This 7th edition of CTM - Festival is subtitled, festival for adventurous music and related visual arts. By replacing "electronic" with "adventurous," we emphasize that the festival is more interested in selecting projects with a certain attitude or methodology than in particular formats or genres. Wide acceptance of the equation "electronic = experimental and progressive" was a result of cataclysmic changes wrought by Techno, and the development of laptops as performance instruments in the early and mid-nineties. Electronic music today is no longer perceived as being experimental per se – the term itself has become blurred: electronic instruments of all kinds have become commonplace. Refined boredom, a dearth of innovation and a repetitive canonical repertoire frequently characterize the image of current Techno and electronica productions. This “neo-conservatism” evinced by Techno has created a void where the search in all possible directions for new reference points and fields of experimentation begins. This leads to more openness: the crossover potential of other styles is explored, electro-acoustic bands boom, familiar ideas, preferably from the sixties, – collective improvisation, happenings, freeform Folk, freakdom, psychedelics and humorous provocation – become increasingly relevant, and projects and artists that have always worked on the margins of mass consumption attract more attention. Emphasizing "the adventurous” in the festival title is meant as a clear signal that we are open to myriad musical forms – a trend we established during the last two festivals – as long as these are idiosyncratic, in search of new expression, do experiment and dare to take risks. The music on offer is correspondingly diverse: CTM.06 takes off on a multifarious trip to today’s deepest Club-sounds, through Dada-Rave to Drone Metal, Cut-up-Agitation and electronic Weird Folk to the newest beats from the margins of Hip-Hop. Under the title, BEING BOLD!, alongside the year’s outstanding acts and newcomers, we’ll be focusing more than ever before on strongly individualist positions, whose conviction, creative innovation, courage and self-reliance add a decidedly emphatic edge to the program.
BEING BOLD! means being cheeky, fly, fierce, intrepid, brash and brazen – it describes an attitude that many artistic pioneers can call their own: an attitude that’s an essential part of a good underground music scene.
BEING BOLD! presents artists and projects whose creativity lies in a personal, sometimes obsessive, eccentric or idiosyncratic and always remarkably enthusiastic attitude. A healthy distance to Zeitgeist and established scenes is part for the course. Our invited artists are never primarily concerned with discursive correctness but instead, with cultivating and exploring their individual vagaries, personal preferences and private fascinations. They are frequently outsiders that feel at home in the centrifugal fringes and niches of Pop culture, and have developed their work consistently and idiosyncratically, often cut off for long periods from other current trends. Accordingly, it’s work that can be difficult to access or hermetic, that creates its own metaphorical systems, loves all that is complicated, strange, quaint, bizarre, outlandish and informed by personal fantasy: it’s explicit, unabashed and intense.
These artists stand in for the heterodox and resistant, that opposes the "naturalness" of the status quo, and that existencially distrusts unity, identity, order and dogma. Their confrontational stance and the challenge they pose the recipients of their work are rooted in political impropriety, in their longing for disintegration, rebellion and liberty, and if need be – and only if need be - for cults and mysticism.
In contrast to harmony and equilibrium or a sense of proportion and unaffected ratio, these artistic positions set their sights on the grotesque, the fragile, disparate, misshapen, paradoxical, violent, hermetic, autistic or cruel. Their essential attributes tend to be over-characterization, contortion, humour, irony, wit, satire, risibility, abandon, tenderness, syncretism, bulkiness, ugliness, camp, daring, independence, chance, intoxication, eccentricity, spleen, ritual, enthusiasm and eclecticism. For them, it’s about expressing emotion and personal perspectives, about immediacy, direct sensuous confrontation, and a situational involvement with and of their audience.
For us, as event organizers in search of artistic and social candor and diversity, compiling these acts as one program poses questions regarding plurality: the social conditions in which the most widely differing factors might exist alongside one another, and in which the shock inherent in confrontation with something alienating might be experienced as a positive difference, instead of being immediately defused by distancing, or occupying (over)identifiction. It’s the challenge of discovering the potential in diversity and of searching, on this premise, for open-ended forms of community and exchange.