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PLAYLIST: Berlin Atonal
The Quietus , July 22nd, 2015 12:42

Ahead of this year's Berlin Atonal in an abandoned power plant in the centre of the city, a number of acts playing this year's festival devise a playlist

Berlin Atonal returns to the centre of Berlin again this year for another five days of experimental and extreme music all taking place across the many levels of an abandoned power plant. Among the names on this year's line-up are Shackleton, Sums, Alessandro Cortini + Lawrence English, Clock DVA, Ugandan Methods, Varg and many more.

Below, a selection of those appearing at Berlin Atonal 2015 select tracks for you lucky lot to check out devising a rather weighty festival playlist, with FIS, Samuel Kerridge, Clock DVA's Adi Newton and Lustmord among those making the selections.

Berlin Atonal takes place from August 19-23 and you can find the full line-up and ticket links here. Enjoy the list.

FIS picks Rob Thorne - 'Whaia te Maramatanga'

If you want to see someone perform, Atonal is the ideal place. Anyone who's been to Atonal knows how incredible the venue is. Music becomes something more up there. I've been imagining how Rob Thorne would sound in the Kraftwerk cathedral and it makes my hairs stand up. Pure power.

Alessandro Cortini picks Peder Mannerfelt - 'Failed Grammar'

I picked one of Peder’s tracks off his second self-titled EP since his work really speaks to me.  More specifically, I feel it’s a very unique balance between man/machine. There’s no enslaving of the machine by man, in his work, but rather a complicity where he is able to facilitate the electronic instrument to be whatever it wants to be, guiding it through a captivating dialog between sound design and music.

Lustmord picks Monoton - 'Ein Wart'

From the album Blau (Monotonprodukt 02), released in 1980, an album that far too few were aware of at the time and understood by less. Monoton was ahead of its time, straddling the playfulness of Kraftwerk and the darker tones of European electronic music that followed a couple of decades later. Many have yet to catch up. The only thing wrong with this track is that it isn’t much longer.

COH picks Zos Kia/Coil - 'Rape'

I first found out about Berlin Atonal from this recording - got the decorated copy from Balance back in 1997. 'Rape' borrows its backing from 'Here To Here', which I find to be one of the most profound Coil pieces.

Samuel Kerridge picks Daphne Oram, Andrea Parker & Daz Quayle - 'Are You There? (Live from the Roundhouse)'

I tried to make this particular show happen as part of the Contort curation at this year's festival. Not only had Andrea promised to dress in Daphne Oram attire, but would also come sporting a dalek helmet. Unfortunately time was against us and it didn't work out. A real shame, but in the 29 minutes of playback you'll get a real feel for it. This recording has everything, from the source material used, the collaboration, and the music itself, it epitomises Atonal.

Chra picks Ryuichi Sakamoto - 'Grief (Andrea Parker Remix)'

In the late 90s Ninja Tune released a great remix EP of Ryuichi Sakamoto's Prayer/Salvation. My two favorite versions that time were and still are 'Prayer' by Pan Sonic and 'Grief' by Andrea Parker, who for me is kind of a role model in the fields of (experimental) electronic music. I love the way Andrea Parker works with deep frequencies. 

WSR picks Eliane Radigue - 'Etude'

I've been listening to this a lot recently, an incredible piece from the 70s which was only released last year on an Italian label. She took a Chopin sample and fed it via speakers into a big room with contact mics recording the audio, progressively destroying the sample with room acoustics and creating this huge haunting reverb monster.

Paul Jebanasam picks John Bence - Disquiet

This record is one I keep going back to, even when I'm pretty tired of listening to music altogether. It's what I imagine a collaboration between David Lang and Giacinto Scelsi might be like but it's also really futuristic while never feeling electronic. John has a really unique idea of what he wants music to do and I genuinely look forward to hearing whatever he does next.

Jean-Hervé Péron picks Morihide Sawada - 'Sawada Snare Solo 30.06.15 Take 2'

  Sawada's technical requirements are simple: a drum-stool, no lights, no PA! 
His performance, stripped of any superfluous element, hypnotises the audience. Nowhere to hide. His message is reduced to quintessence. When his solo is over, It takes a while to come back to reality.
Varg picks Erik Enocksson - 'VII'

It's raining in Stockholm, the city has lost its meaning.  Im lucky to have some people with great hearts around me. And I'm glad to be able to bring some of them to Atonal.

I can't limit myself to present just this excellent piece by Erik Enocksson. Summer 2015 chart follows: Händer Som Vårdar - 'For You'
Vit Fana - 'Jag Glömmer Aldrig'
Ligature - 'The Inevitable Drift'
Destruction Unit - 'The World On Drugs'
Vanity Productions - 'Den Venskelige Vej'
  Croatian Amor - 'Make-Up Around His Genitals'
J.S Aurelius - 'We Are The Ones Who Will Die Too Young'
Puce Mary - 'Everything Stays The Same'
Matti Bye - 'Brought Into Light'
Mischa Pavlovski - 'Kapitel'

Yair Glotman picks Ellen Fullman performing at MOCAD

Ellen Fullman is an American composer and instrument builder. She is known for playing a 21-meter long string instrument, an instrument tuned in just intonation and played with resin-coated fingers. The way her performances cross between sound sculptures, live movement and a spatial relation is deeply inspiring to me. 

David Borden picks David Borden - 'Enfield In Winter'

It was composed as a birthday present to Judy Borsher in 1978.  She was a member of Mother Mallard then, and her birthday is on January 22. It was a very cold and snowbound year in the Fingerlakes region of New York State. Enfield, not far from Lake Cayuga, was where our studio was located.

Adi Newton of Clock DVA picks TEST TONES .mov

I would like to propose this piece/video From TAGC TEXT descriptor in RED/ TAGC/The Anti group, who performed twice at the Berlin Atonal in its early developmental stages in the mid 80s and gives a clear indication as to the Experimental and groundbreaking pioneering music that was being staged at that time. The video is from a performance by The Anti Group in Leipzig in 2011 inside the TAGC CUBE, of the piece 'Test Tones', a work that was first performed some 26 years earlier at Berlin Atonal.

Berlin Atonal takes place August 19-23 in Berlin