by James Glazebrook
Berlin’s reputation as a world music capital is undisputed. The city’s signature sounds – house and techno – have defined its sonic landscape at home and abroad for decades. However, as creative minds from around the world continue to flock to the city in search of advantageous conditions for their work, Berlin is witnessing a radical expansion of its musical diversity at the edges of these scenes and beyond. What are these truly adventurous sounds and musics that are currently arising from the city’s maelstrom of simultaneously sounding musical styles and cultures? With Berlin Current, CTM Festival puts an ear to the scene and presents new, future-oriented musical ideas from Berlin together with Berghain, Boiler Room Berlin, BLN.FM, No Fear of Pop, and ICAS.
In its second year, Berlin Current is supporting the city’s emerging artists, including some already featured here on überlin - Lotic, Moon Wheel and Objekt - through live concerts, showcases and creative commissions. Here are just a few of the standout acts we’re looking forward to seeing at the Berlin Current kick-off concert at First We Take Berlin, and at other shows and projects later in the year:
These Hidden Hands
A collaboration betweem studio buff Alain and Chris Liebing protege (and Emika collaborator) Tommy Four Seven, These Hidden Hands warp the techno template into new and almost unrecognisable forms. It would take a hundred hidden hands to carry the weight of this shape-shifting Boiler Room set.
Sarah Farina gets bonus points for coining a new genre description for her frenetic fusion of jungle, juke, hip hop, and UK garage and funky – Rainbowbass. Originally supported by Berlin bass queens Sick Girls, Farina is stepping into the spotlight as the go-to DJ for maximum BPPM (Booty Pops Per Minute).
Last, but by no means least, is the excellently-named DJ alias of Michail Stangl, co-organiser of CTM Festival, Boiler Room Berlin and the Leisure System parties and labels. With predilections running from drone to doom metal, Opium Hum‘s sets take on the form of dark, hypnotic lucid dreams.