Berlin surely has a history of letting electronic music occupy spaces that certainly weren’t build for it. Since the wild nineties until today the standard venue for techno and experimental electronic events has been a disused industrial structure of some sort. But the city’s youngest electronic music festival will take you to a place with quite the contrary vibe, a bit more classical if you will, a place that has been constructed to have music performed in it – with the best possible acoustic. The Berliner Philharmonie is one of those buildings where only just walking around makes for an experience. Its asymmetrical shape and its singular interior solutions let it stand out among concert halls over the world, it has in fact served as an inspiration to some of the most famous ones.
But on the 7th and 8th of February, the home of the Berlin philharmonic orchestra will open its doors to musicians who use quite a different types of instruments – ones powered by electricity, or “Strom” in German, which gave the name to the festival. It is curated by Stefan Goldmann, a DJ and producer who has plenty of experience taking electronic music to spaces outside of the immediate club environment. The lineup offers a balanced mix of downtempo sets designed for seated listening and energy-laden DJ sets for those who prefer the groove to take over and move their bodies to the beat.
The great concert hall of the Philharmonie is known for the unique architectural solution of placing the performers in the middle with the audience surrounding them. Taking over this space will be among others the Vienna-based duo Kruder & Dorfmeister with their extremely mellow sets drawing from a wide range of influences including but not limited to funk, electric jazz, deep soul, hip hop, dub, reggae and ambient. Next on the lineup is Ryoji Ikeda, Japanese visual and sound artist who builds minimalist soundscapes and explores sounds in its purest forms, often by using frequencies at the edges of the range of human hearing.
The multileveled foyer will provide a backdrop for more dynamic sets, notably by two artists hailing from beyond the fringes of the Western world. The Siberian pop star of techno music, Nina Kraviz, and the Tunisian DJ and producer Deena Abdelwahed both have a way of working that is systematically eclectic. Landing with a completely different sound informed by their place of origin, both women use their music as a means of emancipating themselves from established narratives by taking sounds out of their context and building a new one around them. Kraviz is known for the energy that flows into her unpredictable sets in which she cherry-picks bits and pieces from a wide range of genres including footwork and acid. Abdelwahed’s sets center around the question, what if techno was invented by the Arabs? Bulgarian producer KiNK and German Don’t DJ are among other acts who will unleash techno beats and experimental electronics in the foyer.
The Hermann-Wolff-Saal will host an installation titled Phosphor by Robert Henke. Working as a composer, artist and software developer, Henke usually works with machines and algorithms applying mathematical rules to create his audiovisual installations with intentionally unpredictable results.
Strom Festival will be a welcome opportunity to immerse yourself into experimental electronic soundscapes and energetic sets in a radically different setting than in the raw industrial environment of former factories or electronic power plants. And here’s the best part of it all: We’re giving away two full weekend passes for the event! All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Strom” and your full name.
Attention! The ticket giveaway is now CLOSED, all winners have been informed. Apart from that you can also purchase passes and day tickets here.