Berlin Atonal 2015
Second Line-up Announcement
Shackleton presents: Powerplant [Live] – World Premiere
Varg presents: Ivory Towers with Body Sculptures + Frederikke Hoffmeier [Live A/V]
Paul Jebanasam + Tarik Barri present Continuum [Live A/V] – World Premiere
Clock DVA [Live A/V]
Shed [Live A/V] – World Premiere
Lustmord [Live A/V]
COH & FRANK [Live A/V]
Peder Mannerfelt [Live A/V]
Northern Electronics showcase:
Abdulla Rashim presents Lundin Oil [Live A/V]
Varg [Live A/V]
Puce Mary [Live A/V]
Acronym [Live A/V]
Vit Fana [Live A/V]
Berlin Atonal reveals a second selection of new commissions, world premiere projects and live performances to bolster its ever-expanding program, taking place from the 19.–23 August 2015.
Shackleton will be bringing his Powerplant project to Berlin Atonal for its debut after recruiting and writing for a group of top-drawer musicians, playing instruments ranging from huge gong drums to delicate xylophones. Having built a “system” that allows for both free, open-ended playing and also strictly ordered adherence to composition, the principles of the music go from extremely tight percussive and melodic workouts governed by strictly ordered rules through to controlled freakout pieces and – at the other extreme – has elements of free improvisation. Not surprisingly due to the method of composing and Shackleton’s singular musical outlook, the general aesthetic and effect of the music ends up somewhere between Kosmische, ritual trance and minimalism which doesn’t provide easy entertainment but has more of a cathartic effect.
Another special project to be revealed during the festival week is Varg presenting Ivory Towers. This formulation incorporates a distinguished underground lineup with Loke Rahbek (Damien Dubrovnik, Lust For Youth), Ossian Ohlsson (Vit Fana), Frederikke Hoffmeier (Puce Mary) and renowned film score composer Erik Enocksson, under the unorthodox leadership of Jonas Rönnberg(Varg, Ulwhednar, D.Å.R.F.D.H.S). A composition involving electronics, vocals, bass guitar, loops and string synthesizers – all used in various orthodox and unorthodox ways – the project combines disparate elements in the service of Rönnberg’s singular and unexpected musical goal.
Varg’s label-mates will be joining him at Berlin Atonal in force for a Northern Electronics showcase. Label head Abdulla Rashim returns to Berlin Atonal with a rare performance of his Lundin Oil project, blending rhythmic noise, drone and melancholic harmonies. Acronym, whose reputation as a skilled craftsman of densely woven, atmospheric electronic music has burgeoned since his emergence in 2012, joins the bill as does Vit Fana, the goth-industrial project of Ossian Ohlsson. Danish noise wielder Puce Mary, closely affiliated with the prolific Danish punk and noise label Posh Isolation rounds out the bill for this special event.
Continuum is a new work by Paul Jebanasam featuring visual projections by Dutch artist Tarik Barri. Inspired by the poetics of energy and living matter’s eternal resistance against entropy, the piece explores the compositional space of synthetic audio and visual materials pushed to limits of technological possibilities. The live performance of the work centres around custom software developed by Barri to enable improvised constructions of complex simulated environments. Traditionally the domain of high performance supercomputing, this practice applies physical models to create immersive examinations into the structure of light. Parallel to this process, Jebanasam’s compositions re-imagine the concert space as a vast architectural instrument based on the acoustic designs of church organs and driven by a bold vision for machined music. Berlin Atonal is delighted to present the world premiere of this bold project.
Clock DVA are one of the now legendary batch of groups associated with the 70s Sheffield industrial music scene, one of the pioneers in developing an electronic, noisy take on the genre. Formed by Adi Newton in 1978 and undergoing various iterations in its long, prolific and varied musical story, Clock DVA has remained committed to an idea of sonic futurism, an investigation of the philosophical implications of musical technologies and, more recently, a yearning for a combined sound and visual experience. Clock DVA are veterans of Berlin Atonal, having played at the 1990 edition of the festival. In 2015 they return with a symbiotic audio-visual show and a line-up consisting of Newton, Tez and Panagiotis Tomaras.
Lustmord is one of the main figures involved in industrial music’s slow but purposeful shift toward pure electronic experimentation and technically masterful sound construction. Encouraged to begin his musical career by members of Throbbing Gristle, Lustmord developed his recording and producing capacities by working as a sound designer, score composer and field recordist on dozens of film soundtracks including The Crow and Underworld. His classic 1990 release Heresy gave birth to the genre known as “Dark Ambient”. His rare live shows are known for a bassy treatment of acoustic phenomena, dark atmospheric swells and overpowering visual accompaniment.
COH (pronounced “Son”) is one of the names bound up with the rise of computer-based music and labels such as raster-noton and Editions Mego. He has previously collaborated with a diverse range of artists from Coil and Cosey Fanni Tutti to Richard Chartier. Tina Frank is a designer, visual artist, and professor at the University of Art and Design, Linz. Together COH + FRANK present a symbiotic live show in which COH’s musical output is converted in real time by Frank’s hand-controlled analogue video equipment into an organic visual outgrowth of the heard phenomena. Clock DVA, Lustmord, and COH & FRANK will feature as part of a Contort curated evening – the third consecutive time the Berlin based entity has teamed up with the festival.
Berlin Atonal is also delighted to announce that Shed (René Pawlowitz) will reveal at Kraftwerk Berlin a brand new audio-visual show. Shed’s inimitable releases on Ostgut Ton (and later 50Weapons) somehow remain connected to the heartbeat of club-focused techno, while at the same time eschewing the straight, stripped back and raw repetitiveness typically associated with the genre. The result was a lauded trio of records – Shedding the Past, The Traveller, The Killer – that have undeniably made their contribution to shaping the future of electronic music. Pawlowitz also plays as Head High as part of the festivals aftershow program.
Powell is a producer and co-founder of Diagonal Records, currently one of the most adventurous labels in club music, drawing from the varied musical resources of post-punk, no wave, EBM and techno. His muscular live show cuts a similar uncompromising path – a violent amalgam of sampled recordings, clipped and treated vocals, overdriven drums and raw synthesised tones.
Peder Mannerfelt’s recent productions under his own name on labels such as We Can Elude Control, Digitalis and Archives Intérieures have safely secured his reputation as one of the most interesting, unusual and capable producers active today. He draws his musical influences from far and wide – stylistically and geographically. His analogue-based live set-up expresses one of the most interesting electronic musical approaches to gain deserved acknowledgement in recent years.
Downwards label-boss Regis also plays solo on top of his appearance in the Ugandan Methods show with Ancient Methods, andTalker, the collaboration between Chicagoans Karl Meier and Stave, also appear after their recent release on the same label.Alessandro Cortini will also present the Berlin debut of his techno focused Skarn side project.
Festival Passports are now available from www.berlin-atonal.com and allow entry into the Kraftwerk complex for the duration of Berlin Atonal 2015’s opening hours including aftershow parties. Individual day tickets will go on sale in the upcoming weeks as the further rounds of artists and schedules are released.