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Ginormous Mural From Legendary Berlin Techno Club Berghain Goes On Sale

 



Rituals of Disappearance—the huge mural at the entrance of the legendary temple of techno, the Berghain club in Berlin—has been dissembled to make way for renovations, and the artist who created it, Piotr Nathan, is selling off the artwork one square at a time to ensure no one will ever own the complete work again.

From today and until April 17, the individual squares of Rituals of Disappearance can be bought via a website conceived by Nathan and set up by Berghain, at €500 ($538) a pop.

Given the history and cult status of Berghain, it is safe to assume that Rituals of Disappearance (2004) will be snapped up very quickly. Nathan wants those who danced under the mural to own it, and for the lasting impression of the complete work to exist only in the minds of those who experienced it at the club.

“The work Rituals of Disappearance is only to be fully understood in the context of the music at the club, the people who celebrate there, and the unique aura of the space,” said Nathan in an statement.

“To me it is therefore conclusive to dissolve the work and distribute it primarily among the people who have a connection with the Berghain. The work as a whole is constructed of single plates and will be dissolved and sold in fragments.”

The work was inaugurated at Berghain’s official opening in 2004 with a performance by German actress Inga Busch.

The black-and-white drawing depicts a fantasy landscape of stormy waters and other powerful forces of nature, 16 feet high and 82 feet wide. Made up of 171 lacquered square aluminum panels, the mural was hung with small gaps between the panels, fragmenting the drawing. Over the years, some of the panels were further fragmented as sweat from the bodies of club-goers leaning against it slowly eroded some of the details.

“As with a puzzle, the single panels [together] form a panoramic scenario of four natural phenomena: a volcanic eruption, a desert storm with sand tornadoes, a sea storm with water tornadoes and the rising of northern lights above a nocturnally resting village,” Nathan explained. “The sequence of motives creates the work’s narrative.”

The exciting news also brings another question with it—what will replace the now-iconic piece?

 

Sónar Bringing Electronic Music to Istanbul

 



Sónar, an international festival of electronic music that has been celebrated in cities around the world for the past 23 years, will meet audiences in Turkey for the first time later this month. 

Sónar organizes festivals every year in various cities, along with a three-day event in June in Barcelona called the International Festival of Advanced Music and Congress of Technology and Creativity. In previous years, it has traveled to Reykjavik, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Buenos Aires, New York, London, Cape Town, Frankfurt, Seoul, Lisbon, Lyon, Hamburg, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Oakland, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Osaka, among other destinations around the world.

Sónar Istanbul will be held on March 24 and 25 at the Zorlu PSM with concerts on four stages, conferences, contemporary art exhibitions, as well as artistic and technological performances featuring local and foreign artists. 

Moderat, formed from the collaboration between Apparat and Modeselektor, two dominant representatives of Berlin’s electronic scene, will be one of the guests of Sónar Istanbul. The duo most recently released the album “Live,” a recording of a live performance in Berlin’s Velodrom that was sold out within minutes.

Another guest, renowned Irish singer, songwriter and producer Róisín Murphy, who has received critical acclaim for her most recent album, “Take Her Up To Monto,” will be on the stage at the event. 

Innovative DJ and producer Nina Kraviz, who is now one of the leading characters in electronic music, will also confirm her global status on the Sónar Istanbul stage amid the promise of something different and unique in her sets. 

Sam Shepard, or Floating Points, as he is known throughout the global electronic music scene, will also bring his gritty set to the festival.

A partner of Sónar for 13 years and curator of the Sónar Dome stage, SónarLab, presented by Red Bull Music Academy, will also host a carefully selected musical program including local and global names during the festival. 

Norwegian DJ and producer Prins Thomas, who combines house, minimal techno and jazz fusion in his music genre defined as space disco, will meet music fans at the SónarLab presented by Red Bull Music Academy, along with a prominent figure in dubstep, Scott Goodman, and a distinctive DJ from Germany, Helena Hauff. 

German DJ and music producer Stefan Kozalla, who uses the moniker DJ Koze on stage; Weval, a Dutch duo that consists of Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte; British producer Clark; Austrian electronic duo HVOB; the duo Hanne, which consists of James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck; American producer Jason Chung’s project Nosaj; sound artist Tim Hecker; and Cola & Jimmu, a collaboration between Finnish musician/producer Jimi Tenor and American singer/composer/visual artist Nicole Willis, will be among the other foreign guests of the festival. 

Hey! Douglas, a talented DJ who has made a name in the night scene of Istanbul; Vildan Gündüz, who has a set that is heavy on minimal techno, house, tech house and techno; Style-ist, one of the most unique DJs of Turkey with his eclectic sets; Büber, who is known for his sets that feature techno, tech house and house music; Villette, a London-based producer of techno and electronica; Fasitdaire, who is known for his radio programs; Mabbas, one of the most experienced names in the Turkish electronic music scene who is known for his striking techno sets; Fuchs and Cervus, two prominent figures of Turkey’s electronic music scene, as well as Doğu Orcan, who is known for his sets that have the overtone of techno, disco and electronica, will also take the stage at Sónar Istanbul as local guests.

 

Detroit Techno Music History on Display In London

 



For many decades now Detroit has been internationally recognized as the Motor City and Motown.

But there are some around the world that think of techno music.

The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London has launched an exhibit that takes " a studied look at the evolution and subsequent dispersion of Detroit Techno music. This term, coined in the 1980s, reflects the musical and social influences that informed early experiments in merging the sounds of synth-pop and disco with funk to create this distinct music genre."

The exhibit runs through Sept. 25. The museum's website says:

For the first time in the UK, this exhibition charts a timeline of Detroit Techno music from its 1970s origins, continuing through to the early 1990s. The genre has its origins in the disco parties of Ken Collier with influence from local radio stations and DJs, such as Electrifying Mojo and The Wizard (aka Jeff Mills).

It explores how a generation was inspired to create a new kind of electronic music that was evidenced in the formative UK compilation Techno! The New Dance Sound of Detroit (10 Records, 1988). Using inexpensive analogue technology such as the Roland TR-808 and 909, DJs and producers including Juan Atkins, Blake Baxter, Eddie Fowlkes, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson formed this seminal music genre.

Although the music failed to gain mainstream audiences in the US, it became a phenomenon in Europe. This success established Detroit Techno as a new strand of music which absorbed European tastes and influences. This introduced a second wave of DJs and producers to the sound including Carl Craig, Richie Hawtin and Kenny Larkin.
The display concludes with a focus on Underground Resistance, a collection of DJs and artists including Mike Banks, John Collins, Robert Hood and Jeff Mills (until his departure in 1992). Their collective ambition was to challenge the commercial mainstream entertainment industry and re-establish Detroit techno music’s authenticity with an emphasis on the city as a source of inspiration.

 

The Year House and Techno Music Exploded On The U.S. West Coast

 



There’s a new lightness to your step as you bounce around to the familiar hypnotic rhythms. Gone are the stained, unforgiving concrete floors of the warehouses you frequent. You're now in a field of grass, slightly patched closest to the DJ booth where people have been dancing the most, all day long.

This year, house and techno slinked out from rough, industrial interiors and found their way down to the beach and out to the desert; they livened up stale pool parties and made home in the depths of the forest. In these places, dotted along the West Coast of America, the air is clean and spirits are high.

Until now, the "sound" of the West Coast – a stripe on the left side of the US made up of California, Washington and Oregon – has been aggressive, explosive bass music, the kind that can rumble every bone in your body and raise the hairs off your head. Fans bowed down to the likes of Bassnectar, The Glitch Mob and early Skrillex, pairing their affinity for the loudest end of the spectrum with DGAF fashion and reputations for unruly behavior of the best kind.

That era, though inarguably still well and alive in other parts of the US, has faded along the coast, losing much of its momentum along with the dissipation of the EDM phenomenon. But the penchant to party remains strong.

In 2015, camp-out experiences dominated the festival circuit and created a natural pathway to embracing dance music outdoors with festivals. This has continued in 2016 and with EDM quickly phasing out, crossover artists like booty house master and Dirtybird kingpin Claude VonStroke, his cohort Justin Martin and “weirdo house” collective Desert Hearts played into the maturing tastes of groove-loving dancefloor fanatics.

Smart promoters caught wind of the changing tide early, introducing new efforts like Palm Spring’s Splash House, a novel concept that played into the typically sleepy city’s age old tradition of pool parties, curating an irrefutable line-up made up of Gorgon City, Hudson Mohawke, Kaytranada and Tycho mixed alongside exciting newcomers catered to a younger, welcoming audience dressed in their summertime swimwear best with artists like Cashmere Cat, TÅCHES, Justin Jay, Hotel Garuda, Amtrac and more.

Up north, Oregon's What The Festival boasts one of the most colorful arrangements placed against the natural beauty of the forest and mountain skylines. Attendees don their wildest, hippie-inspired trinkets and wraps, dancing in the open air to soundtracks from the likes of Bonobo, Machinedrum, Eats Everything and Claude VonStroke.

CRSSD Festival launched out of the gate with an intent to capitalize on San Diego’s picture perfect beachside backdrop with bi-annual shows that act as bookends to start and finish off the summer festival season. Following a similar method, CRSSD combines prolific knowledge of talents like Dubfire, Hot Since 82, Tiga and Green Velvet with cutting-edge wunderkinds like REZZ, ZHU, Jeremy Olander, J.Phlip, Patrick Topping and Danny Daze.

And these promoters' methods are working. By swinging the gate wide open to techno and house, the demographic is widening and a typical audience member might not be exactly what you had in mind as a Jamie Jones aficionado. Listeners donned in brightly colored bro tanks and neon shades bob attentively to the beats, occasionally chatting to their mates about how “incredible” this Simian Mobile Disco b2b with Roman Flügel set is – without forsaking a chance to tan, of course.

For several years, Southern California – specifically the metropolitan of Los Angeles – has been a sponge, soaking up electronic music’s progressive players and folding them deep into the entertainment capital’s veins. There’s no question that stars of the electronic music realm have finally earned a rightful spot as “entertainers” in the industry alongside rock maestros and pop stars. With it, event leaders have begun to recognize and carve out a physical space for the incoming talents that place them on a world stage, bringing the underground, quite literally, just above sea level.

There will always be the dark, mysterious basements and warehouses, but even the most seasoned of house and techno mavens need a dose of Vitamin D once in a while. Today, they’re finding their escape on the coastlines of California and beyond.

 

Kraftwerk Honors Techno Roots at Detroit Movement Festival

 



German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk bridged the gaps between Europe and Detroit, old and new and electropop and techno during the group’s headlining performance at Movement.

The group’s 90-minute set, which came complete with 3D visuals, made good on years of promise. For a festival that is so dedicated to honoring and preserving techno’s history, the Kraftwerk booking was an important one, a nod to the sounds that paved the way for techno to take root. And it didn’t disappoint.

The Kraftwerk show came at the end of a healthy first day at the fest, which saw robust crowds and warm temps welcome techno music back to Detroit’s Hart Plaza for the 17th consecutive Memorial Day weekend. Thousands were on the ground at Hart Plaza as non-stop sounds boomed from five stages, featuring Detroit legends such as Derrick May and Stacey Pullen to artists that followed in their footsteps, including Seth Troxler and Matthew Dear.

The fest continues Sunday with headliner Dubfire and closes Monday with a performance by Danny Tenaglia. He fills in for Richie Hawtin, whose scheduled performance was shelved on Saturday due to visa issues.

Kraftwerk marked the highest profile booking in years for the fest, now in its 11th year under the management of Detroit’s Paxahau Event Productions. Going back to 2000, when the Detroit Electronic Music Festival debuted over Memorial Day weekend in Hart Plaza, Kraftwerk has always been buzzed about as a potential festival headliner, but things never lined up until Saturday.

Fans, wearing 3D glasses over their eyes – the paper kind from the 1950s, not the plastic ones handed out at today’s 3D movies – were treated to a crisp, seamless performance and a living history lesson, as a direct line could be drawn from the group’s early electro stylings to the techno and techno-offshoots that populate the festival.

But not everyone wants a history lesson, and crowds inside Hart Plaza’s main bowl became noticeably lighter as Kraftwerk’s performance progressed. Young fans came early, paid their respects and then moved on to other stages, where Carl Craig and Caribou dazzled audiences.

The four members of Kraftwerk – Ralf Hutter, Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz and Falk Grieffenhagen – hit the stage after being preceded by their robot likenesses during opener “The Robots.” The foursome, sporting their signature skin-tight suits that look as though they’re modeled after “Tron” grids, kicked off with “Numbers” and rolled through a greatest hits set that included “Computer World,” “Pocket Calculator,” “Autobahn,” “Tour de France” and “Trans-Europe Express.” Each was backed on the huge screen behind them by 3D visuals of charmingly retro graphics – a hand pressing numbers on a calculator, cars rolling down a highway – that would have been state-of-the-art in 1974.\

Several times the graphics directly referenced Detroit, with satellite photos of Michigan, shots of the Motown Museum and a picture of Derrick May’s Transmat Records headquarters earning roars of approval from the crowd. And during “Planet of Visions,” Kraftwerk directly shouted out the Motor City, repeating the words “Detroit electro, Germany electro.”

The group was short on words, offering only a “goodnight, auf wiedersehen” at the end of its performance – its second Detroit show in seven months, following an October concert at the Masonic Temple.

But the point was made, and Krafwerk closed an important loop for the festival. Detroit electro, Germany electro. Even without 3D glasses, the message was clear.

 

The Reemergence of Trance

 

Dave Ralph has made a career as a dealer of trance music. In the early ‘90s, Ralph—now a talent buyer at Insomniac—worked in a record store in his native Liverpool. Hyped up on the trance sound after hearing Laurent Garnier play Hardfloor’s 1992 banger “Hardtrance Acperience,” Ralph became the gatekeeper for the shop’s trance offerings.

In that pre-internet era, music distributors would call the store and play Ralph their freshest records over the phone, and he’d decide how many copies to order. In 1996, he bought out a distributor’s entire stock of B.B.E.’s seminal “Seven Days and One Week.” His store was the only shop in the UK that had it, and they made a fortune with it. Ralph gave away a single copy to his pal Pete Tong, who played it out the following Friday. “Everyone fucking lost it,” recalls Ralph.

Ralph handed out other favorites to his circle of DJ friends, which included Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed, Sasha, and Tong. An established DJ in his own right, Ralph watched the genre rise as he played for increasingly larger audiences around the globe while on tour with Oakenfold. It was out on tour that Oakenfold played for a crowd of 100,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium (as the opener for U2), in what Ralph calls trance’s peak moment.

Then, as it usually goes, trance was washed. It became cheesy and over-commercialized, drawing—as Ralph says—a “gate-crasher” crowd. Audiences moved on to the progressive house sound emerging from Sweden, while trance returned to the underground of longstanding genre hubs including Goa, Tel Aviv and Singapore.

Now, more than two decades after its first wave of popularity, trance is back. Last November, Insomniac debuted its first-ever standalone trance show, Dreamstate. The two-day event sold out in four hours, making it one of the fastest sell-outs in Insomniac history. The lineup bridged generations and styles, featuring Oakenfold, van Dyk, Simon Patterson, Astrix, and more.

Dreamstate is now poised to become one of Insomniac’s biggest brands, with forthcoming shows planned in cities throughout the United States and beyond. EDC will also feature a Dreamstate stage featuring a day’s worth of trance music from the genre’s biggest stars.

Here, Ralph discusses the current state of trance.

When did you first see the seeds of the trance resurgence?
When I started at Insomniac, which is almost three years ago now, I could never figure out why we didn’t book any trance.

Because the genre was so personal to you?
Yeah, because I loved it, but I also felt that whenever we did book a trance DJ, the feedback we got from the kids was the loudest. Like, “We love this guy!” Or, “This guy fucking sucks; you should book this guy instead.” It was, by volume, significantly more than any other genre.

Who are the modern trance fans?
The old guard—the stalwarts who have been there forever—are going to support the genre wherever it is. There is also a ton of young people. A kid who’s been the biggest Hardwell fan for the last five years can do a sidestep right into a Dreamstate show, because it’s a similar tempo and feeling.

So, you feel that there are corollaries between EDM and trance?
Exactly. It’s an easy sidestep for someone who was really into EDM and is looking for something new.

You mentioned that everyone at Insomniac was surprised by Dreamstate’s quick sellout. To what do you attribute that response?
People are just dying for it. They’ve been starved for it for so long. Think about it: It’s been 10 years since anyone has attempted to do anything like we’re doing—even more, probably. People who were 18 when they went to trance shows are in their early 30s now and still love the music.

Have you gotten feedback from the old guard—van Dyk, Oakenfold, and all those guys—about what it was like to step into an event where trance is once again the focus?
Oakenfold and van Dyk are beside themselves. We actually made them Dreamstate ambassadors. They’re so well respected by their fans and peers that we decided that either one or both of them would play every Dreamstate show. They will carry the brand.

I remember watching Oakenfold play Dreamstate last year; he didn’t really know what to expect. I was standing behind him onstage, and he turned to me and said, “Do you reckon I should turn up the heat?” I was like, “Paul, it’s a fucking trance party, man!” He had the time of his life. After, he told me that he doesn’t get the chance to play like that all the time anymore. The crowd was with him on that journey. It was fantastic.

Who are next-generation trance stars?
John O’Callaghan is not that young, but certainly a good name. Ben Nicky I like. Jordan Suckley I like a lot. On the more progressive side, Ilan Bluestone I like a lot. I like Andrew Bayer. It’s really nice right now, because it’s not like any other genre, where you can list 50 names. It’s a tight-knit community. I do think that’s going to change as the sound gets more popular. There will be more trance DJs, for sure.

Will trance continue to endure, now that it’s back, or is it just a trend?
I don’t think it’s back yet; I think it’s on its way back. It’s close to being back. That’s what’s exciting, to watch it grow. People are calling every week now, asking, “Hey, can we look into putting on a Dreamstate thing?

 

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