Felix K and Ena
For several minutes a strange apartment complex still frame rests in stark black and white while we attempt to comprehend its meaning. The image finally changes, remixing and morphing so there are extra slats in the foundation. This bubbles, growing into a completely new image, one in which we are now staring at the sky, at another temporary structure. Faint breakbeats bleed into the mix, fighting with insistent subs. The mix could become an old school drum n’ bass set, but in the duo’s hands the effect is something much more mangled. The beat shifts to 6/4, a technique Ena had employed on an earlier day, shuffling the main downbeat for the audience. A dissonant two-note melody develops as the visuals blur out. The set ends on an ambient note, far away from the throttle of the past hour.
The warm electronics of the Amor set were a welcome respite, and the colors in the venue responded in kind, a rainbow of light shafts that swayed to the musical output. It’s divine to be able to hear the treble ring out in the open hall, and the lack of percussion makes listeners focus in on the timbres of the beautiful set.
Death in Vegas
Death in Vegas play a special set with lyrics contributed by actress Sasha Grey, whose voice cuts a soft whisper above the electronic din, never rising to prominence in the mix. It has the feel of a more traditional band dynamic, if only for the pauses in between songs. Grey is having a blast, swaying to the electronic grooves. For the first time on the main stage, treble synths are allowed to live in their domain without fear of getting squashed by the low end. The strobe lights flicker as the synthesizer glissando cries into the air.
A side project of Andreas Tilliander, TM404 is all about restraints and a certain obsession. Utilizing only the classic Roland x0x series of synthesizers, including four 303s, Tilliander pushes the boundaries of what can be done with machines seen as the cornerstone of the techno sound. The resulting sound is quite different than his other moniker, and shows that he is willing to explore other palettes of sound, challenging himself in the process. Tilliander hits the sweet spot more than once with a mutated blend of sound when his set kicked into high gear, and the classic machines are barely recognizable, showing that boundaries are only mental barriers.
Donato Dozzy and Lory D
The techno giants serve an up-tempo techno set with understated bass lines that growl underneath the thick bass kicks. It’s back to Detroit roots, punctuated with effect flourishes in between insistent four-on-the-floor rhythms, no small feat for a set that lasts for four hours.
Stay tuned for our last day of Berlin Atonal coverage.
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