CTM 2017 FEAR ANGER LOVE examines the unhinging and emancipatory potential of resonant (musical) emotion to question and challenge the status quo. Through 10 days of special projects, commissioned works, performances ranging from extreme noise explorations to contemporary club sounds and an intensive daytime programme, this 18th edition continues CTM Festival’s ongoing intent to make space for radical forms of musical expression and dissonant emotion.
Newly confirmed acts are: Alan Warburton – “Primitives” [UK] / Angelica Castelló [MX] / Bariş K [TR] / Bjørn Torske [NO] / Boska [NO] / Carlos Sandoval [MX] / Carmina Escobar [MX] / Charlotte Bendiks [NO] / Courtesy [DK/DE] / Diskjokke [NO] / Endgame [UK] / Ex Eye [US] / Front de Cadeaux [BE/IT] / Ganzfeld – “Guerilla Spatialization Unit” [US/DE] / Guillermo Galindo [MX] / Gum Takes Tooth [UK] / insanlar [TR] / Jenny Hval feat Skrap [NO] / José Manuel Alcántara [MX] / Karima [NO] / Lady Starlight [US] / Lexachast [INT] / Liminar [MX] / Loré Lixenberg [UK/DE] / Lorenzo Senni [IT] / LSDXOXO [US] / Mechatok [DE] / Miss Red [IL/DE] / mobilegirl [DE] / Mr Mitch [UK] / Muquata’a [PS] / Nora Turato [HR/NL] / N.M.O. [INT] / Pan Daijing [CN/DE] / Peggy Gou [KR/DE] / Pharmakon [US] / Roberto Morales-Manzaneres [MX] / Sami Baha [TR] / ( SIC ) [MX] / Siete Catorce [MX] / SØS Gunver Ryberg [DK] / Stefan Fraunberger [AT] / Stine Janvin Motland [NO] / Tzusing [MY/TW] / Umfang (Discwoman) [US] / Virgil Abloh [US] / Yally (aka Raime) [UK]
CTM 2017’s programme swells with a multitude of audacious sounds. Recent Warp Records signee Lorenzo Senni will present a live show in support of his new EP, Persona. With a specially-designed live show he continues his journey in deconstructions of 90s hard trance, this time revolving around his self-described personal experience of “Rave Voyeurism” as the only sober SXE head amongst gabber and hardcore-loving best friends during his formative years in Rimini. The paradoxical nature of this disciplined restraint and moderated ecstasy is the core of Persona.
NYC’s power electronics proponent Pharmakon presents new material in a programme exploring challenging and confrontational dealings in sound together with Thomas Ankersmit, Vomir, and noise rock psychedelia duo Gum Takes Tooth. Just as for Vomir, music for Pharmakon is a fundamental component in a process-based, rageful face-off with contemporary society. Equally abrasive, Chinese solo artist Pan Daijing appears on another evening, traversing a body- and mind-consuming sonic force that has, like anger, brought her up and out of uncomfortable situations, liberated her from conservatism and granted her room to breathe and exist on her own terms.
Beastly metal force Ex Eye regroups four skilled artists playing music of crushing percussion, bleak synths and adrenaline-fuelled destruction. Comprised of saxophonist and Arcade Fire collaborator Colin Stetson, multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Ben Frost) and The Body guitarist Toby Summerfield, this explosive quartet skillfully loses itself in ecstatic abandon. SHAPE-supported artist Stefan Fraunberger will open with a project exploring the “barrier between the physical and spiritual worlds” with a booming doom of dulcimers and electronics that linger in the slowly decaying sonics of the space.
Outspoken feminist artist Jenny Hval will make an appearance in the wake of a sobering experience of touring in the USA during the election. Her CTM performance created together with experimental duo Skrap will expand from her recent album, Blood Bitch, to respond to the prevalence of impulsive, hype-fed and emotion-driven politics there and elsewhere. Stine Janvin Motland will open the evening with the project, “Fake Synthetic Music,” in which she uses her voice to imitate multi-layered, melodic synthesizer sequences of consistent, unwavering intensity.
Lexachast, a collaboration between PAN label founder Bill Kouligas, futuristic sound design duo Amnesia Scanner, and artist Harm van den Dorpel, will connect transmediale and CTM in a joint evening at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The mangled, dystopian soundtrack revolves around van den Dorpel’s generative, live-streaming visuals, based on algorithms to filter random, NSFW content from across the widest reaches of the internet. Potentially provocative, these visuals appear as surprises to even the performers, referencing our culpability and vulnerability at the feet of the internet’s torrential overkill of material.
Nora Turato similarly drowns the ears with her stream-of-consciousness “verbal vomit.” Her
performances confront and engage the audience in digesting a wide range of issues haunting modern, mediatized life.
Composer and sound artist SØS Gunver Ryberg is widely admired for infusing raw noise and
meticulously textured field recordings with relentless, high-octane kick drums and other techno
vocabulary in order to unleash a sonic storm. She will appear the same night as Taiwanese-born Shanghai resident Tzusing, who specializes in savage, gritty industrial techno à la L.I.E.S,
Discwoman co-founder Umfang, analogue techno experimenter, Surgeon collaborator and Lady Gaga muse and costume designer Lady Starlight, Greenland-born cosmic dance proponent Courtesy, and Karima’s classic house infusions.
With a high-energy set involving military fluxus fitness trickery and strict sound and light patterns, N.M.O. will premiere “Deutsch Am Fuß” (DAF), a band-inside-a-band project blending unheard transatlantic rhythmic club interludes with a retro-esque FRG flavour. Their live “happenings” shed light on the performativity of dance music and the disparity between human and digital rhythm generators.
Istanbul’s veteran DJ and expert crate-digger Bariş K lays it on thick and slow with Middle-Eastern psychedelia and resolute cosmic disco. On top of a solo DJ set, he will also engulf listeners in the hypnotic powers of his duo insanlar with saz player and vocalist Cem Yildiz, fusing improvised
psychedelic Middle-Eastern folk elements with teasingly heavy basslines.
CTM drops into bass-heavy waters with Yally, the new project developed by Blackest Ever Black duo Raime in order to “explore bass futures indiscriminately,” synthesizes and builds upon 2-step, grime, and garage legacies. The club is central to this exploration, but the mind is an equal partner, offering pathways that connect the two.
Tastemaker, reputed streetwear designer and creative director for controversial persona Kanye West, Bromance label co-founder Virgil Abloh will appear for a special DJ set. Hyped label/collectives Bala Club and Staycore meet with Endgame, who exposes sensitive nerve endings through anglo reimaginings of reggaeton, future grime and Brazilian funk, Mechatok, who juggles club music, melodic pieces and rap, and mobilegirl’s remixes of r&b divas such as J-Lo and TLC in a spectrum between 4/4 house and trance.
Diving even further into future bass hybrids are DJ, producer and GHE20GOTH1K co-founder LSDXOXO, and two Planet Mu signees, UK instrumental grime zealot Mr. Mitch and Turkish trap producer Sami Baha. Israeli-born MC Miss Red, who made waves with her first Murder mixtape in 2015 with production by Andy Stott, Mumdance, Stereotyp, Mark Pritchard and Evian Christ alongside The Bug, brings her distorted, futuristic re-imaginings of dancehall and bashment. Muquata’a (aka Boikutt), one of the most prevalent rappers on the Palestinian hip-hop scene, will join Princess Nokia and Tommy Genesis at Yaam for an MPC-heavy set supporting prolific and thoughtprovoking rhymes that highlights the defiance of enslaving ideologies and belief systems. Muquata’a is one of the original members of Ramallah Underground, a group created out of a need to “give voice to a generation of Palestinians and Arabs who face a turbulent and uncertain political landscape.”
Anchored by the CTM 2017 Exhibition “Critical Constellations of the Audio-Machine in Mexico” that examines the history and current status of sound art and electronic music in Mexico, the festival’s Mexico focus is expanded with divergent voices in the music programme. Planned in collaboration with exhibition curator Carlos Prieto Acevedo, the first of two nights at HAU2 will feature a special version of Guillermo Galindo’s “Border Cantos” a multimedia project with live electronics and hybrid instruments created from objects lost by some of the countless persons attempting to cross the Mexican-US border. Using a repertoire of field recordings, radio, and cassette devices, Angelica Castelló journeys through the enigmatic land of lost memories, death and fragility of traumatic encounters. Transforming a piece by Mexican composer Conlon Nancarrow, mezzo soprano Loré Lixenberg creates a multichannel vocal tour de force from an original written for mechanical pianola. Feedback, hidden resonances, the dramaturgy of vocal gestures and customised microphone devices are used by Carmina Escobar in an intimate operatic story. Trained in a broad range of Mexican national folkloric instruments, Roberto Morales-Manzaneres metamorphosizes inspirations from nature, Mexican literature, algorithmic composition and real-time gesture interaction into a surround sound performance with Mayan harp, Wii controllers, and electronics.
The second evening belongs to Liminar, Mexico’s foremost ensemble for contemporary music, which will premiere a new work by Mexican composer Carlos Sandoval. “Mexican National Anthem (as I recall it from my childhood)” will fuse the sounds and images from Sandoval`s own video work with a score performed by Liminar and a solo soprano. Ensemble member José Manuel Alcántara will perform solo, highlighting a series of electroacoustic compositions by early Mexican experimenters. Liminar will also appear in a special partner programme at Radialsystem in the first of four evenings conceptualised and produced by Ensemble KNM Berlin. The series, titled “Die Welt nach Tiepolo,” presents the four parts of Hughes Dufourt’s epochal “d’après Tiepolo” composition cycle, beginning with the “L’Amerique d’après Tiepolo” movement. Included in the first event are works by American composers Julián Carillo, Juan Felipe Waller and James Tenney.
(SIC), an improvisation project by Julian Bonequi and Rodrigo Ambriz, hybridizes savage percussion and extreme vocals into spasmic states and possessive sensations. It ritualistically detonates the primitive and the ecstatic, intuition and self-induced alienation, the bold and the subtle through a series of short, explosive vignettes. NAAFI affiliate Siete Catorce warps memories of all-night, cumbiainfused family birthday and quinceañera parties with hypnotising sadness, rage and foreboding (Thump). Both he and (sic) are presented with MUTEK.MX.
Starting with clips from the film “Northern Disco Lights” and a discussion with director Ben Davis and veteran producer Bjørn Torske , CTM 2017 will highlight the Norwegian Space Disco scene. This unlikely, sparkling cocktail of spacious, blissful sounds was precipitated by a small but tightly knit community of artists and friends seeking refuge in sonic love against often isolating, harsh conditions near the Polar Circle. Artists featured in the film, such as Diskjokke and Bjørn Toske, resonate at the festival’s opening club night alongside next-generation producers: SHAPE-supported Boska and Charlotte Bendiks both present new live sets. The showcase also extends to like-minded minds Front de Cadeaux, a duo cleverly referencing pioneer Belgian EBM group Front 242 that proposes its own brand of “Supreme Rallentato,” a fucked-up slo-mo italo, acid, disco, and house hybrid.
Berlin based Korean DJ Peggy Gou brings a local touch to the evening with her vigorous mix of house. Alan Warburton’s “Primitives” installation will be on display during the festival week, exploring the intersection of entertainment and science using cutting-edge CGI “crowd simulation” software. This technology is normally used in Hollywood blockbuster films to fill out cities, stadiums and battlefields and also by researchers and engineers working in crisis mapping, city planning and events management. His AV project explores this simulation software to “liberate the digital crowd” and allow it to live and explore more experimental parameters.
Ganzfeld (trumpet player and sound artist Liz Albee and guitarist and instrument builder Sukandar Kartadinata) will present their “Guerilla Spatialization Unit” at surprise points during CTM 2017. Their interventions will feature hacked multi-channel trumpet and bass guitar in an aim to activate the unique resonant surfaces of different makeshift performance spaces: windows, doors, stairs, walls, chairs, vans, buses, boxes, insides, outsides, ups and downs.
This second announcement adds to an already rich line-up including: Actress [UK] / “Bight of the Twin,” film by Hazel Hill McCarthy III [US] / CTM x Set [IR] feat Sote with Arash Bolouri, Behrou Pashaei and Tarik Barri, Siavash Amini, 9T Antiope / Enrique Tomás – “Embodied Gestures” [ES] / Gazelle Twin – “Kingdome Come” [UK] / Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with Aaron Dilloway [UK/US] / Julian Bonequi – “The Death of the Anthropocene” [MX] / Monolake – “VLSI Surround” [DE] / NON Worldwide [INT] in collaboration with Ligia Lewis, feat. Chino Amobi, Nkisi, Angel Ho, Dedekind Cut, Embaci, DJ Lady Lane / Moor Mother [US] / Princess Nokia [US] / Rima Najdi with Kathy Alberici and Ana Nieves Moya – “Happy New Fear” [INT] / Tanya Tagaq [CA] / Thomas Ankersmit – “Infra” [NL] / Tommy Genesis [CA] / Vomir [FR] / The world premiere of the installation “SOL” by Kurt Hentschläger [AT] / And the CTM 2017 exhibition Critical Constellations of the Audio-Machine in Mexico by Carlos Prieto Acevedo [MX].