The Golden Age is a vast sea to jump into – this pre-festival evening gives a first idea of its endless fluidity by showcasing artists with very different approaches, yet a common resoluteness when it comes to conceptualizing the dance floor as an arena for restless experimentation off the beaten paths of today’s club culture.
As Sensate Focus Mark Fell explores musical patterns that layer off-kilter beat structures with funk and flair, making decades-old ideas sound brand new. Risk-taking of another kind is the expertise of Justice Yeldham, notorious for smashing contact-mic’ed glass sheets onto his face to produce unearthly squalls. Pete Swanson renders Techno dysfunctional with his wild and entirely improvised 4/4 noise extracted from erratic hardware. Heavylistening explore aural perception and sonic phenomena by spinning several copies of their latest release, WOW, a vinyl record that contains a single, ultra-low bass tone that rings at the frequency of 33,3 Hz when played at 33 1/3 rpm. The night is rounded out with DJ sets from label founders known for running imprints that fully embrace today’s radically open aesthetic; Kontra Music’s Ulf Eriksson, and PAN’s Bill Kouligas, who plays back-to-back with Morphine’s Rabih Beaini.
Bill Kouligas is a Berlin-based artist, designer and musician. As the founder of PAN, a multidisciplinary platform and record label which recalibrates perceptions of forward-thinking sound practices, he has curated and art-directed the label for almost ten years.
Heavylistening are Berliners Carl Schilde and Anselm Venezian Nehls. They fuse ideas and concepts of popular music and the reflective sensitivity of contemporary art to create highly specific sonic experiences.
A major figure in the US and international noise scenes and well-known as one half of the now disbanded cult noise duo Yellow Swans, Pete Swanson is concerned with cathartic, physical, extreme electronic music.
Ulf Eriksson is a seasoned DJ, Red Bull Music Academy alumnus, and the chief of highly regarded Swedish outpost Kontra-Musik. Over nearly a decade in operation, the label has built a reputation for its broad-spectrum stylistic profile, specializing in what favoured German selector Gerd Janson describes as elegant techno offset by true-school house and ambient textures.