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Preview: CTM Festival

by James Glazebrook

CTM Festival

I’m starting to hate doing these Berlin event roundups – how do you pick highlights from a week-long programme of amazing performances? CTM.13 kicked off with a mini-riot in the Boiler Room last Thursday, courtesy of a breakcore and tech-step set from Alec Empire, and the music arm of the Transmediale digital art festival doesn’t let up until Sunday. Empire’s back in Stattbad Wedding on Saturday, tearing it up with BlackBlackGold and Necro Deathmort, and our other picks of this year’s CTM Festival include: occult obscurists Demdike Stare, Imogen Heap presenting at MusicMakers Hacklab, Kode9 and others talking about the Death of Rave and a performance from the legendary Sunn O))). Go to the CTM website for the full programme, and get yourself a pass to Berlin’s Festival for Adventurous Music and Arts.

SUNN O)))

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Boiler Room Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Modeselektor at Boiler Room Berlin

The Berlin outpost of the world’s leading underground music show, Boiler Room, has been broadcasting from the unique space of Stattbad Wedding for about 18 months now. During that time, the former swimming pool has hosted some of the best DJs and electronic acts in the world, including Carl Craig, Richie Hawtin, DJ Hell and überlin faves Modeselektor (celebrating above), Objekt, Redshape and Ellen Allien.

Boiler Room Berlin

Boiler Room Berlin is strictly invite-only, and we’ve been lucky enough to get into this Thursday’s CTM festival special. The frankly ridonkulous lineup includes Kangding Ray, dub master Pole and Mr. Digital Hardcore himself, the mighty Alec EmpireIf you can’t physically be there, tune into boilerroom.tv at 8pm (7pm GMT) to catch all the action. In the meantime, I’ve tried to pick some favourites from the archives, in which pretty much every set is a highlight, for your home viewing pleasure:

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Music Montag: Best of Berlin 2012

by James Glazebrook

Music Montag Best of Berlin 2012

What have Roxy MusicDepeche Mode and Thom Yorke all got in common? They’re all in our epic “Best of Berlin 2012″ playlist, a collection of (most of) the tracks I’ve posted on every Music Montag for a year. But what have they got to do with Berlin? Well, you’re going to have to read the original posts to find out, which you can get to via the epic list of tags at the bottom of this post.

Or you could just listen to the playlist, which features more obviously Berlin acts like Alec Empire, Bodi BillPan-Pot and Modeselektor, plus local expat stars Emika, IAMX and Phia. You’ll notice that some of the more underground artists I covered haven’t yet made it to Spotify (sorry!), but otherwise this is a pretty well-rounded, surprisingly danceable mix, interrupted by the odd short, sharp metallic shock ;) One for Silvester, maybe? Enjoy…

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Music Montag: Alec Empire VS Elvis Presley

by James Glazebrook

Alec Empire VS Elvis Presley

Last thursday was the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, and this will have him turning in his grave. It may be nearly 15 years old, but Alec Empire is one of my heroes and Elvis is, well, Elvis. What one might assume would be Empire’s most commercial work is actually one of his most noisy and uncompromising. If you want to find out what kind of twisted fuck produces a track like “Jailhouse Cock Rocks the Most”, you can read my interview with Alec Empire (spoiler alert! He’s actually very nice).

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