Uneasy times demand uneasy music.
The world is in turmoil. And so are many of us. No matter what perspective we take, what used to be familiar is becoming increasingly alien, oscillating widely between peril and hope, between regression and progress, between standstill and explosive change. Tensions are running high for all of us. But we can’t endure this strain for very long: we are worn down by the overload of polarised politics, of self-righteous agitation, of digital deceit, of neglect and unbridled narcissism paired with authoritarianism, of unevaluated technologies disrupting the fabrics of our community, of the libertarian recklessness of their apologists, of environmental crisis and pervasive violence. All the while, we try to engage with the new complexities of a multipolar world and its increasingly diverse societies, and attempt to distinguish vapid “virtue signaling” from earnest commitment. Squeezed under an almost inescapable regime of permanent excitation, we burn out, we retreat, and we can’t help but to normalise the madness, the pace, the anxiety. Yet, masking the turmoil comes at a price too – a creeping, subterranean unease gains traction and eats away at us
In such a situation, what can we hope to get from music?
Music has always been a remedy for the ruthlessness of this world, yet also a tool for altering our own being in this world. CTM 2018 looks for music and sound that deals with growing strain and that unsettles us for a reason. That doesn’t escape the immanence of our troubles. Music and sound that mirrors the dissonance of the world and resonates with our anxieties. Music and sound that aims to articulate discontent and protest. That shakes up our habits by invading our safety zones and transgressing norms. That cracks open fixed identities in order to bring us into contact with each other. Music that calls for empathy to stir us out of the dullness of our apathy, and to question our compliance with, and complicity in, everyday exploitation and violence. Sound that makes us feel to make us think. Music that cancels out our pains with pain. That deadens inner agitation with external uproar. Sound that provides outlets for our accumulated angers. Music that thrills and exhausts in order to allow a rare moment of rest. Music that mistrusts itself, that challenges fraud with fraud, excess with excess, and consumerism with consumerism. Music that simultaneously feeds and undermines our social media-driven self-deception. Music that allows for another kind of distance despite the intrusiveness of its touch. Music that exposes us to forms of life and ways of experiencing that are foreign to us. Sound which evokes future realities that lie in wait on the horizon. Sound that motions toward new trajectories.
Or so we hope. Yet one person’s hope could also be another person’s fear.
CTM 2018 examines the state of music and sound practice in the face of a confusing and critical present. What is the sound of turmoil? What is an aesthetic of tumult? Is answering the world’s turmoil with aesthetic turmoil our only viable strategy? Hasn’t this long been co-opted by the very forces we try to resist? Should we not, in the face of conflict’s escalating logic and capitalism’s voracious desire for intensification, move on to explore the opposite: an aesthetics of placidness and disengagement? Or which other sonic and musical responses could we conceive of as an antidote, for both the present and the future? How can music in the year 2018 express protest and formulate new futures, both personal and political?
«A celebration of the human spirit»
→ Crack Magazine, Anna Tehabsim + Graeme Bateman
«Explorant en profondeur la sphère musicale actuelle»
→ Les Inrocks, Jérôme Provençal
«CTM Festival remains consciously uncomfortable»
→ Beyond the drop
«CTM remains a miniaturised crash course in modern underground culture and experimental art, compressing months or even years of experiences into a hyper-intense week. When it comes to the breadth, scope, and consistency of such a festival, CTM is tough to match. It poses questions and answers them all at once, and leaves you with bottomless food for thought. And, yeah, you’ll also have a fantastic few nights out clubbing.»
→ The Quietus, Tristan Bath
«In a time where festival line-ups look increasingly homogenous, and ticket sales are valued above compelling creative choices, CTM paves the way in presenting something thrillingly unfamiliar.»
→ Mixmag, Patrick Huton
«Es geht der CTM um das Abenteuer, mit Musik mehr zu meinen als bloß Musik. Mehr als ein Stimmungsregler im Auto, beim Joggen, Kuscheln, Kochen oder Tanzen. Bei der CTM will Musik das Leben nicht nur schmücken, sondern dem Leben ähneln. Schroff und schön, widerspenstig und geschmeidig, laut und leise, jung und alt.»
→ Der Spiegel, Tobi Müller
«A festival like CTM is not only a space for debate, enlightening and sharing art and knowledge but also a platform for the marginalized voices to break through and present another perspective on present social and political twist and turns. We might ask ourselves why homophobia, misogyny, and structural racism still are thing we have to fight against. And it is not something a music festival can change alone but it is encouraging to see organisers taking some responsibility and a desire for a positive change in a world in turmoil.»
«Identitäten werden geformt und verflüssigt, Orientierungen gesucht und verloren, Hierarchien über den Haufen geworfen und neu verfugt: Ein feines Wasch- und Schleuderprogramm für die Sinne, das uns ein bisschen alltagsfitter zurück in die Welt schickt. »
→ Berliner Zeitung, Marcus Schneider
↑ CTM 2018 – TURMOIL Trailer, made by Oliver Thomas and Marius Rehmet of Vojd. Music by NAKED.
CTM Festival's 19th edition took place from 26 January – 4 February 2018 in Berlin venues HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, Berghain, YAAM, Festsaal Kreuzberg, SchwuZ, Club OST, and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien.
Under the title Turmoil – CTM 2018 examined the state of music and sound practice in the face of a confusing and critical present. What is the sound of turmoil?
Over 300 artists and participants from 30 countries contributed to some190 performances and projects that made up the CTM 2018 programme, which also included the premiere of numerous commissioned works. A focus on the intersection of sound and movement included a retrospective on Ernest Berk by Company Christoph Winkler, and works by Lotic & Roderick George, Rashaad Newsome, and Hitmakerchinx & DJ Aaron. An A.I. in music was explored via the MusicMakers Hacklab and various performances and talks. A special 5-day programme in 4DSOUND was also conceived for the festival together with the MONOM Centre for Spatial Sound, and the spectacular SKALAR light and sound installation was hosted at Kraftwerk Berlin in collaboration with WHITEVoid.
The 8-day Transfer programme encompassed the Discourse series of artist talks and film screenings, the 6th edition of the collaborative MusicMaker’s Hacklab for music technology, the Research Networking Day hosted by Humboldt University's Department of Musicology, a Network Speed Dating session, and the CTM exhibition.
As always, the CTM festival was held in parallel to and in collaboration with transmediale – festival for art and digital culture which took place at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. CTM and transmediale also hosted the citywide Vorspiel initiative together with over 40 local venues and organisations.
↑ CTM 2018 magazine, folder, exhibition booklet, and posters. Design by Marius Rehmet (VOJD).
108 page CTM 2018 magazine
AAA–AAA • Aden Evens • AGF • Aimee Cliff • Albertine Sarges • Alexandra Bondi de Antoni • Alexis Waltz • Amenra • Andrzej Wasilewski • Angel • Anne de Vries • Antwood
Bad Gyal • Bampa Pana & Makaveli • Batu • Bestial Mouths • Bliss Signal • Boo Lean aka Lauren Goshinski • Born in Flamez • Borusiade • Boys Noize
Carla Schriever • Celestial Trax • Cevdet Erek • Champion • Christine Kakaire • Christopher Bauder • Christoph Winkler • Colleen • Coral Foxworth • coucou chloe • Cuntroaches
DAF • Dahlia Borsche • Daniel Spicer • Darkraver • David Friend • Dengue Dengue Dengue • DJ Heroin • DJ Occult • DJ Panic • DJ Storm • Drew McDowall
Elena Colombi • Elissa Stolman • Emily Manzo • Emma Robertson • Equiknoxx ft Shanique Marie • Ernest Berk • Ernstalbrecht Steiler • Errorsmith • Esa • Estela Oliva
FAKA • FIS • Flava D • Florence To • Frédérick A. Belzile
Gaika • Gene Kogan • George Lewis • Gilke Vanuytsel • GOOOOOSE • group A • Guy Ben-Ary
Hanno Leichtmann • Heatsick aka Steven Warwick • HAJ300 • Hanin Elias • Hanna Bächer • HDMIRROR • Henrik Jungaberle • Hitmakerchinx & DJ Aaron • hoe_mies • Holly Herndon • houaïda • Hugo Esquinca • Hunni’d Jaws • Hyph11E
Ian Helliwell • Ikonika • IOANN • Ioann Maria • Ivo Gurschler • Ivy Lab
Jace Clayton • James Ferraro • Jana Rush • Jason Hou • JASSS • Jenna Sutela • Jessica Ekomane • Jlin • John Connell • Josa Peit • Jules Laplace • Julian Rohrhuber • Julius Eastman
KABLAM • Kangding Ray • Kat Young • Keira Sinclair • Kilbourne • Klein • Klitclique • Kos_mic q’andi
Lakuti • Lamin Fofana • Laurel Halo • Lawrence Lek • Leigh Alexander • Lisa Blanning • Lotic • Lucrecia Dalt • Luz • Lyndon CS Way • Lyra
Marc Acardipane • Marco Donnarumma • Marcus Gammel • Marcus Schmickler • Marshall Vincent • Mat Dryhurst • Matthias Haenisch • Maximillian Marcoll • MC Serious • Medusa’s Bed • Mollie Zhang • Moritz Simon Geist
Nadah el Shazly • NAH • NAKED • Nene H • Nihiloxica
Okkyung Lee • Olaf Nicolai • Olivia • Opium Hum
Pamela Shobeß • Pan Daijing • Patrick Primavesi • Pedro Oliveira • Perel • Perera Elsewhere • Peter Flemming • Peter Kirn • Philip Vermeulen • Phon.o • Pixelord
RAMZi • Rashaad Newsome • Rashad Becker • Recondite • Rene Bosch • Roderick George • Roscoe Mitchell • RoxXxan • Ruth Timmermans
Sam Barker • Sarah Farina • Schwefelgelb • Scott Kelly w John Judkins • Sega Bodega • Shygirl • Smiley Baldwin • Soda Plains • Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop • Special Request • Stefan Römer • Stella Plazonja • Swan Meat
TCF • Teun Vonk • Theo Nabicht • Torsten Schmidt • Tristan Bath
UCC Harlo • Uta
Wesley Goatley • WIXAPOL S.A.
Zorka Wollny • Zoya Bassi • ZULI • Zuri Maria Daiß