Prologue: Nichts Neues im Westen? All Quiet on the Western Front?
20:00 – 01:00, Konzertsaal
• Mattin (Berlin // Spanien) Songbook #7, Concert Premiere & Live-Recording. Mattin (voc.), Moor Mother (voc., electronics), Lucio Capece (saxophones, electronics), Marcel Dickhage (tba), Cathleen Schuster (tba), Farahnaz Hatam (laptop), Colin Hacklander (drums)• Benjamin Noys (University of Chichester / UK) Negation and Acceleration: The Conditions of Music, Lecture• Discussion w/ Benjamin Noys, Moor Mother, Mattin, Morgan Craft, Giulia Loli• Rough Americana (Amsterdam // USA), Concert. Morgan Craft (guitar), Giulia Loli aka Mutamassik (turntables, electronics, percussion)• Moor Mother (Philadelphia / USA), Concert
Yes, this is a festival on electronic music from Africa and its diaspora – but it is also an enquiry into the cultural transformations spurred by globalisation, into the status quo of Western societies and where they might be heading. So it starts with the Global North’s affluent societies and their simultaneous stagnation, acceleration and eroding cultural and social coherence. In how far can the West still be a model for development? What do we bring and what are we looking for, when we are facing the Global South? The first night of the festival features politically minded artists from Europe and the US, dealing with a world in turmoil, cultural stasis, community action, and speculative futures in sound and conversation. Where do we go from here? Notoriously genre-breaking and defiant, Basque noise artist and anti-copyright as well as anti-capitalist-activist Mattin has been continuously present at this year’s documenta with his Social Dissonance-project and recorded the rather spectacular Lagos Sessions under his Billy Bao alias. He will open Digging the Global South with the premiere and live-recording of his new Songbook #7, comprising 7 songs of 7 minutes covering events from the first 7 months of this year with a band of 7 amazing musicians - all artists from the Berlin underground plus Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother. Benjamin Noys, articulate critic of accelerationism and professor of critical theory, will contribute a lecture on the conditions of music to kick off an extensive conversation with the musicians of the night on their political trajectories, on navigating between sound and semantics, dissent and affirmation, and why they stick to music as a means of cultural progress. Rough Americana – solo guitar innovator Morgan Craft and adventurous turntablist Mutamassik - is a two-person ‘think tank and action laboratory‘ contributing not only edgy music with high energetic charge: They both are writing musicians with a hopeful afrocentric bend who openly share their thoughts on social, political and individual transformation. Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother is a community-based activist from Philadelphia who has been working at the intersection activism, art and DIY-culture for many years. She co-founded a community initiative called Black Quantum Futurism, which leads writing workshops at shelters and schools and examines the lasting scars of collective trauma. Ayewa started Moor Mother in 2012 and went of to make twelve albums in three years. Her latest LP, the widely acclaimed Fetish Bones (Don Giovanni Records 2016), features 13 songs conceived and recorded in Ayewa’s home studio using a variety of machines, field recordings, and analog noisemakers. The music is often harsh and strange, projecting both the visceral anger of punk and the expansive improvisatory spirit of Sun Ra. Her music serves as a vessel for confronting a history of struggle and loss and as a call for rebellion and endurance in the American black community.