Review: CTM is the inspiring festival that dance music needs –
Wednesday night in Berghain, DJ Haram and Moor Mother perform skeletal club beats and protest poetry as part of their 700 Bliss collaborative project, before Belgian punk band Cocaine Piss takes the stage to launch a slew of Fast-paced nihilistic hymns. “We almost laughed [when deciding to put Cocaïne Piss after 700 Bliss] because the idea of confronting the public and the place with it seemed like a mini coup, ”explains co-commissioner James Grabsch. Mini-coups are needed to disrupt hegemony within the music industry.
Downstairs in Säule, the after-party kicks off with 100% Halal German DJ collective dabbling in incendiary clubs like Dinamarca’s “Holy” and D Malice’s funky British classic “Gabryelle Refix”. They add signature touches to their selections, using CDJ manipulation and drawing techniques for playful editions of Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” and Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction”. At the end of their plateau, the room is full, and the smoke from machines and cigarettes is thick in the air, sprayed with cold blue lights and penetrated by sharp red lasers.
It is in this intoxicating atmosphere that Kilo Vee, co-founder of the Shanghai collective Genome 6.66 Mbp intervenes. His tall figure appears imposing behind the decks with a bandana obscuring his face, and he confidently announces his presence with a cascade of propulsive club beats, before they merge into a blissful haze. Throughout the ensemble, Kilo Vee pulls off auditory somersaults with masterful flair. Frenzied bass crumbles into woozy experimentalism; offensive voices against “the company, the cops, the system” come out of the darkness confidently before turning into ferocious white noise; SOPHIE’s “Faceshopping” is next to a clubby remix of tATu’s “Not Gonna Get Us”. Stylish dressers in designer clothes dance alongside experimental chefs representing Amnesia Scanner products; a man is wearing fluffy pink pajamas. But while clothing choices differ across the dance floor, the expressions of its occupants share the same appreciation of vis-à-vis, eyes blazing with excitement. Wednesdays are rarely so exciting.