A 3-year initiative co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the SHAPE platform reunites 16 European non-profit organisations active within the ICAS – International Cities of Advanced Sound network to create a platform that aims to support, promote, and exchange innovative and aspiring emergent musicians and interdisciplinary artists with an interest in sound. For three consecutive years beginning with 2015, the organisations will support a total of 144 artists.
SHAPE launches its second year at CTM 2016 with a Meet and Greet on Thursday 4 January at the Projektraum of the Kunstquartier Bethanien. All interested artists, professionals, and the general public are welcome to come meet SHAPE coordinators! Directly following, the Network Speed Dating assembles a selection of SHAPE platform organisers who will meet in short, one-on-one sessions with pre-registered participants. A great chance to present your work and to find out more about the diverse festivals and events that collaborate on making SHAPE happen!
Public sessions at the MusicMakers Hacklab round out the SHAPE platform's involvement in the CTM 2016 programme. This year's collaborative environment for musicians featured three public talks by musicians Wukir Suryadi (of Senyawa), duo gamut inc, and Native Instrument's Head of Interactivity Gösta Wellmer, who discussed various practices in conceiving and creating instruments.
SHAPE artists at CTM 2016
Over the past decade, Peder Mannerfelt has served as one half of analogue electronics duo Roll the Dice, worked with Fever Ray, and remixed artists such as Massive Attack and Bat for Lashes. While response to early efforts under his own name—including 2013's Stockholm Recorded EP and a pair of 12"s for his eponymous label, Peder Mannerfelt Productions—was somewhat muted, the crushing dynamics of his Lines Describing Circles full-length for Digitalis the following year forced critics to sit up and take notice. At CTM 2016's opening weekend, Mannerfelt will premiere a live version of his most recent The Swedish Congo Record LP. Released on Yves de Mey and Peter Van Hoesen’s Archives Intérieurs label, the concept album recreates one of the first recordings of the sounds of central Congo. Using synthesizers only, Mannerfelt recreates these historic recordings made in 1935-36 by Belgian filmmaker Armand Denis and published in 1950 on a now-obscure 78 rpm record as The Belgian Congo Records. The Swedish Congo Record acts as a remembrance of a dark passage in Congolese and Belgian history and raises questions about how to artistically relate to such charged material.
KABLAM kicked off her DJ career as a resident at Berlin's genre-bending Janus parties alongside Lotic and M.E.S.H. The combination of glossy melodies, hyperactive hi-hats, and bold rhythms found in her productions offer a sound that is allusive, brash, and completely new.
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."
Native Instrument is a Berlin-based duo that brings together the field recording archive of the Australian sound artist Felicity Mangan with the precise and minimal vocabulary of Norwegian vocalist Stine Janvin Motland. Their music is built from electronic and vocal adaptations of animal and insect recordings, originating mainly from Australian and North European fauna. The organic mix of bug beats and atmospheric soundscapes uncovers a sonic ambiguity between rural nature, electronics, and the human voice, creating a peculiar, mellow insect techno.
Norwegian Lush life advocate Charlotte Bendiks loosens up the dance floor with her signature mix of euphoric house, African groove, and Latin beats. Bendiks grew up in Tromsø, the techno capital of Norway, and became interested in electronic music at a young age. Her first solo release, the Afterhours EP, was published in January 2013 by LOVE OD Communications. When she is not playing, working or crate-digging, the DJ´s favourite activity is chilling naked in a jacuzzi with a glass of Möet in each hand.
Two 2015 alumni also appear within the festival's 10 days:
Laying her Kate Wax moniker to rest after releases on Trevor Jackson’s Output and James Holden’s Border Community, the enigmatic Aïsha Devi embarked on a new adventure with Danse Noire, her sanctuary-label, in 2013. The label is dedicated to exploring abstracted techno/club structures, and Devi’s own music references her Tibetan and Nepalese heritage and uses machines to transmute deep meditation. Having successfully debuted her newest full-length, Of Matter And Spirit full length (Houndstooth) live this past October in Berlin, Devi returns to premiere her first live A/V show. Devi’s music is accompanied by visuals by rising Chinese artist Tianzhuo Chen, who recomposes his existing video and performance materials into a mad whirlwind. Colourful, grotesque, and kitsch imagery dominated by direct references to drugs, LGBT hip-hop, the London rave scene, Japanese Butoh, and voguing forge intimate connections to our daily lives, in which everything a celebrity says or does creates new mythologies. The performance is rounded out by dancer Beio.
Romanian-born Berliner Borusiade lays the groundwork with bruising combinations of minimal wave, dark disco, and acidic, rough-shod house. Her upcoming 2016 EP, Jeopardy, will come out on Chilean-born Matias Aguayo’s forward-thinking Cómeme imprint.