CTM Festival stages a lethal trinity for the 9th installment of its Polymorphism series, focusing on artists whose sound relentlessly subverts – or simply transgresses – established scenes and genres. Nguzunguzu, Slava, and Lotic are militant hybridists, engineers of future-stepping, chrome-brushed, combustible club music. From the sub-octaves and breakbeats of bass to Chicago house and the perverse synthetics of mainstream pop, their sound is uncompromising and confrontational, unpretentious, urban, and anthemic. Everything is source material; everything is electric. Exploding conventions of contemporary dance music, the triad makes a formidable contribution to the impending death of genre.
Polymorphism #9 will be presented as the second installment of Berghain’s experimental club night and concert series, Focus Mode.
Nguzunguzu (say it with us: en-goo-zoo en-goo-zoo) is ninja DJ and production duo Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda. The pair began collaborating at the Art Institute in Chicago, delivering themselves to the scene with a self-released EP and mixtape dedicated to Art of Noise’s Memories of Love. Their high-octane, global club music has since spawned a style in it’s own right, canvassing house-inflected UK bass and kuduro, hi-tech reggaeton, Chicago juke, and leftfield grime, zouk, cumbia, and 90s hip hop and R&B. Most recently, the pair has teamed up with Fatima Al Qadiri and Jamie Imamian-Friedman, aka Lit City’s J-Cush, to produce as Future Brown. Pineda’s debut solo EP under the alias NA Nguzu, Xtreme Tremble, dropped via L.A. imprint and event series Fade to Mind in September, and a new Nguzunguzu EP, Skycell, will follow 2012’s Warm Pulse EP (Hippos in Tanks) this fall.
Slava Blasanov is a Moscow born-Chicago-bred, New York-based producer and visual artist. His most recent LP, Raw Solutions (2013), debuted via Daniel Lopatin’s Software imprint, and he has also released on Future Times, Mathematics Recordings, and !K7 compilations. The stylistic blueprint of Chicago house is evident in Slava’s sound, but the producer is anything but classicist: his decadent synthetics twist pop culture samples manipulated to the point of obscenity around ghetto house, juke, and footwork. His visual projects explore the convergence of real and virtual space through augmented reality iPhone apps, web-based platforms, and physical installations, and are becoming integral to his live performances.
Lotic is DJ and producer, J’Kerian Morgan. Raised in Houston, Lotic now operates out of Berlin, where he is a resident at the monthly Janus parties and runs a second club night, Dissonance. He will be injecting his chopped and screwed / pop culture critical delirium into CTM Festival’s ongoing Berlin Current project, presenting adventurous and experimental sound from the city. The 24-year-old’s most recent EP, Sankofa / Glittering, dropped on Sci Fi & Fantasy earlier this year, and a new four-track for the label, Fallout, is due out October 1.
An unprecedented range of sound has today been made available through digitization and the development of new technologies. Our acoustic environments are saturated by diverse influences and constantly in flux. With Polymorphism, CTM introduces artists who, rather than limiting or refining the scope of their sound to subscribe to existing genres, categories, or expectations, embrace the challenge of hybridity. Disregarding conventions of quality, taste, and target audience, these artists draw inspiration from open archives and the malleability of modern technology, recontextualizing and recombining to discover new and mutant expressive forms. The resulting styles may be at once chaotic and wholly coherent, amorphous and hazy or packed with strong contrasts, yet are never anything less than resolutely eclectic and subjective. With Polymorphism – a cross breed of club night, concert, and experimental laboratory – CTM presents artists who explore the artistic possibilities of a contemporary moment in which everything counts as a viable source and no rules apply.
Berlin Current is a collaborative initiative from CTM Festival, Berghain, Boiler Room Berlin, BLN.FM, De-Bug, and ICAS. Sponsored by the Musicboard Berlin.