CTM Festival 2016: 5 Tips From Rabih Beaini

CTM kicks off the festival calendar every year at the end of January. In one form or another, it’s been bringing a wide range of audio and visual artists to Berlin for a 10-day festivity of concerts, club nights, exhibitions, conversations and contextualized thinking. This year, curator Rabih Beaini joins festival directors Jan Rohlf, Oliver Baurhenn and Remco Schuurbier in the festival’s programming.

Beaini, a Beirut native who currently resides in Berlin and, besides being a DJ and producer, runs the increasingly diverse Morphine Records. “I was asked to join the collective of CTM with a precise and defined idea,” Beaini explains. The theme was already being crafted and they thought about asking me to be part of the music programme selectors. The New Geographies theme is somehow a natural crucial point of the evolution of the contemporary music scene. I think it reached a point where the themes around post-globalization and future traditions are meant to be explored deeper, and with more awareness.”

''To have more equality in the selection and beat down the more white male oriented festival line-ups we normally find around us is important’’

Beaini has been given carte blanche from the CTM team. “To have total freedom of choice means there were basically no limits or obvious choices. It was nice to finally get to select a wide range of artists that you normally don't happen to see or meet in a contemporary music festival, and to be in touch with these artists and share the enthusiasm of confirming their presence.”

He stresses the fact that the electronic music scene should pay more attention to diversity. “For me it it’s important to be as much related to the theme as possible, to have the diversity of choices and the combination of acts, to have more equality in the selection and beat down the more white male oriented festival line-ups we normally find around us.”

Rabih Beaini’s 5 must-see CTM shows:

TIP 1: Pauline Oliveros
She's among the most interesting musicians and performers of our contemporary electronic and avant-garde scene, a very rich personality that ranges from being one of the pioneers of tape music and electronic. Oliveros is one of the founders of the west coast experimental electronic scene, and her teaching program in various universities but especially her Deep Listening Institute, where she conducts workshops about deep listening practices that inspired so many of our most respected musicians.

She's kind of the guest of honor of this year's theme, one that definitely reshaped the lines and borders between genres and styles. She will perform on Thursday February 4th with Mazen Kerbaj and Karen Power, and on Friday the 5th Oliveros and Ione will present new work in a multichannel concert, called Mountain Above Fire Below Now.

TIP 2: Gamut Inc/Jerusalem In My heart
On Tuesday February 2nd, these two acts are in a way complimentary with a ensemble of self-built mechanical instruments that are played using a Max for Live (Ableton) guided environment. It sits between psychedelic and rhythmic and it’s very interesting. Jerusalem in My Heart is a Lebanese Born Canadian resident artist who explores deep grounds of electronic music and traditional Arabic music with a distinguished style.

TIP 3: Vincent Moon 
Vincent Moon’s installation of films called Rituals will take place for the whole duration of the festival, and will explore some of his most special movies presented in a three layered structure.

TIP 4: Abdel Karim Shaar
The Lebanese tarab legend Abdel Karim Shaar travels to CTM with his band. Definitely a special occasion to experience an authentic Arabic music night. Come to Heimat Hafen on Monday February 1.

TIP 5: Coordinates III
Keiji Heino and Kazu Uchihashi go head to head with Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi (Senyawa): basically a meeting between Indonesia's and Japanese’s best noise and improv heads.

Check out CTM’s full programme over here