This night at Berghain brings together sound adventurers from avant-garde pop. Equipped with a microscopically precise sense of the complex interactions of individual tonal reagents, Kuedo, d’Eon, Holly Herndon, and Forest Swords each employ systematic scientific rigour to create their unique signature sounds.
Yet despite such conscious control, the processes they use to generate music are highly experimental, emphatic, and not lacking in playful wit. The results transcend the formulas they knowledgeably concoct from countless ingredients. The common thread here is the increasingly important role played by artistic sensitivities honed both by the infinite sources of open digital archives, and a personal fascination with specific themes. Such focused stances enable these artists to leave behind tired, beaten paths and synthesize new musical compounds; Pop-Non-Pop polymers that react with the organic fabrics of personal emotion and intuition, yet paradoxically are also broadly referential and hyper-synthetic– and well on their way into genre-less space.
Since 2001, Lucy Benson & Marcel Weber produce visual media in the form of live visual performances, music videos, and installations. Their captivating visual worlds are the result of rigorous experimentation with computers, optics and real materials.
A Cell of One is a Berlin-based DJ and collector whose recent sets – during shared bills with Excepter, Nguzunguzu, and Pharoah Chromium – have been explorations of 4th world ethnodelics and the outer reaches of the global bass continuum, combining mystic percussion, digital exotica, and post-market crash melancholia to create a very personal 21st century dreamscape.
Chris d’Eon is from the same Montreal experimental DIY loft milieu as Grimes. After spending his formative years steeped in classical piano training, d’Eon tore through hardcore noise punk and now trades in psychedelic out-pop with releases on Divorce Records, Hippos In Tanks, and Arbutus.
Forest Swords is Matthew Barnes’ solo project. Barnes, who is based in windswept Wirral, a coastal town near Liverpool, began releasing gauzy, hometown-flavoured drone-pop on cassette in 2009. His debut EP, Dagger Paths, was released by US label Olde English Spelling Bee / No Pain In Pop in 2010.
Making his name as part of British dubstep duo Vex’d along with Roly Porter, Jamie Teasedale’s reinvention as Kuedo has been part of a gradual process towards finding his own musical voice.