The third edition of the CTM Festival’s Polymorphism series delves into the darkside of modern club music and brings together Raime, oOoOO, Evian Christ, Vessel, and Miles Whittaker – a roster of artists from three of today’s most interesting and adventurous labels: Blackest Ever Black, Tri Angle, and Modern Love.
No one currently knows how to update the essences of 80s industrial, gothic, and synth wave’s shadowy aesthetics with elements of contemporary electronic music as well as Blackest Ever Black, the London label so thoroughly-curated by Fact magazine editor Kieran Sande. In addition to labelmates Young Hunting, Vatican Shadow, and Tropic of Cancer, enigmatic duo Raime embody the label’s artistic scope with their spartan yet evocative sound design. Subterranean bass lines and gut-shaking rhythm cycles build a sparse framework overcast by eerie textures of alien beauty. The slowed-down, sparsely-furnished compositions make room for a potent, dark intensity, magnified by beat constructions that are reduced to the bare essentials and the duo’s utmost attention to the smallest details. This evening, Raime will present their new album, Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, which appears in late autumn on Blackest Ever Black, with a new A/V show.
The eerie, ghostly, otherworldly, and dystopian are also the fixed stars of the Tri Angle universe. The label’s DNA is equally based on influences from Industrial and Goth, but mutated with elements from R&B, shoegaze, and dreampop, and – even more prominent – with a good dose of DJ Screw’s chopped’n’screwd aesthetic. Following his notable concert at CTM.12, Tri Angle artist oOoOO returns to the Berghain with singer Butterclock to present a new live set. Hurting Us Our Loving, oOoOO’s latest EP (out April 2012) sets the tone with misty beats, ethereal melodies, and subtle musical dramas to form a brilliantly matured, dark, and atmospheric pop music.
Coming in for a Berlin premiere, Evian Christ, another Tri Angle artist, presents his ice-cold, ghostly blend of hip-hop, juke, trap, ghettotech, and dark electronica. The 22 year-old producer arrives hot of the release of a new EP, as well as of his outstanding debut album, Kings and Them (February 2012). Labelmate Vessel, also debuting in Berlin, will be performing in support of his own first album, Order of Noise (release date of September 24th), which makes a mark with its headstrong plastic deformations of house, techno, and dub, jolted through with streaks of elegiac synth lines reminiscent of Coil.
The dismal sides of modern dance music are rarely explored as skillfully as by Manchester’s Modern Love label, which, with each subsequent release by artists such as Andy Stott, Claro Intelecto, GH, Pendle Coven, and Demdike Stare, seems bent on penetrating increasingly gloomy terrain. One of the label’s main heads is Miles Whittaker aka DJ MLZ, who creates occult sound collages as part of Demdike Stare (with Sean Canty), or sinister, echo infused techno as Pendle Coven (with Gary Howell). In his eclectic DJ sets, Whittaker brings Modern Love’s full sonic bandwidth together into one set.
Setting the tone for Polymorphism 3 is Berlin’s A Cell of One, who will gradually open the door into the night’s dark, adventurous soundscapes.