In the first CTM 2015 concert at Berghain, Elisabeth Schimana's "Höllenmaschine" will pose as a symbol whose metaphoric power contains the breadth and depth to encompass the expressive projects of each of the night's other performers. The remaining three acts offer their own tailored portrayal of or reaction to despondence but cumulatively will form a statement so grand and omnipresent it might easily be imagined emanating from a "hellish machine."
Elisabeth Schimana's “Höllenmaschine” journeys into the depths of a monstrous sound machine, the Max Brand Synthesizer, built by the young Robert Moog and based upon the ideas of Austrian composer Max Brand. Beginning in 1957 and requiring more than decade to build, this “machine from hell” is seen as the forefather of the famous Moog Synthesizer. At the same time it embodies the legacy of the overlooked Max Brand, who died in 1980 in Langenzersdorf, Austria, the same town where this synthesizer is kept operational thanks to the Max Brand Archives. Elisabeth Schimana’s composition helps the enormous and technically punishing instrument, whose operation requires two people, to reach its full potential. Coaxing the listener into a machinic alien sound world, Schimana unleashes a dense mass of subharmonic frequencies overloaded with disharmony, noise, subtle spectral and temporal shifts, and exposes the formidable energy radiating from the machine’s powerful electrical circuitry. Schimana performs with machine operators Gregor Ladenhauf and Manon Lui Winter.
Swedish artist Peder Mannerfelt will appear in support of his first solo release from this past year. Formerly working under the techno alias The Subliminal Kid and known as half of Roll the Dice, Mannerfelt has also collaborated with Fever Ray and remixed artists such as Massive Attack and Bat for Lashes. As suggested by its title, Mannerfelt’s debut full-length, Lines Describing Circles (Digitalis, 2014), enters more abstract and experimental territory. Slow paces, heavy percussion, and thick, mantra-like beats play with listeners’ perception and shrink the lines between chaos and order, hypnotism and piercing awareness, linearity and cyclical form, to mere spider silk.
A man of many names, Kevin Martin aka The Bug has wandered further into territories of sonic intensity than most would dare to. For more than two decades, his monstrous jazz maelstroms with God, the menacing lead-heavy beats of Techno Animal and Ice, the sinister fever dreams of King Midas Sound or the dread-infused dancehall of The Bug overwhelm listeners with schizophrenic signals that interlace alluring beauty and extremism. His most recent release, Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune), was one of 2014’s most acclaimed albums. On the 27th, Kevin Martin will present his new project “Sirens." Performed on his own sound system and further amplified via Berghain’s formidable Function One equipment, the piece promises to be different to any previous Bug show one might have experienced. Constructed from sirens, foghorns, and bass drones, the rhythmless, immersive work affects a complete body/mind wash and evaporates all sense of time and place.
Justin Broadrick, a trailblazer in a variety of heavy music genres, will present his solo project JK Flesh. Ever since he first performed, at the age of 16, as a guitarist with UK Grindcore pioneers Napalm Death, he has garnered decades of respect as a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and general musical visionary behind Godflesh, Techno Animal (with Kevin Martin), Final and Jesu among throes of other accomplishments. All of these projects warp the straightjacket of metal as we know it, alloying it and scaring off purists with elements of hip hop, jazz, dub, drum n’ bass, power electronics, drone. With JK Flesh, Broadrick renders Godflesh’s sound anew, infusing its signature distorted guitar riffs and washes of feedback noise with programmed beats that owe much to recent techno and UK bass music, and ultimately inducing disquieting moments of bleakness and exhaustion.
Kevin Martin aka The Bug is a prolific British musician and record producer known for his full-scale mastery of sonic intensity. For over two decades, Martin has commandeered a multiverse of projects including the monstrous jazz maelstroms of God, the menacing, lead-heavy beats of Techno Animal, the feverish dreams of King Midas Sound, and the dread-infused dancehall of The Bug.
Ever since he first appeared at the age of 16, as guitarist with UK Grindcore pioneers Napalm Death, Justin Broadrick has garnered decades of respect as a singer, instrumentalist, producer, and general musical visionary behind Godflesh, Techno Animal (with Kevin Martin), Final, and Jesu among throes of other accomplishments. JKFlesh is one of Broadrick’s first solo reinventions.
Elisabeth Schimana is an Austrian composer and performer that has worked in experimental music composition and radio since 1983. Schimana has initiated projects for Austria’s ORF Kunstradio and the Theremincenter Moscow. She is also the founder of the IMA - Institute for Media Archaeology. Her work often approaches topics of space, body, and electronics.
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