überlin

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)))

Music Montag: IAMX

by James Glazebrook

IAMX

The best thing to come out of the storm-in-a-teacup over *that* New York Times Aussie-slacker-in-Berlin blog was the knowledge that Chris Corner is still producing music, in Berlin – his base since 2006. Buried at the bottom of The Local’s critique, “Struggling with Berlin’s artsy hype”, was a link to IAMX, the alias under which Corner has just released a video, “The Unified Field”.

I hadn’t heard anything from the Sneaker Pimps co-founder since their largely-overlooked second album Splinter, for which Corner took over vocals and steered the trip-hop group into darker, more emo territory. That was back in 1999, which feels like a long time ago, but the singer, multi instrumentalist and video artist is still ticking all my boxes, from his motto “electronic sex and emotional strength” to his choice of collaborators and remixers: to name a few, Combichrist, Terence Fixmer and Imogen Heap.

IAMX’s brand of electro-pop resembles a dark, twisted version of Hurts, the kind of sleek beat music that Matt Bellamy clearly wishes Muse was making. Given the industry support it deserves, the album from which “The Unified Field” is taken wouldn’t be in the crowdfunding stage, it would already be finished and finding its way into you mum’s Christmas stocking. But we sympathise with Corner’s sentiment that “Berlin has given me the spirit to care less about the music industry and take an independent route” – his creativity is clearly thriving as a result.

Go to Pledgemusic and help make the new IAMX album and DVD a reality.