CTM-Festival’s new and irregular series of events, POLYMORPHISM, introduces forward-thinking artists, labels and networks whose innovative programs and aesthetics relentlessly subvert – or simply transgress – the established parameters of musical scenes and genres.
Number 2 in the series is dedicated to Hippos in Tanks. With barely twenty releases since its launch a good two years ago, the LA label run by Barron Machat and Travis Woolsey, has rapidly made a name for itself as one of the most exiting labs around for unusual electronic music.
With a moniker derived from And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, a novel written jointly by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac (the title of which was inspired apparently by a radio report about a fire in a London circus, and addresses the murder of a friend of the authors), the label consciously identifies itself with one of the most fruitful strands in American underground pop.
James Ferraro | Adventures in Green Foot Printing
Not that the respective sounds of artists such as James Ferraro, Hype Williams, Laurel Halo, Sleep ∞ Over, Games (aka Ford & Lopatin), D’eon or Gatekeeper can be thrown easily into one and the same pot. Yet each artist’s endeavour to fathom both the reality-bending worlds of communication and consumerism and the endless stimuli of electronic entertainment constitutes a common thread in their work.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the 1980s mainstream aesthetic, with all its blatant materialism, shrill hedonism and highly polished artificiality is one of the founding pillars of the Hippos in Tanks cosmos; and it also fits perfectly with the hyper-synthetic synth variations found in pretty much all these artists’ productions.
Laurel Halo | Embassy
In combination with ultra-modern elements in the current club sound – complex beat structures, fuzzily wavering sub-bass, sophisticated funkiness, plastic distortions and multiple echo effects – their inherent futurism, reduced to a shallow cliché in many productions today, emerges here in a new and potent guise.
In addition, in particular in the work of James Ferraro or Hype Williams, one finds a diverse medley of indigestible samples garnered ad lib from flea markets and pop culture discount stores: everything from corporate design jingle-drivel through Net folklore to 3D-kitsch and zombie pop.
Nguzunguzu | Water Bass Power
This friction between cultural entropy and disembodied digitalism’s promise of eternal life, between yesteryear and the future, the trash heap and clinically clean cyberspace launches listeners on a riveting trip to Hippos in Tanks’ unique and far-out cosmos – which is, moreover, a deliciously danceable place to be.
At this second Polymorphism night, CTM presents performances by James Ferraro (live), Laurel Halo (live), Nguzunguzu (live), The Monokid (dj), Puzzle (dj) and Opium Hum (dj).
Polymorphism #2: Hippos In Tanks Night
w/ James Ferraro, Laurel Halo & Nguzunguzu LIVE
presented by CTM Concerts
Djs: The Monokid, Puzzle & Opium Hum
Friday, 08 June 2012 | 23:45 CET
Berghain | Am Wriezener Bahnhof | 10243 Berlin/Friedrichshain