CTM-Festival-Tickets and Accreditations are not valid for this concert.
For the first time in its eight-year history, the festival will begin with a concert in Berlin's Volksbühne
theatre. Thus two initiatives, whose common commitment in recent years to independent, innovative and critical music has been outstanding, will signal their support for a strong and free music scene in Berlin. The evening celebrates the musical diversity of the festival and offers a foretaste of the days to follow.
Pierre Bastien (FR, Rephlex)
Frenchman Pierre Bastien has made music and invention his life. A true master of his guild, he upholds and elaborates on the centuries-old tradition of mechanical music machines. Bastien has spent many years perfecting music machines built from that classic toy, “Meccano”. Their consummate tones can be heard on his releases on Aphex Twins' Rephlex label, and have lead him to collaborations with artists such as Pascal Comelade, Pierrick Sorin, Robert Wyatt, Issey Miyake, Scanner, Roberto Olivan and Jaki Liebezeit. Bastien's kinetic artworks are as satisfying visually as they are aurally: the beauty of their mechanisms, the orchestrated interplay of diverse objects and the refined humor they evince, complement the grandiosity of music and movement that gradually reaches an apex of astounding complexity. With the strains of Dadaism permeating every project, Pierre Bastien's universe is a musical chamber of wonders.
Alexander’s Annexe (UK, Warp)
The point of reference for Mira Calix’s new experimental performance ensemble Alexander’s Annexe is another instrument rich in tradition: Sarah Nicolls, pianist with the London Sinfonietta, plays the grand piano whilst Mira Calix and composer David Sheppard take up and process her music through electronic instruments. Jointly improvising, the ensemble works through delicate, electronic deconstructions of piano music with results ranging from fragile scratchings and squeakings to heavy and dark drones. Familiar though the piano may be, the different backgrounds of these three musicians together give rise to a sound spectrum that is startlingly novel. Alexander’s Annexe have performed at international festivals including Sonorities in Belfast, FUSE at Leeds and Ravello Festival in Italy and are responsible for Warp Record’s first contemporary classic release with their debut Push Door To Exit
Sun City Girls (US, Abduction)
The American Sun City Girls' performance is sensational. The concert at the Volksbühne will be the 25-year old band's continental European debut.
In Phoenix, 1980, the brothers Alan Bishop (bass, vocals) and Richard Bishop (guitar, piano) met Charles Gocher (drums) on the open-mic scene. The next year the Sun City Girls were officially christened in honour of a nearby retirement village, and in 1984, the first, eponymous, LP appeared on Placebo. They have since gone on to release nearly thirty official albums, mostly on their own legendary label Abduction. Today the mysterious Sun City Girls are rightly hailed as pioneers of the American Free-Form Folk Noise movement. Yet the Sun City Girls are a movement unto themselves. Idiosyncratic, unpredictable and enigmatic: with every new album and every one of their rare concerts, they define themselves anew: icons of a rebellious and humorus independent underground, whose primary concern is to do whatever seems to them important. Their music is free in the most radical sense, and effortlessly skips across stylistic borders: from acoustic songs of breathtaking beauty, boundless psychedelic improvisations through to guerilla street theatre or mystery plays. Their sound is an unclassifiable eclectic mix of Rock, Hardcore, Folk, Beat Poetry, Jazz, Surf, Tape-Music, Drone and musical elements from Africa, Asia and the Middle East – nothing is excluded and the result is … never what you’d expect. The bizarre singularity of their music and their arcane, almost ritualistic performances in costumes and cosmetics drawn from the dramatic tradition of Japanese Kabuki, have already assured them cult status.
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Foto: Toby Dodds / The Wire