Music & clubs

CTM 2016: All over the map

HIGHLIGHTS: It's CTM season again meaning it's time to start snatching up tickets. It's tough to explore these “New Geographies” with all the performances so we've collected our favourites to pencil into your calendar from Jan 29-Feb 7.

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Pauline Oliveros

Under the banner of “New Geographies”, Transmediale’s sister festival and Berlin’s number-one event for electronic nerd culture once again gathers an exquisite selection of avant-garde musicians, DJs, producers and intellectuals at HAU, Berghain, Yaam and Astra. It kicks off on January 29 with the opening of Seismographic Sounds – Visions of a New World, an exhibition by the Swiss-based Norient network for local and global sounds, followed the next day by the premiere of curator Rabih Beaini’s exclusively composed piece “The Red Right Hand” (Jan 30, HAU1).

One of this year’s definite highlights is American electronic avant-garde pioneer Pauline Oliveros who’ll play the accordion amplified through her own Expanded Instrument System, which modifies and replicates her input at random. The 84-year-old will get improvised vocal support by US sound artist and long-time collaborator Ione. Meanwhile, noise and improv musician Keiji Haino and jazz guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi from Japan as well as Indonesian hardcore metal band Senyawa will engage in a genre- and nationality-spanning experiment at Berghain. As every year, a variety of DJs and producers will not only intellectually challenge your brain cells but simultaneously cater to your dancing needs. The Leipzig-based house visionary Kassem Mosse will get behind the decks, Honey Dijon arrives from New York with her extravagant definition of house, and the Seattle-based record label Sublime Frequencies, which focuses on rather experimental sounds from Asia, will be represented by label boss Allan Bishop with a DJ set.

Another must-see is Abdel Kareem Shaar, who has never recorded an album in his life. The Lebanese singer, who started his career on TV in the 1970s, believes that only through live performances can musicians truly connect with their audience and achieve tarab, emotional catharsis through music (Feb 1, Heimathafen Neukölln, 20:00). Marcin Pietruszewski will present mathematics on the dance floor: in (Dia)Grammatology of Space (Feb 2, 22:00, Berghain), the Polish musician combines voice synthesis technology with stochastic algorithms to create new sounds.

Don’t miss out on Christopher Bauder and CTM quasi-resident artist Robert Henke’s kinetic audiovisual installation Deep Web (Feb 2–6, Kraftwerk Berlin, 15:00– 21:00). And American electronic musician/Berlin fixture Laurel Halo, among others, will take part in Mari Matsutoya’s collaborative installation Still Be Here. 

Can’t get enough? Check out our interview with Beaini and co-curator Jan Rohlf.

CTM 2016: NEW GEOGRAPHIES Jan 29-Feb 7 | Various venues, check for the full line up