Report from the CTM festival (Berlin)

CTM is a prominent international festival dedicated to contemporary electronic, digital, and experimental music but it also offers a large gamut of artistic activities in the context of sound and club cultures. The festival wants to present the most striking international productions.

Mich Leemans, our man behind the programming in AB Salon, heads to CTM every year. These were his musical highlights:

Jerusalem In My Heart

This live audio/video project presented an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern global sound, electric oud, and ‘out there’ electronica. Add to that the wonderful visuals, driven by four 16mm film projectors, and you are sure to be carried away by JIMH.

Khyam Allami

This Iraqi resident of London, oud-player, multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, researcher and label owner released piano melodies on CTM that were reworked with his self-designed Ableton plug-in Comma. This piece of software, he has given millions of musicians who work with traditional Middle Eastern microtonal scales the opportunity to avoid the limitations of ‘western’ software.
His set was hypnotically beautiful and sounded like something I’d never heard before.

Cocaïne Piss (at BRDCST on SAT 06.04 - more info HERE)

The noise/garage-rock/punk/riot grrl! band from Liege vivaciously had the entire audience dancing at hip club Berghain, it was a great concert. Judging by the reaction of frontwoman Aurélie Poppins, she could barely believe it herself. The set lasted almost twice as long as the usual 20 minutes.


Lightning Bolt

American noise-rock duo proves to Festsaal Kreuzberg that, after more than 20 years, they are still relevant. These days they appear on stage, in the past they mainly mingled with the audience. Brian Chippendale still inimitably clouts his drums and makes the strangest throat sounds with a contact microphone that is integrated into a mask controlled by effect pedals. Brian Gibson treats his stinging basslines as if you hear bass and guitar and synths at the same time.


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