PREVIEW: Berlin Atonal 2019

Ahead of this weekend's Berlin Atonal, the festival's curators pick out some of their personal most-anticipated sets for the event

This weekend sees yet another ambitious line-up descend upon Berlin’s Kraftwerk Building and other nearby spaces as Berlin Atonal returns to the city for its 16th edition.

Amongst the line-up highlights this year are Objekt’s German debut of his new audiovisual live show alongside visual artist Ezra Miller, a new live project from Shackleton, a world premiere audiovisual set from Samuel Kerridge and Taylor Burch (following in the wake of their collaborative album) and further live performances from the likes of Amnesia Scanner, JK Flesh, Helm and MY DISCO.

Ahead of the festival’s first day tomorrow (August 28), we invited Berlin Atonal curators Laurens von Oswald, Harry Glass and Paulo Reachi to talk us through some of the acts playing this year in more detail, filling us in on some of their most-anticipated sets.

Berlin Atonal runs from August 28 – September 1. To check the full line-up and grab final tickets, head here.

Not Waving + Dark Mark

"We were surprised when we caught wind of this project and were immediately intrigued – as soon as we heard bits of the record we knew that we wanted to try and present it at the festival. There’s something specific about Mark Lanegan’s voice and delivery that hints at the mythic and timeless. The context provided by Alessio’s mutated background electronics results in something pretty special."


"Nivhek is an alias of Grouper aka Liz Harris. She hardly needs an introduction, having consistently released deeply moving and evocative music for over a decade now. To us, Nivhek emphasises a kind of mythic, solemn, almost abstractly religious moment that we guess has always been present in her work but is somehow foregrounded under this alias. We’re very excited to hear how it plays out in our own abstractly ‘devotional’ main hall."


"HTRK have always had a dusty, industrial aesthetic that seemed to fit stylistically with many aspects of the festival to us. We’re excited to invite them to perform for the first time here, just as they release their fourth album on the week of the festival."

Vladislav Delay with AGF presents Rakka

"Sasu Ripatti is one of those artists that totally sits outside of trends and time-bound genres. His music is timeless and strikingly innovative. You can listen to releases from 20 years ago and they still sound as if they were made for tomorrow. He’s been away from things for some time, so it’s a pleasure to host his first show of his new work in the context of the festival. AGF’s consistently striking video work accompanies the piece."

Roly Porter + MFO presents Kistvaen

"Every time we exchange ideas with Roly Porter and Marcel Weber, we are taken aback by their ambition and vision. The new piece, Kistvaen, is something very new for both of them – central to this piece are Kists, which are Neolithic burial sites located in Dartmoor, England, along with the songs of burial rituals, which will be sung live by featuring vocalists. The visual show produced by Marcel Weber was shot at various locations in some of the last primeval forests across the northern hemisphere."

Mi+ra presents nine-sum sorcery

"Mi†ra is a newly formed collaboration that unites musicians we admire. It features the computer music of HATAM with Persian/Kurdish vocalist and songwriter Hani Mojtahedy and percussionist Colin Hacklander. It also shows visuals created by Evelyn Bencicova and 3D artist Enes Güç with graphic design by Zeynep Schilling. A truly collaborative work. nine-sum sorcery is a lament, telling an allegory of global complicity with strange and dark forces, and engages with ‘oil’ as a ‘narrative lubricant’, a ‘hydrocarbon corpse juice’."

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