During the next week the doors of Berlin’s unique industrial space Kraftwerk opens its doors for the 3rd edition of resurrected Berlin Atonal festival. The festival, founded by Dimitri Hegemann in the early 80s, has made its reputation thanks to carefully selected line-ups which included mostly experimental and edgy musical acts. After the resurrection of the festival in 2013 the vision of the event succesfully continues. We had the pleasure to attend Atonal in 2013 and 2014 and this year we simply can’t miss out on it either. Below you can find our picks of 2015’s program.
The festival program will open on Wednesday (August 19th) with a world premiere concert including Alessandro Cortini and Australian composer / producer Lawrence English. This commissioned collaboration aims at bringing an immersive sound field of dense harmony to the exceptional spatial dimensions of Kraftwerk venue. Like a waking dream, the audience is invited to become submerged in this evolving sonic world, wholly consumed in vibration. The first day of festival will also bring a showcase of Subtext Recordings featuring Roly Porter, Ellen Arkbro, Yair Elazar Glotman and John Bence. Like every year, the night will continue with a massive aftershows afterwards, on this day with names like Post Scriptum or Deepchord.
One of the biggest appeals on Thursday’s program is definitely the collaboration between Raster Noton’s figure Kangding Ray and post-rock artist Barry Burns of Mogwai band. Together they will present a special project titled SUMS. Thursday will also offer a gig of Tri Angle’s artist Fis who just released his stunning debut LP or Varg‘s special A/V show titled Ivory Towers. On stage null the audience can witness the showcase of Diagonal label.
Friday’s program brings on the table an unique musical partnership of two of the most recognised and creative forces within the electronic scene: Downwards label boss Karl O’Connor and sonic punisher Ancient Methods – on stage as the Ugandan Methods. Diagonal Records co-founder Powell steps on with his unique A/V show, soaked with various influences – from post-punk, over no-wave, EBM to techno. On stage null the Northern Electronics label will present its power of hypnotic beats and rhythms.
The highlights of 2015 Atonal comes with Saturday and with the performance of Faust and Tony Conrad: Outside the Dream Syndicate. This legendary collaboration between avant-garde icon Tony Conrad and German group Faust will present their semianal LP released in 1973 which gave serious basics for minimalism and drone music. Followed by the live show of another unique figure on the musical scene – Shackleton who steps on the stage with his Powerplant show. Our last musical tip for Saturday is the one and only Alessandro Cortini who presents his very first full audio-visual performance of his solo project titled Sonno.
The program will close on Sunday with Lustmord who is one of the main figures on industrial / drone music field and whose rare live shows are known for a bassy treatment of acoustic phenomena, dark atmosphere and overpowering visual accompanient. Samuel Kerridge will present the world premiere of the show Fatal Light Attraction on which he is working alongside Andrej Boleslavský & Mária Júdová (read more in our talk with Mr. Kerridge here). On Sunday you can also explore the unique show of Ben Frost featuring pieces of his Aurora record.
header image: Alessandro Cortini (press courtessy of Berlin Atonal)