who was your childhood hero? was it a singer? a movie star? the president? was it a family member? your teacher? a character from a tv show? whoever it was, it’s likely they didn’t wear a cape. they probably didn’t sport a mask. they couldn’t fly, and they didn’t have super powers. whoever they were, it’s likely they were simply someone ordinary who did something extraordinary.
that’s the kind of message that wunderfrauen, a new art and music collective based in berlin, is trying to send. their crusade is simple: through concerts, art exhibitions, and events, wunderfrauen aims to support women in the arts and media, and to celebrate their work. in short? to introduce the new superheroes.
their first event, WHAT THE FRAU, is taking place tonight (25 november 2015) at the urban spree. featuring a host of female musicians, singers, visual artists, and photographers, the event will be the first of many hoping to bring the wunderfrauen of berlin’s art scene into the spotlight. in between attempting to fly poster the city with wunderfrauen’s mysterious black triangle, i caught up with the women behind wunderfrauen to talk about the initiative. starting with the same question (who was your childhood hero?), we talked music, media, and the wunderfrauen movement.
there are a number of great festivals around, but none have come as close to perfecting the art of the music festival as unsound has. twelve years in and unsound still has more than a few tricks up its sleeves, including this year’s theme: surprise. a relatively simple one to be sure, but one that managed to astound, delight, and confound in equal measures. the premise was straightforward: organizers announced a select number of this year’s performers, the rest would be discovered as they came on stage and later announced through the festival’s social media channels. while this may come off as gimmicky on paper, it worked remarkably well in practice. but a theme is just a theme and does not a festival make. these are only some of the many reasons why this edition of unsound might have almost achieved perfection.
akiko kiyama is not your average techno artist. she speaks softly and moves quietly. you’ll rarely find her on the dancefloor. she prefers the studio to the club scene. her music, likewise, is not your average techno endeavor. she never creates with an end result in mind. she favours weird samples and strange sounds. her label, kebko music, releases cassette tapes, not vinyl. but her innate eccentricity is exactly what makes her so capable. born and raised in japan, she shares her time between berlin and tokyo, making music both for her own imprint and for labels like nerv music, lick my deck, and sleep is commercial. during her last visit to berlin, we sat down at a cafe in mitte to talk kebko, musical expression, anti-conceptualism, and the value of weirdness.
you’ve heard of the term “trifecta,” right? it means a run of three wins. a trio of golden moments that occur together, one after the other. a perfect group of three. in this case, trifecta means rusty faders, ewerx, and diagraf. it means the meeting point between audio, visual, and visceral: orbital mechanics.
pop-kultur festival was nothing if not true to its name. taking place at the infamous berghain and its surrounding venues, pop-kultur was a rotating cast of the leading figures in contemporary electronica; a stack on stack of your standard music festival events. all packed into a mere three days of evening and nighttime gigs, the festival gave you exactly what you expected — almost to a fault. here’s why.