Outside the Dream Syndicate is the legendary collaboration between avant-garde icon Tony Conrad and German group Faust, a band recognised as one of the leading pioneers of Krautrock. Conceived in 1973 their seminal LP did as much as any other musical item in setting the parameters for minimalist and drone music in the latter part of the 20th century. Conrad articulated the Big Bang of “minimalism” and played a pivotal role in the formation of the Velvet Underground. He continues to exert a primal influence over succeeding generations with his ecstatic oscillations and hypnotic drones. He plays at Berlin Atonal his first on-stage reunion with Faust in over 20 years, with thunderous drums adjoining violin, chest-rattling low frequencies fuse to create a cosmic blend of krautrock and drone.
SUMS is a new collaboration between Kangding Ray, an electronic musician whose productions have appeared mainly on the raster-noton and Stroboscopic Artefacts labels, and Barry Burns, multi-instrumentalist and composer in the Scottish band Mogwai. On the one hand this collaboration evidences the growing influence of electronic music on Mogwai (particularly on their last album “Rave Tapes”), and on the other, the ongoing presence of rock (usually associated with a prefix, whether it’s post-, punk-, or art-) in Kangding Ray’s music. The specially commissioned project will involve the two genre-leading artists on a range of electronic and amplified instruments, as well as additional musicians, to create a soundscape that blends elements of both their musical legacies.
Alessandro Cortini is a name widely recognized within the industrial scene, as the live electronics performer in front-leading group Nine Inch Nails. An eclectic catalogue of solo work, as well as his collaborations with NIN’s founder and frontman Trent Reznor and others have solidified Cortini as a constant fixture of the avant-garde music world. At Berlin Atonal 2015 he will present the very first full audio-visual performance of his solo project “Sonno”. Cortini stands justifiably in the linage of magician-technologists like Donald Buchla, Suzanne Ciani, Morton Subotnick and Charles Cohen for his uncanny ability to convey emotional content in relation to synthesized, electronically produced and processed sounds. The new solo project and world premiere performance allows him to expand this sensibility to its fullest extent yet.
Ugandan Methods is a musical partnership that brings together two of the most recognised and creative forces within the electronic scene: Downwards label boss Karl O’Connor and the shadowy industrial world of sonic punisher resident Ancient Methods. Atonal provides the setting for the one of the rare live performances of this collaborative project since its inception in 2009 bringing to the main stage an unrepentant amalgam of spine-curving technoid breakbeats, a collusion of industrial Techno mechanics, stabby war rhythms and seething tribalism.
For more than 20 years, American artist Mike Parker has perfected a unique interpretation of techno music. His abstractions of sound and texture are now instantly recognizable to contemporary audiences. His long running series of 12” records on the Geophone imprint established his sonic persona and other labels took notice; Prologue, Mote- Evolver, Semantica, Time To Express and Spectral Sound, to name a few. Berlin Atonal 2015 sees his first ever audio-visual live performance – this time specifically adapted to the outsized dimensions of the power plant, buzzing vortexes and extraterrestrial howls filling the vast expanse of Atonal.
Fis is Oliver Peryman, a recording and performing artist from Sumner, New Zealand. In 2013 Pitchfork described his work as ‘uncovering an altogether new rhythmic grammar’ while Resident Advisor called him an ‘electronic auteur’ who sounds like ‘absolutely no one else’. Fis is a producer who has something important and special to add to the electronic genre. Berlin Atonal 2015 will see a new version of Fis’ audiovisual project: showcasing a benevolent, hypnotic, elemental union of sound and light.
Ena is an visionary producer based in Tokyo, Japan. He produces music at the very boundaries of early drum & bass and abstract hip hop. He has released work on numerous imprints but is widely recognised for his involvement with Samurai Horo. In his recorded output Ena invariably searches for new sounds and endeavours to develop new rhythmic frontiers. Ena has numerous other (secret) monikers and is in high demand producing music for film and television.
Chra is the alter ego of Viennese author, DJ and presenter Christina Nemec. After a period experimenting with low frequencies and noise effects, Chra started to work on more rhythmic works, using sinewaves processed through a tape recorder and other analogue and digital tools to allude to landscapes, territories, silence and extraordinary and extreme situations. She is also a member of Shampoo Boy and SV Damenkraft and has made performance works with Lydia Lunch. She plays at Berlin Atonal fresh from her 2015 release on Editions Mego.
Osaka based Ryo Murakami entered the world of music at an early age, first by playing piano, and then getting to grips with synthesizers and drum machines. His productions contain alternative dance music and classical contemporary music, a combination of atmospheric ambient, noise and drone. His production history, up until his 2013 album release on his own imprint Depth Of Decay has been varied, from releases on Bug’s Poker Flat and the Dessous label to the more recent releases on German outlets Baud and Styrax. His latest releases (including one on Bedouin Records) sit between drone and musique concrète and have been described as synthetic versions of Sunn O))).
Berlin Atonal’s permanent home is an abandoned power plant in central Berlin which has been turned into a darkly majestic industrial complex for the duration of the festival. This multi-leveled, multi-staged cathedral is host to every performance, installation, seminar and aftershow party in the Berlin Atonal program.
Kraftwerk Berlin is found at Köpenicker Strasse 70, in Mitte. The closest subway station (2 minutes walk) to the venue is at U Heinrich-Heine-Str. (U8).