Posts Tagged ‘Apparatjik’

Apparatjik: Live footage from Berlin

09:27 PM

As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words and a video should be even worth more, so we feel a bit sorry for our review from Apparatjik‘s first ever gig, but happy for you, when we now share the video above. It’s a compilation of live footage from the show at Berlin’s WMF club during the CTM.10. What’s really special about this piece, is the exclusive inside-the-cube-view on the performance by Jonas Bjerre, Guy Berryman, Magne Furuholmen and Martin Terefe, which even the normal audience of the gig got denied. Too, it got audio-accentuated with the song “Snow Crystals” taken from the supergroup’s already released album We Are Here.

Oh and we still don’t use the term supergroup because we think, you should loose yourself in hysteria just by knowing that parts of Coldplay, a-ha and Mew got together, but because we honestly believe that Apparatjik bring you some real audiovisual super pleasures. Listen to the whole album on the band’s Myspace, download the track “Antlers” from TLOBF, enjoy the video and expect more stuff from the guys to hit the light of day soon!

Cubic revolutions: Apparatjik live

01:22 PM


It’s not that we don’t like Josh Homme or Dave Grohl, we honestly do, but it’s a still refreshingly appealing idea to us to see a modern supergroup (a band formed by members of other already known and /or successful bands) without one of the rock heroes. Fortunately we have the chance to see such an act, when Apparatjik, a common project by musicians Jonas Bjerre (Mew), Guy Berryman (Coldplay), Magne Furuholmen (a-ha) and Martin Terefe with some audiovisual artists, the Eye On Committee, arrive in Berlin to perform for their very first time live on stage at CTM.10 aiming to overthrow the classic conception of a gig, what leads into one of the most remarkable nights in a long time.

While Damon Albarn’s pop identity Gorillaz are hiding behind computer generated projections or shadow plays of themselves and Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant’s cubic mania makes him sing with a transparent one on his head, Apparatjik take the next step by locking themselves in a big cube with an edge length of about 10 ft and dissipating the traditional stage-audience constellation by placing their came-to-life Rubik dream in the hall’s center.

There it stands alone and silent on the second floor of the WMF when the public is allowed to step inside the room. On the plane strained over the cube’s side complex, black-and-white scientific diagrams, which were already shown on the bands website, are gleaming and the speakers are transmitting a strange sound like wind blowing through a cave grot. Fascinated and with high expectations people are grouping around the strange object in their middle, which seems to have put them under its spell.

The scene reminds of a cult moment or the landing of a spaceship until it, and with it the room, turns suddenly blue and light parallelograms and triangles appear and disappear on the screen. Within the moment of realization and mentally adapting the cube again gets enlightened by a white flashing light inside of it synchronized to a heart, cutting synth beat and percussions, which just started to play. The concert begins. But where’s the band?

The light becomes steady and one can hear Jonas Bjerres voice resoundingly and softly laying itself above the rising and then falling music. On the screen wildly jumblede shadows of playing musicians get recognizable. Apparatjik are inside the cube! Then chain gears are screened – an apt metaphor for the band’s name, an alteration of the almost silent working, conflict avoiding ideal Soviet bureaucrat, the apparatchik.

Most of the animations were already shown online, for instance the cut out heads flaring over colourful landscapes. Later the giant faces merge into each other until they are puppet-like disfigured and alienated. In between one gets a lot of more eye candy, sometimes with the shadows of the artists standing inside the prison prism looming on them, sometimes without them, so one can hardly tell, how many people are really inside and what’s their current position. In addition the trapped-ins are constantly changing their hats and walk around in a circuit.

Thereby Apparatjik reduce the omnipresent idea of the pop star as a white screen or projection surface for the ideals, dreams and wishes of his / her / their fans to absurdity. Tonight it’s the artist and star itself, who becomes a literally a projection. And with the same meticulousness and effort, with which normally the perfect image of the star gets established, it gets  desconstructed tonight falling apart into hundreds of different single perspectives, each owned by one person in the audience placed in the 3D constellation. On top of it, it’s Bjerre (if he’s indeed behind the plane), who sings the following to it: “Is that what you wanted? Did you choose?” (Supersonic Sound)

But apparently the commercial mass phenomena  called pop star is well known to Berryman, Furuholmen and – with lowered sights – Bjerre – from their daily band life at Coldplay, a-ha or Mew. And after all it’s their skillful sense for pop as a musical concept, which they obtained and which made them able to not only realize this project, but reach their first-bands’ level of success.

Mainly they are playing pleasing up tempo pop rock songs with key synthesizer additions and Bjerre using the more higher realms of his voice. It sounds a bit like German band Polarkreis 18 in the end and is surely not half as visionary as their visual ideas but it leads to a bunch of both catchy and sophisticated songs “Snow Falls”, “Arrow And Bow” or “Antlers”, which wouldn’t just only be great singles, but do unfold some impressive forces beyond radio airplay.

In Berlin the whole extravaganza ends after a bit more than half an hour with breaking with Watzlawick‘s first axiom of communication by proclaim the “End of Communication“. Afterwards all spectators have to leave the room and the cube again so it’s still disputable whether Apparatjik challenged one to get involved in the project or to perform a final iconoclasm when Bjerre sings, “You can’t hide in the shadows!” (Arrow And Bow)

Visit the Youtube channels of The Mewing Kitten and RW23102009 for further and additional, filmed impressions of the gig. Apparatjik’s album We Are Here is available through their webseite, put you’ll have to find the link there first. Have fun!

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WORDS & PHOTOS: Thomas Vorreyer

CTM.10 goes “OVERLAP”

05:14 PM

ctm 10

When a festival begins on January 28, you can hardly still call it the actual begin of the music year but in terms of the CTM.10 (club transmediale) it feels exactly like this. For eleven days – it will end on February 7 – and the eleventh time the festival will take place in Berlin, once again together with the transmediale.10 of course, which starts on February 3 though.

Equipped with the new theme “OVERLAP – Sound & Other Media” CTM.10 is going to explore and discuss the limits, risks and opportunities of interference and mergence of music, arts, media and economics with an again remarkable and diverse line-up. Center of this year’s edition will be the newly opened club WMF near Alexanderplatz. As usual collaboration will be a big part of this event, too, so – among others – the festivals  “Anästhesie der Gefühle” (CONTEXT Festival # 7) and A MAZE. Interact (festival for the Convergence of Games, Art and Music) will interfere with the CTM.10.

That guarantees a great number of highlights. For example Italians Do It Better! will appear with Desire, Glass Candy – playing probably new songs(!) – and Mike Simonetti at WMF on January 29, while on the same night and at the same club The-Knife-collaborators Planningtorock and Mount Sims will meet a Hot Chip DJ Team with Felix Martin and Al Doyle. On January 31 Geert-Jan Hobijn / Staalplaat Soundsystem, Ilpo Väisänen and Mika Vainio will invite everyone to their performance Yokomo-Pro, including 30 cars in the roundabout around the world famous Siegessäule.

The next day will see the mysterious Apparatjik (by now we already know that it’s Coldplay-bassist Guy Berryham, A-ha-keyboarder Magne Furuholmen, songwriter/producer Martin Terefe and Mew’s Jonas Bjerre) playing their first ever live show at WMF. Beneath these events UK electro heroes like Four Tet, Brackles, Joker, Scuba and Sinden will appear all over the festival, as well as Holy Fuck, Drop the Lime, Ryoji Ikeda, Schlachthof Bronx, OM, The Modern Deep Left Quartet with numerous famous guests and many more. Jacob Kirkegaard, Keiji Haino and Charlemange Palestine will even perform twice during the festival days, while Dan Deacon will play an exclusive European gig.

And of course the Berghain is involved, too. Here a festival-closing ‘Dutch night’ featuring Joris Voorn and Edwin Oosterwal will be celebrated, while at the same time over at HKW Auditorium visitors can enjoy music and art from China.

All in all not less than 20 events and club nights will take place on eleven days at eight different locations. The festival will be complemented by a huge daytime programme at .HBC, where the CTM Festival Café and – from February 5 to 6 – the Creative Independents Network Market will be located as well.

We to recommend a compilation presented by De:Bug and zero” for the festival including 13 representative tracks and a trailer for Richie Hawtin‘s tour documentary ‘Making Contakt‘. You can download it until February 7 for free here. The whole movie will be premiered on February 3 at Kino Babylon as part of the CTM.10.

Get your festival passes and tickets from here now and have a look on the complete day-by-day nighttime program below:

28.1. CTM Opening Night @ HAU2. part of the CONTEXT #7 Festival
Jacob Kirkegaard (DK) “Sabulation”, Transforma (DE) “Operators”, Hiroaki Umeda (JP) “Adapting for Distorsion”

29.1. CTM Opening Night Reprise @ HAU2. part of the CONTEXT #7 Festival
Jacob Kirkegaard (DK) “Sabulation”, Transforma (DE) “Operators”, Hiroaki Umeda (JP) “Adapting for Distortion”

29.1. CTM Opening Night Reprise @ WMF
Floor 1: Planningtorock (UK/DE), Felix Martin & Al Doyle (Hot Chip, Dj Set, UK), Jackson (DJ Set, FR), Mount Sims (US)
Floor 2: Glass Candy (US), Desire (US), Mike Simonetti (US), Noot (CA/DE), DJ TV DiSKO (CA/NZ)
Lounge: Andy Blake (UK)

30.1. CTM @ WMF
Floor1 in collaboration with Man Recordings & Melt Booking: Sinden (UK), Drop the Lime (US), Daniel Haaksman (DE), Ku Bo & Joyce Muniz (AT), Schlachthof Bronx (DE), DJ Manaia (PT), VJ Sniper (IL/DE)
Floor 2 in collaboration with Surefire: Brackles (UK), Falty DL (US), Paul Spymania (UK), Loops Haunt (UK), Rustie (UK)
Lounge: Dubco (UK)

31.1. CTM @ Großer Stern / Siegessäule
Yokomono-Pro (Staalplaat Soundsystem, Ilpo Väisänen, Mika Vainio)

31.1. CTM @ WMF
Floor 1
: Keiji Haino (JP), Ecstatic Sunshine (US), Jason Urick (US), Field Agent Slow Learner (DE)
Floor 2: Groupshow (DE) playing to Warhol’s “Empire”

1.2. CTM @ WMF
Floor 1:
Keiji Haino / Ilpo Väisänen / Mika Vainio (JP / FI), Micheal Wertmüller (CH), Guido Möbius (DE), Shenggy (CN)
Floor 2:
Apparatjik (INT)
Lounge: I.C.A.S. DJ Team (INT)

2.2. CTM @ WMF
Floor 1 in cllaboration with A MAZE.-Interact Festival: The Horrible Plans of Flex Busterman (Patric Catani, DE), STU (CH) & Raquel Meyers (ES), Wiij Timski (NL), Geis&BaBa (DE), Notic Nastic (DK), DJ Christian Candid (AT), DJ Rippe (AT)
Lounge: Computadora (ES)

2.2. transmediale.10 opening gala concert@ HKW Tiergarten Carillon
Charlemagne Palestine (US)

3.2. CTM @ WMF
Floor 1: OM (US), Habsyll (FR), Hildur Gudnadottir (IS)
Lounge: Markus Detmer (DE)

3.2. HKW Auditorium in collaboration with transmediale
Ryoji Ikeda (JP) “test pattern [live set]”, Thomas Köner & Jürgen Reble (DE) “Materia Obscura”

3.2. CTM @ Kino Babylon in collaboration with m-nus
Making CONTAKT (The Documentary) (film)

4.2. CTM @ WMF
Floor 1: Holy Fuck (CA), Oni Ayhun (SE), Etienne Jaumet (FR), Dan Friel (US)
Floor 2 – STEIM:
Alex Nowitz (DE), dj sniff (JP), Justin Bennett (NL), Tok Tek (NL)
Andy Votel (UK)

4.2 CTM @ HKW Auditorium in collaboration with transmediale
artificiel (CA/QC) “POWEr”

5.2. CTM @WMF
Floor 1: Four Tet (UK), Dan Deacon (US), Kelpe (UK), Funckarma (NL), Serengeti & Band (US), VJ Transforma (DE)
Floor 2 – in collaboration with Hotflush: Joker (UK), 2562 (NL), Scuba (UK), Mount Kimbie (UK)
The Wire Sound System (UK), Superclub DJ Team (DE)

5.2 CTM @ Französischer Dom in collaboration with transmediale
Charlemagne Palestine (US)

6.2. CTM @WMF
Floor 1: The Modern Deep Left Quartet & Guests (INT) feat. Cobblestone Jazz, The Mole, Deadbeat, Tikiman, VJ Gabriel Coutu-Dumont (CA)
Floor 2 in collaboration with Raster-Noton and transmediale
: Atom TM (DE), Aoki Takamasa (JP), Senking (DE), Grischa Lichtenberger (DE), Ulf Eriksson (SE)
Lounge: DJ Team (UK)

7.2. CTM @ HKW Auditorium in collaboration with transmediale
eARTS Shanghai Showcase, FM3_Zhang (CN), Xu Wenkai (AKA Aaaijiao, CN), Feng Mengbo (CN), Ben Huang (CN)

7.2. CTM After Party @ Berghain/Panorama Bar in collaboration with Extrema Music & Green
Joris Voorn (NL), Edwin Oosterwal (NL), Pitto (NL), Rejected ft Joris Voorn & Edwin Oosterwal (NL), Deetron (CH)