This event juxtaposes several mesmeric, catharsis-causing rhythmic manifestos.
Michail Stangl (CTM co-curator, one of the people behind Boiler Room Berlin, co-organiser of the Leisure System parties and label, and all round progressive force on the Berlin club scene) aka Opium Hum makes the conditions right for a night-long waking dream with his fantastical soundscapes and subterranean, shifting pulses. The first live act, Polish experimental quartet T'ien Lai, combines drones with spiraling psychedelia and live percussion to create heavily distorted, ritualistic dance music. The project borrows from Le Corbusier's architecture and the materialist side of magic realism and has been described as "magic brutalism." Another industrially-minded affair, Esplendor Geométrico, was founded in Madrid in the early 1980s by Arturo Lanz, Gabriel Riaza, and Juan Carlos Sastre and now consists of Arturo Lanz and Saverio Evangelista. These pioneers, whose gritty sounds incorporate Arabic and Chinese influences, have recently performed live with members of Throbbing Gristle, Coil, and Chris and Cosey.
Next, phenomenon Kassem Mosse delivers one of the immersive live sets he has become so famous for. These sets combine unreleased material with off-the-cuff jams on a rotating setup of synths, keyboards, and drum machines. His music runs the gamut from raw, machine-driven workouts to smoggy ambience, alien noise, and swooping melodic arcs, and always defies comfortable brackets of tempo, texture and timbre Reticent acid techno mastermind Gesloten Cirkel, who released his latest M-011/M-012 on Murder Capital in September, is a kind of producer’s producer; his virtuosity and sophistication have turned him into a cult favorite over the years. A better person to hold the reigns during peak hour at Berghain is hardly imaginable.
He hands off the last baton to German-born Alienata, whose special, charged touch fuses “deep analogue textures, dark, sexual hybrids, cosmic rhythm, and aquatic electro”.
Throughout the evening, video work “The Great Puddle” by duo GrawBöckler is on display in the ground floor entrance hall. Generally shallow enough to walk through and with a tendency to gather on roadsides on rainy days or from backed-up sewers, the non-transparent water in puddles hide all sorts of object - from dangerous items like broken glass, to rubbish or small lost knickknacks. GrawBöckler invited friends and acquaintances in different cities such as Novosibirsk, Valencia, Gotland, London, Berlin or Buenos Aires to take a swim in these transient pools, creating an urban recreational activity that also brings back childhood memories of rainy play. The project was supported by Goethe-Institut Novosibirsk, the SoCCoS network and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
"The line on Kassem Mosse used to be that he was responsible for some of the least conventional house and techno out there," Resident Advisor has observed. "Then strange became almost normal, and the far-off corner of club music he'd carved out began to feel closer to the center."
Very little is known about the producer behind Gesloten Cirkel's skewed electro and EBM; save for a handful of DJ sets, he has remained shrouded in anonymity for the entirety of his career.
Since its inception in the early eighties, Esplendor Geométrico has been a key force in Spain's industrial music scene. The group's sound has mutated with its membership over the years, but is summed up by Secret Thirteen as "distorted mechanistic soundscapes... monolith precise rhythmics [and] traces of coldwave and synth music."
Spanish-born, Berlin-based DJ Alienata is a self-described sound obsessive whose sets span obscure electro, acid, dub, IDM, dark disco, jackbeat, and cosmic jazz.
Polish experimental quartet T'ien Lai combines drone with spiraling psychedelia and live percussion to create heavily distorted, ritualistic dance music. The project borrows from Le Corbusier's brutalist architecture and the materialist side of magic realism and is described as "magic brutalism.
Graw Böckler is the joint project of Berlin-based artists Ursula Böckler and Georg Graw, who together and independently work across the popular formats of video and still photography. In collaboration since 1997 and longtime affiliates of CTM Festival, the pair specialise in making music videos and loops, experimental films, and unauthorised commercials.
Opium Hum aka Michail Stangl – CTM co-curator, organizer of Boiler Room Berlin, initiator of Berghain's ≠ (not equal) series, co-organizer of the Leisure System parties and all-around progressive force on the Berlin club scene – nourishes his DJ sets via sombre, hazy drones and fantastical soundscapes permeated by deep and shifting rhythms to create what can only be called a waking dream.