CTM’s second Saturday moves over to YAAM. On the main stage, co-curated with Temp Affairs, acts from the UK and North America ranging from mainstream to niche are interspersed with Berlin locals whose work broadens the geographies of hip-hop and world rhythm at large.
Lex Lugner, the beat chef for Austrian cloud rap names like Yung Hurn and Crack Ignaz and a member of the Hanuschplatzflow crew, warms up the stage followed by Berlin-based Igor Botur, whose style behind the decks unites “sparky house, vivacious, new school rap, vital post-internet world music, and dominating 808s” for a “performative, pervy presence and pure, vigorous body music.” Max Boss and Stine Omar are the post-human, post-gender Berlin campus cool kids Easter. Boss creates imaginative, promising instrumentals tracks, and Omar delivers nonplussed lyric poems in expressionless recitations. Although they have been releasing material together since 2011, their latest New Cuisine Part 1 (2014) and subsequent Beige Eyes mixtape offer the richest palettes of sonic textures and obscure references.
Brixton native and Warp Records affiliate Gaika converts the hyper-real urban chaos of London into glitchy, otherworldly collages. His combinations of the UK tropes of grime and garage with dancehall, hip-hop, and R&B are all set against a gothic, fetishistic, streetwear-oriented visual aesthetic. Night Lovell recently added fuel to cloud rap culture with his catchy, melancholy mixtape Concept Vague. His music combines titanic instrumentals and sluggish, no-nonsense utterances. 23-year-old Atlanta rapper Maco Mattox or OG Maco, whose name exploded after the 2014 single “U Guessed It”, commands a muggy, sparse sound and grandiose statements.
An affiliate of STAYCORE, a label launched by Stockholm-based producers Dinamarca and Ghazal favoring dancehall, dembow, kuduro, and soca grooves, mobilegirl shifts tempos and adds triplet bleeps and bloops, metallic crunches, or reggaeton kicks to turn R&B classics into post-internet-friendly dance tracks. Her own sparkly productions tidily whip up a playful, sweet, and introspective elixir. The evening continues in the other two rooms.
OG Maco is one of the most talked-about young talents in Atlanta's rap scene and is, according to Billboard, "bringing the slurry, slanted sound of Mystikal into the age of cloud-rap."
Easter's fuq'd future-pop can't pinned down. The Berlin-based duo is supremely unconcerned with labeling, leading others (as No Fear Of Pop notes) to designate their output as "post-human" or "post-gender."
Igor Butor is a Berlin-based DJ, mix sculptor, producer, and organiser. He is an advocate of "pure vigorous body music" and has brought artists like Mykki Blanco (and his Dogfood MG), Last Japan, Eric Dingus, Silkersoft, Angel-Ho, and Ideal Corpus to Berlin.
Fresh-faced Night Lovell has recently come out of the Ottawa woodwork as a glowing star on the cloud rap map. 18-year-old rapper and producer made internet waves with his 2014 debut mixtape Concept Nothing.
Berlin-based, Munich-born Bao-Tran Tran or mobilegirl is an affiliate of STAYCORE, a label launched by Stockholm-based producers Dinamarca and Ghazal and Scandinavia’s darker, outward-looking answer to the marketability of London’s PC Music. Favoring dancehall, dembow, kuduro, and soca grooves, the label has taken artists like Toxe and Mechatok under its shiny wing.
Lex Lugner is a young producer from Salzburg now living in Vienna. He is the beat chef for Austrian cloud rap names like Yung Hurn and Crack Ignaz.
“Repeat after me // Fuck your Politics,” reads a video for Gaika’s 2017 Spectacular Empire. Gaika is a singular, enthralling artist from Brixton whose work is shapeshifting, pointed, and elusive.