Atonal festival is an established part of Berlin’s electronic music scene. This year the festival went into its 4th round, since it got relaunched in 2013. Initially the festival was founded in the 1980s by Dimitri Hegemann, who is also the founder of Tresor club.
Key to the festival is its line-up of international artists in the field of experimental electronic music. The unique artist booking of Atonal makes the festival a must visit for anyone who is interested in contemporary experimental sounds. The Schaltzentrale room was especially interesting to music nerds; here spontaneous jam sessions would take place where artists and visitors could play around with synthesizers.
Visitors could not only get mesmerized by electronical sounds, but also by the festivals location which was situated in the Kraftwerk, an old power station. The main performances took place in a big hall with an at least 20 meter high ceiling. The location contributed with its industrial charm to the often dark and even sinister atmosphere of the music sets. The most intense one of those was probably by UF, a collaboration between the artists Kerridge and OAKE. They filled the dark lit hall with screams and drone sounds, whilst a stroboscope would once in a while glance over the crowd.
Next to the main hall, performances, and DJ sets also took place in the usual Tresor and Ohm spaces, offering a broad variety of styles and sets.
The festival also had several art and video installations on display. In the Projektionsraum area changing video installations formed a chill-out and gallery space at the same time. Visitors could take a break whilst looking at Luis Sanz’ STM~Intemporal, which showed the amorphous and organic movement of white shapes and dots floating around in a watery black void.
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Atonal is a 5-day festival for experimental electronic music which took place from the 24th to the 28th of August at Kraftwerk, Berlin.