Berlin Atonal releases the second batch of names for the 2017 edition of the festival, bringing the total number of announced projects to 50. Individual day tickets are also now on sale, which allow entry into the Kraftwerk complex for the entire programme, including aftershows.
Berlin Atonal is excited to announce a new commission bringing together two leading creative forces in their respective musical genres. Main aka Robert Hampson was the founder and lead force behind cult band Loop. His solo work under his own name has until now focused on exploring intricacies in acousmatic sound diffusion. Regis, the co-founder of hugely influential techno label Downwards Records, is one of the most highly regarded creative impulses in the British electronic scene. The unpredictable result of this new alliance will presented on the festival’s Friday night as Main / Regis. Also on this night will be the world premiere of the anonymous new project whose goal is to soundtrack modernity with self-annihilating noise, Belief Defect.
Behind the Glass is the unapologetically ambitious new project born from the overlapping creative forces of Shackleton, Anika, Strawalde and Pedro Maia. In another world premiere performance, Shackleton - of Skull Disco and Honest Jon's semi-fame - will provide a vivid backdrop of sonic complexity, using non-standard time signatures and an unusual and occasionally atonal sound palette. Over this canvas Anika narrates, with deadpan vocals and priestlike sermons, a tale which stretches out in the style of surreal fable. The visual side sets Pedro Maia's constructive and reconstructive filmic talents against the ink of legendary Berlin artist Strawalde. Also augmenting the Saturday programme is Anthony Linell’s new live show with Kimberley Ihre on visuals, as well as Hypnobeat, the drum machine based duo of Helena Hauff and James Dean Brown.
The combined effect of Mick Harris' work in the realms of extreme music is hard to overstate. After leaving Napalm Death, Harris played drums for Doom and Extreme Noise Terror, and started the projects Defecation and Scorn, while his more electronic endeavours – Quoit, Monrella – deserve better recognition as high-water marks of 90s and 00s electronica. The dark lord himself plays Berlin Atonal 2017 under his own name, presenting his Fret project. Joining him on the festival’s Thursday night is the brand new A/V show from Demdike Stare with visuals from Michael England. The Manchester duo unpredictably extract the best from ‘90s jungle, drum n bass, industrial and ambient techno, letting their intuitive grasp of rhythm and sound breathe in their own rarefied air. (They also curate a DDS showcase on the opening night featuring live shows by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Equiknoxx Music and DJ sets from themselves and lueke). Also added to the Thursday night’s line-up is a premiere A/V show from Damian Dubrovnik. The founders of the Copenhagen based record label posh isolation are notorious for the intensity and expressiveness of their live shows, incorporating elements of performance art and body acoustics into their powerful corporeal sound.
Joining the opening night’s programme are two performances that utilise the Oktophonic system developed by Karlheinz Stockhausen. When Rashad Becker + ENA previously worked together, at Berlin Atonal’s New Assembly Tokyo, the result was one of the standouts of the festival. They combine again to put their extraordinary skills to work over eight channels. Also working in these parameters will be PYUR (Official), who will present her new work Oratorio for the Underworld on Stockhausen’s system. Before the Oktophonic presentations Atonal has commissioned two new works from leading Romanian composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram, both for prepared piano, both performed by, and dedicated to, Reinhold Friedl. Later in the night Atonal welcomes the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop to the main stage. Originally founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, the Workshop was home to a maverick group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators. Now, more than 20 years after the Workshop was decommissioned, five original members have reformed the workshop and are making new music that justifies their improbable description as the Buena Vista Social Club of electronic music. Following them on the same night will be live shows by maverick noiseniks Wolf Eyes and the bewitching Carla dal Forno.
The second announcement adds Emptyset to the closing night of the festival. The project of James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas, dedicated to examining the material properties of sound and its correspondence with architecture, is adapted for the first time to Berlin Atonal and the industrial grandeur of the Kraftwerk space. Pact Infernal, the recent addition to the impeccable Horo arsenal, also bring their mutated tribalistic patterns to the night in a world premiere, while Varg joins the lineup with his own longform, curated Nordic Flora programme - more details of which to be announced in the coming weeks.
Carrying on the exchange from the fantastic New Assembly festival in Tokyo earlier this year, Berlin Atonal has invited some of the participating Japanese artists to perform for the first time in Europe. The artist are dominated by the influence of the Black Smoker Records collective who are celebrating their twentieth year in business. The prime movers of the label Jube and Killer Bong combine for a rare show as The Lefty - the mutant hip-hop duo that takes hip-hop past its logical limits and into another realm. Legendary Japanese DJs Compuma, DJ Yazi and Yousuke Yukimatsu also join with carefully prepared sets for their first European outings.
Also added in the second announcement are live shows from LCC with Pedro Maia, Belong, Broken English Club, Crossing Avenue, CoH and Goner, and DJ sets from DJ Stingray, Trevor Jackson, JASSS, Apeiron Crew, Richard Fearless, Errorbeauty, Anastasia Kristensen.