Festivals: Our CTM 2017 Guide


“Music expresses that which cannot be said yet about which it is impossible to remain silent”
Victor Hugo

CTM 2017 is just around the corner and for the best part of 10 days, Berlin is set to become the epicenter of the experimental and forward thinking music world. Founded in 1999, the festival enters its 18th year to the backdrop of  Fear, Anger Love, the theme and title of its 2017 edition.

Behind this year’s theme is CTM’s ambition to “present musicians and artists that are working with emotion in various ways to respond to urgent societal issues and conflicts that increasingly seem to be emotionally driven”. An on point matter in a year that begun with the swearing in of a vintage populist to one of the world’s most prominent positions of power.

To help navigate a program overflowing with incredible concerts, club nights, talks, exhibitions and meet ups, we’ve gone ahead and picked three highlights of CTM 2017. Weekend passes are unfortunately sold out but you can still buy tickets for a large selection of individual events.

Critical Constellations Of The Audio Machine In Mexico
 Friday 27.01 till Sunday 05.02. Where: Kunstquartier Bethanien.


© Kunstraum Bethanien

This year, the festival focuses its gaze on Mexico. Two evenings at HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU2) as well as performances at Berghain and Radialsystem will extend a festival-wide focus on Mexico anchored by the always excellently curated (and free!) main festival exhibition, housed in the imposing structure of the Kreuzberg hospital turned art space Bethanien.

Critical Constellations of the Audio-Machine in Mexico” comes curated by Carlos Prieto Acevedo, one of Mexico’s most respected researcher on the subject of electronic music. The exhibition examines the history and current status of sound art and electronic music in Mexico and features works by the likes of Ariel Guzik, Angélica Castelló and Guillermo Galindo.

NON Worldwide Present: The Great Disappointment
 Sunday 29.01 – Tuesday 31.01 Where: Hau 2


© Chino Amobi

NON Worldwide is the globally distributed label and collective founded in 2015 by Nigerian Chino Amobi, South African ANGEL-HO and Belgian-raised, UK based NkisiNON deliver a social critique through the sounds of Africa and the African diaspora. The releases of the label can be loosely filed next to fellow high energy sound mangling collectives such as Janus and Staycore and for CTM, the crew will be joined by Embaci and DJ Lady Lane for a series of three performances put together with choreographer Ligia Lewis.

Somewhere between variety show and spectacular abstraction, the vision of NON will meet the physical duress of Lewis’ powerful and energetic choreography in a hybrid live event. The show employs nationalist rhetoric and celebrates the glory of the NON State through a vacillation between traditions, with a firm footing in club music.

 Friday 03.02 Where: Berghain

The programme for Berghain and Panorama is nothing short of exceptional throughout the entirety of the festival. The likes of Actress, DJ Stingray, Moor Mother, Pharmakon and Ex Eye will all be playing the cavernous inside of the world’s most famous club/meme/perpetual object of fascination, but the one night that hits it out of the park is Elation.

Be it Ableton co-founder Robert Henke appearing as Monolake in a special surround sound setup, the premiere of nutjobs N.M.O‘s “Deutsch Am Fuß piece”, the visceral noise of SØS Gunver Ryberg or the gritty industrial techno of L.I.E.S affiliate Tzusing, you’re in for an intense and noise coated treat.

Head to www.ctm-festival.de for the full program.