The AFAR duo attempts to bridge the distance between the natural and the industrial, exploring the paradox between the organic and the electronic. In some places AFAR builds danceable rhythms backed by haunting vocals, in others the band creates ambient moments consisting of multi-instrumental soundscapes.
Originally started by Max Grüner as a solo project, the search for sonic expansion brought him into contact with more and more people with whom he felt an almost twin-like naturalness and closeness when making music. Sometimes his approachable English and German lyrics interlock with dry grooves of acoustic guitar, electric bass and drums; sometimes they are embedded in warm synth carpets, circling Wurlitzer patterns and dreamy saxophone and clarinet lines. Experimental singer-songwriter music à la José Gonzales and This is the Kit, which gives expression to emotions without being pathetic, which feels light without losing depth, that radiates calm and allows itself to break out of it. With their diverse musical backgrounds of pop, jazz and classical, the five musicians oscillate between the subtle complexity and charming simplicity of honest songs.
Just play some hits! This secret technique has taken Brigade from the Marzahn-Hellersdorf Festival to Fusion Festival. In their luggage: influences from minimal, lo-fi house and various episodes of Die Drei ???. On stage, these two artists create the impression that Dieter Bohlen and Thomas Anders had never split up and when the keytar is used for the synthesizer solo, if not before, there is not a dry eye in the house. Nevertheless, the duo sets their sights low: "A greatest hits album with a children's choir, their own street, maybe the smashing of capital." (Spiegel, May/2021).
Caleesi & Sarah Kreis
© Diego Ortiz
When Caleesi & Sarah Kreis play together, it's more than a b2b in the classic sense of a ping-pong game behind the decks: Their collaboration is a true symbiosis of sound that seamlessly blends their individual preferences. Although their musical roots lie at different ends of the audio spectrum, they both harbor a strong preference for deepness, groovy basslines and warm melancholy that create a special vibe and melt dance floors while spurring listeners on with their unique drive. And because their shared love for music doesn't stop there, they launched their own music label "Circles & Stones" in 2019 to bring the spotlight to talented artists whose music they admire. They are partners in crime who have played mesmerizing sets all over the world, taking audiences on unforgettable journeys through the depths of different genres. Some people would describe their sound as somewhere between deep house and downtempo - but whether in their home, Berlin club Katerblau, or at festivals like Garbicz, Fusion or Burning Man, their sound speaks for itself.
© Mitch Stoehring
CONIC ROSE is the discovery of a swarm of thunderflies. The tipping moment in which everything is perceptibly condensed - into lines that cross the intuition as stick figures. Individual lines are retraced. Others are cut out or deformed. Trusting the swarm that no individual can know what weather clouds will become. Trumpeter and flugelhorn player Konstantin Döben founded CONIC ROSE together with guitarist Bertram Burkert, bassist Franziska Aller, drummer Silvan Strauß and pianist Johannes Arzberger. A swarm to get lost in.
David Bergmüller is one of the most exciting and multi-faceted lute players of his generation. His virtuoso performances range from historically inspired performance practice to new compositions for the lute. His discography includes recordings of various genres such as early music, contemporary music, and electronic music. He composes for his instruments, for his ensemble Sferraina, founded in 2012, and for his duo with clarinetist David Orlowsky, combining acoustic and electronic sounds. Numerous composers such as Pia Palme, Arturo Fuentes, Gilad Hochman, Manuel Durão and Franz Bauer have written works for him. With his ensemble Sferraina he was nominated for the German Record Critics' Award in the Crossover Productions category.
© Sophia Hegewald
Live electronic and acoustic length, visible haptics with an electronically expanded sound spectrum and classical roots with experimental elements. With their backgrounds in contemporary music, classical music and jazz, the six ensemble members explore musical communication paths: Detect Ensemble's mission is to create content that combines the qualities of different art music worlds, with the courage to embrace complexity and artistic innovation through a profound co-creation process.
In 2000, Oliver Doerell found a partner and kindred spirit in Roger Döring, who shared his love for the Brussels music scene of the eighties. In 2009, violinist Alex Stolze joined the band. In their 20-year band history, Dictaphone has played in over twenty countries, with festival appearances at Mutek, Transmediale, Unsound, Benicassim and many others. In recent years, Dictaphone has delved even deeper into their concept of "morbid instruments". Their music remains timeless, minimalist and beautiful.
© Anna Daki
Julienne Dessagne is the mastermind behind Fantastic Twins. Since 2013, Dessange has compiled a powerful catalog and released on labels such as Optimo Music, Hippie Dance and Kompakt. While her solo work is the cornerstone of her output, Dessagne has proven herself to be an in-demand collaborator and remixer. Her symbiotic spirit extends to her own Microdosing label, which she launched in 2019 with a series of compilations featuring tracks from Autarkic, Gilb'R and Manfredas, among others. Fantastic Twins on record is one thing, but Fantastic Twins in the flesh is an absolute force of nature, pushing her catalog to new heights. Addicted to the psychedelic potential of the club, Fantastic Twins is a rare artist capable of putting her audience into a truly altered state, lulling them into a trance until she snaps them back out of it.
© Ralph Steckelbach
Frank Dupree is a musician with a never-ending horizon, a bridge builder between classical music and jazz, making him one of the most promising exceptional artists of his generation. From his earliest years, Frank Dupree has been interested in music of very different styles and has approached it from different angles: as a jazz percussionist, a classical pianist with a keen interest in modern music and, last but not least, as a conductor. He devoted himself to the classical piano repertoire and built his international career as a concert pianist. In 2014, he was named the only prize winner of the German Music Competition. In 2018, he won the OPUS KLASSIK Concert Recording of the Year Award (20th/21st century), and in 2022 he received the International Classical Music Award (ICMA) for his recording of Nikolai Kapustin's 4th Piano Concerto. At the Detect Classic Festival 2023, Frank Dupree will perform Nikolai Kapustin's 5th Piano Concerto with the junge norddeutsche philharmonie.
© Eydís María Ólafsdóttir
In his solo work, Reykjavik-based producer Janus Rasmussen distills his many different collaborations. Hailing from the Faroe Islands, Janus has spent the last decade collaborating with artists of various musical genres, gaining a wealth of experience and inspiration that is now clearly audible in his own melodic, experimental electronic music. Together with Ólafur Arnalds he performs as one half of KIASMOS.
Jascha Hagen is a musician, record collector and producer. Since 2008 he has been developing his own signature in music making and producing. Jascha Hagen is always looking for new concepts and ways to expand the house music sound world without leaving it. His live performances are driven by analog synthesizers, recorded and processed material and a tape recorder. Colorful harmonies and melancholic atmospheres flow over repetitive layers of drums, always trying to find the right amount of chaos and disorder in the world of computer music.
© Cleo Valentine
London-based German violinist and vocalist Johanna Burnheart creates her niche with original compositions and electronic arrangements. Johanna has spent much of her life in the Berlin techno & house scene, which continues to exert a significant influence on her compositions. Her style exists at the point where modal jazz and techno meet. This is an ever-evolving endeavor, in part because technology increasingly makes it possible to bring the acoustic sound of the violin to life electronically with few compromises. In the midst of the pandemic, on October 30, 2020, Johanna released her debut album, "Burnheart", with Ropeadope Records. In 2021, she was named one of the top 30 new artists by the Guardian. Following this, Johanna released the EP "Burnheart Remixed" in late 2021 with remixes of Acid Pauli, Beth Lydi, Nesa Azadikhah and Pilo Adami as a tribute to her love of techno.
It's hard to imagine the Cologne scene without Jonathan Kaspar. He is a resident at the renowned Gewölbe Club and one of the main artists of the legendary Kompakt label. Since his teenage years, he has been a regular guest at Kompakt's parties and record store. So it was inevitable that their paths would cross at some point and he eventually became part of the in-house agency. While Kaspar is constantly reinventing himself, he stays true to what he loves most - being a DJ and producer! Kaspar likes to play extra long DJ sets and goes on a journey together with the crowd.
junge norddeutsche philharmonie
© Frederik Ferschke
Since its founding in 2010, the junge norddeutsche philharmonie has quickly developed into a cultural project known throughout Germany. The network of this non-profit association is not limited to music students, but is open to everyone who wants to play an active role in shaping a cultural life, to bring fresh ideas to the concert landscape or try their hand at organizing a project. New collaborations, discussion forums, orchestral projects and concert formats with partners such as the Elbphilharmonie, Festspiele MV and Zunkunftsschloss Gadebusch are constantly emerging from this network. A real game changer for the next decade of the junge norddeutsche philharmonie was the initiative for the Detect Classic Festival, the workshop series "jnpowerhouse" and the cooperation with the Trickster Orchestra, from which the transcultural overwriting of Mahler's 10th Symphony emerged. The patron of the junge norddeutsche philharmonie is former German President Joachim Gauck. In 2023, the junge norddeutsche philharmonie will once again pitch its tents at the Detect Classic Festival and, under the direction of Kiril Stankow, perform the 5th Symphony by Jean Sibelius and a "Military Sinfonietta" by the Czech composer Vítezslava Kapráklová. An absolute highlight and a new discovery for the orchestra will be Nikolai Kapustin's Piano Concerto No. 5 with soloist Frank Dupree.
© Maximilian König
Kai Schumacher's arrangements and compositions are powerful, stirring, intoxicating and full of feeling. With an almost percussive manner, he makes dramatic scenes unfold on the grand piano. His concerts are acts of pure musical and stylistic alchemy, blending Dadaism and dancefloor, avant-garde and pop culture. With his 2019 album RAUSCH, Schumacher turned the spotlight on his own compositions for the first time. Abstaining from using overdubs and electronics, he uses his own analog piano manipulations. In addition to conceiving cross-genre concert formats, Kai Schumacher's repertoire as a pianist focuses on minimal music and 20th and 21st century American piano music.
© Albert Rein
Tell me, is that still jazz?! Courageous instead of introverted, Kasimir Effekt spreads out a soft dance carpet somewhere between ironic Captain Future adventure and virtually infinite expanses that is pleasant on the ear. Woven from technoid improvisations, electronic excesses and sound miniatures from the cheerful corners of the dark lounge bar, Kasimir Effekt develops a microcosm of fluctuating beats out of nothing. Hey, ecstasy can also be fun! Double bass, drums and Fender Rhodes piano provide the hand-played analog sound that brings the room to life.
Lemonella embodies her own very distinct feeling - her music is as warm and refreshing as the sun, yet as cheeky and sensual as a late-night cabaret. With an extensive music collection and a variety of influences from downtempo, disco, house, minimal and breakbeat, Lemonella doesn't define herself by genre, but rather by a heightened sense of what the dancefloor needs. She can play a high-energy peak-time set just as well as a chillout or ambient set (where she also likes to add spoken word into the mix), and everything in between. Her richly textured musical stories show that she's not afraid to wear her soul on her sleeve. Her sets and productions are typically poetic, with an intelligence that knows how to weave deep and melancholic sounds with the lighter, sunnier side of life. Lemonella has played some of the best clubs and festivals in Berlin and Europe, and has also toured Mexico and South Africa. In 2020 she released her first EP titled "Garden of Delight".
© Aina Clement
Tracing Lucrecia Dalt's sonic career is a bit of a challenge full of discoveries. As a musician, sound artist, performer and composer, Dalt has traversed a multitude of musical portals, transforming innate sensory impulses and unearthed references into luminous constellations. Dalt's compositions shimmer with modulations and the glowing tones of her voice, conjuring magnetic atmospheres in her distinctive and ever-expanding sonic universe. Following the acclaimed releases of Anticlines (2018) and No era sólida (2020), Dalt returns in 2022 with her eighth solo album, ¡Ay! - conjuring a new realm where her signature experiments and early influences merge. Beyond the scope of her solo music, Dalt has brought her sonic work to a variety of immersive and audiovisual projects. In her work for the screen, Dalt composed the original music for the 2021 films Catábasis (directed by Regina de Miguel) and The Seed (directed by Sam Walker), as well as the music for the 2022 HBO series The Baby, released by Invada Records and RVNG Intl.
Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist and DJ M.RUX is a contradiction: while driving his audience into sweaty ecstasy, he watches them from afar, legs crossed, gently jiggling one foot. The same goes for the structure of his music. Deceptively simple at first glance, each track evolves into a complex, dirty-crazy concoction of soul samples, melodies, beats and various sounds and rhythms. Handclaps and wooden percussion intertwine with dubby bass beats. Banjos and harmonicas alternate with city sounds from the urban canyons of a gritty metropolis. Blurred voices and distant murmurs interact with chimera-like chords. Doctor John jams along with Kode9. Hyperdub acts as a stumbling backing band for Chain Gang. Carefully unearthed samples, acoustic field recordings, bells and percussion nestle up to rolling beats and synth loops. M.RUX brings together his favorite finds from music history with what he predicts for the future of music, paying respect to both and establishing a new sound somewhere between abstract dance tunes and subtle breakbeats.
© Moisés Méndez
Mabe Fratti is an experimental cellist and composer. Originally from Guatemala, Fratti now lives in Mexico City. She uses cello, voice and synthesizer to present sound in the form of installations, compositions and free improvisation. Mabe's music takes us to sensitive sounding boards: in a hypnotic and captivating performance, she combines contemporary elements such as shoegaze and dream pop with ancient influences ranging from Gregorian chants to Sephardic music, transforming them into ingredients for a powerful sound ritual that produces a deep emotional impact.
mishy misch is an all-rounder in the electronic music scene in Zurich. As a DJ, promoter, booker and passionate discoverer of new music, she strives to promote diversity in the scene. She supports local newcomers and artists who want to explore their creative boundaries. With her DJ sets, she creates a marriage of music and stories where every beat has something to tell. She takes you into a world of vibes that are simultaneously familiar yet new and somehow decelerated. Championing a feminist perspective, she curates a fusion of electronic sounds that invite you to drift and let go of everyday thoughts. Close your eyes and dive into the world of mishy misch's vibes.
© Shari Marks
Mitsune is a Berlin-based shamisen trio from Japan, Australia and Germany. The three musicians specialize in the Tsugaru shamisen, a traditional Japanese 3-stringed instrument played by blind folk and itinerant musicians in ancient Japan. Mitsune's repertoire includes a lively mix of traditional Japanese songs, virtuosic modern compositions, and original compositions with influences from blues, rock, and global music. Their performances are engaging and joyful, spiced with vocals, bamboo flute and percussion to the sounds of shamisen. The name Mitsune translates from Japanese as "a sweet sound," but is also a reference to the word "mitsu," which stands for three of something - the three strings of a shamisen, three women, and three cultures coming together in harmony.
Embark on a journey through electronica, broken beats and dub with Oilst. With every touch of those knobs and sliders, a labyrinth of oscillating sound unfolds before you. The oscillations that stream from his patches entangle you in a web of hypnotic landscapes, leading you deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.
Secret Act is a multi-faceted singer and producer whose music reflects a unique combination of sensitivity, experimentation and rawness. With a distinct ability to create her own universe, she offers space for the full range of emotions. She is truly sharing her secrets with us.
© Sophia Bicking
SOPHE is the solo project of Berlin-based singer and songwriter Sophia Bicking. A fusion of wide-ranging genres and influences that has grown over the years from the preoccupation with her own voice and activity in a wide variety of musical projects. The clear, warm lead voice hovers over interlocking background vocals and floats above poppy or jazzy harmonies. SOPHE's sound is an emancipation from expected listening habits, yet authentic and touching pop music. It almost sounds as if Joni Mitchell, Nai Palm, Florence And The Machine and Frank Ocean are meeting to jam while Lianne La Havas and Jeff Buckley are dreaming up a new melancholic ballad in the next room.
Sutsche are the Hamburg DJs akaak and Martin Moritz. Since 2008 they have been playing their techno and house maxis too slowly - 33 rpm instead of 45 rpm. In slow motion, the groove becomes a hypnotic mantra, the drop a glide, the beats perform capers of unimagined beauty. It's great to dance to - better, longer and slower.
© Malte Seidel
The Leipzig band WELTEN reveals to us the wonder of mutual inspiration. Sensitive sound movements develop into spaces between the familiar and the unheard of. Contemporary jazz to wallow in, to drift away to and gently come back to! Since December 2016, WELTEN has released three albums and played more than 80 concerts in Germany, Iceland, Switzerland and Austria. These include performances at Múlinn Jazz Club - Harpa in Reykjavik (Iceland) with Óskar Guðjónsson (ADHD), at Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and festivals such as Fusion, Seanaps, At.tension, Jazz and the City (Salzburg) and Skandalös.
werken in German means the manual processing of material. Through interaction, sound becomes the plastic raw material, malleable by intention. The information given at a certain point in time is processed, structures are created and brought to collapse. The trio dedicates itself in its work to a freely improvised chamber music beyond stylistic listening expectations. Against the background of the musicians' different specialist fields - jazz, classical music, radio plays and sound poetry - their interest in energy flows in the area of tension between noise, music and language serves as a unifying element.