra-geographical” frontiers that seem both psychologically and literally as off-map as off-road. They’ll be given free reign to show off some of their findings.
Producer, DJ, and artist Alejandro Núñez aka zutzut is one of the most celebrated artists on the deviceful label NAAFI. Núñez grew up in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, and belongs to a group of young producers in the Oaxaca region that is occupied with reconciling the club music conventions of European and U.S. American metropolises with the sonic inclinations of traditional cultures and site-specific subgenres.
Martti Kalliala and Ville Haimala have already long been known for their relentlessly playful techno inventions as Renaissance Man. The duo was born in the Helsinki architecture office where they both worked before moving to Berlin. Their first EP, Spraycan, was put out in 2009 on London’s Dubsided Records.
28-year-old Paul Marmota was born in Chile and moved to Mexico City in 2010. He is co-founder of the label and collective NAAFI. Upon his arrival in Mexico City, he began organising the earliest of the operation’s small club nights. Now, as the A&R manager, he is responsible for defining NAAFI’s eclectic output, and as a signed producer and touring artist, he personally represents its vision.
Batuk, a collective comprising South African electronic music producers Aero Manyelo and Spoek Mathambo, vocalist Manteiga, and poet Carla Fonseca, merges house music with expressive practices from throughout the continent and African diaspora.
Maurice Louca, an Egyptian musician and composer born in Cairo, is one of the most exciting artists in the Arab world's alternative music scene.
The music of Swiss-Lebanese duo Praed reflects the complexities and tensions of contemporary Egyptian society by combining Arabic popular and trance musics with free jazz and electronics.
Pharoah Chromium, the solo project of German-Palestinian artist Ghazi Barakat, is a mutoid blend of post-krautrock, psychedelism ambiant, and ruminating landscapes. Heat wave, half coma, and clammy mattress. Dusty landscape on the terminal beach; the Fata Morgana morph into oil wells on fire. It’s free jazz, ancient rituals, science fiction, via a variety of flutes and electronics. His latest LP, Chromosphere, was released on the 2015 UK imprint Deep Distance.
Seattle-based imprint Sublime Frequencies excavates musical obscurities from urban and rural sites across the globe – music which is typically overlooked by the global music industry, mainstream media, and academia.
As a DJ, radio host, promoter, label head and more, Ziad Nawfal has helped to champion Lebanon's alternative music scene and bring it to greater visibility both within and beyond Beirut.