NFOP x CTM: Excepter & Black To Comm

07 Apr 2014 — Henning Lahmann

Proud to present the forthcoming Berlin appearance of NYC experimental legends Excepter together with our friends at CTM. The group, currently consisting of founder and No Neck Blues Band member John Fell Ryan together with Lala Ryan, Jon Nicholson, and Jon Williams, will conquer the stage of Kantine am Berghain on April 15 to showcase another set of the project's distinctive take on electronics-infused, transcendent rock. Self-described as "a synthetic protest band engineered to erase cultural distinctions through polarized confusion," 12 years after its foundation the veteran band still manages to push the boundaries of our common perception of latter day avant-garde. Excepter will be supported by another very noteworthy project, Black To Comm aka Dekorder mastermind Marc Richter, whose work we last covered two years ago when seminal imprint De Stijl released his immersive soundtrack for Ho Tzu Nyen silent movie EARTH.

Highly recommended. Check out the event details over on Facebook.


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NFOP Recommends: Rauschen w/ Gebrüder Teichmann

31 Mar 2014 — Henning Lahmann

Fusing however conceived “classical” music with any variation of pop is a delicate affair, all too often settling for a middle ground that is nothing more than a sad cliché of either world (violins! grandeur! guitars! roughness!), unnecessary at best and the epitome of proto-romanticist kitsch at worst (examples abound and therefore omitted, thank me). Now don't get me wrong. There are, of course, ways to do it right, and if successful, the result may not simply provide for an entertaining night but indeed open up new perspectives on the subject matter, and alter our stagnant perceptions of both pop and "serious" music. The latest attempt to legitimise the notion while avoiding its inherent traps and pitfalls comes from two classically trained Hamburg musicians, pianist Anne von Twardowski and cellist Sonja Lena Schmid. Their upcoming concert series Rauschen aspires to convince all sceptics by taking up a more progressive and uncommon stance: Instead of an obvious amalgamation of the two worlds, the night will instead start with the duo's unaltered interpretation of a piece of chamber music – this time, Sergej Rachmaninov's 1901 Cello Sonata in G minor – before their guests, Berlin electronic luminaries Gebrüder Teichmann, join in, sampling and then re-contextualising elements of von Twardowski's and Schmid's performance by way of improvisation. The subsequent live interaction with the acoustic rendition will gradually be transformed into the Teichmanns' own set, ultimately opening up the dancefloor. This intended seamless integration of the sonically rather polar opposites surely sounds like quite an ambitious venture, yet without doubt promising to be so much more compelling than, say, Metallica ruining the San Francisco Symphony (and vice versa), and is thus warmly recommended by us.

The debut edition of Rauschen will take place at Nachtasyl in Hamburg this Friday, April 4, starting at 10.30pm. Watch the official trailer below, find more details on Facebook and get tickets over here.

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NFOP Recommends: Polymorphism #10 & #11

05 Mar 2014 — Henning Lahmann

The 15th edition of Berlin's glorious CTM Festival is now a thing firmly in the past, but the organisers keep themselves and us busy, continuing their compelling Polymorphism concert series at Berghain with not one but two further editions this week. Starting tonight already, the 10th edition brings Englishman and noire sound explorer Matthew Barnes aka Forest Swords to the Friedrichshain stage, whose latest LP Engravings did not convince everyone on the NFOP team but nonetheless found some well-deserved honorable mention in Kelsie's list of remarkable musical objects of 2013. And, as far as we remember, his appearance at the 2013 edition of CTM Festival did leave us entertained and satisfied. Barnes' set will be accompanied by our favourite Kuedo, enlisted as a DJ, and local representative Golden Diskó Ship aka Theresa Stroetges, whose performance is part of CTM's ongoing Berlin Current project. The night will be closed by another DJ set by Berlin club mainstay Falco Teichmann.

Check out the event's details over on Facebook or Resident Advisor.

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On Friday, things are predetermined to get a little rougher, as per usual on a weekend night, when Polymorphism's 11th edition invites Jack Dunning aka Untold – whose new album Black Light Spiral is just as excellent as people say – and Dutch producer 2562, who is probably better known for his other project A Made Up Sound. Untold's live performance, which will be followed by a DJ set later in the night, is accompanied by live visuals courtesy of Stockholm collective Current Current. The show by 2562 is set to be an audiovisual experience as well with the help of fellow Dutch artist Heleen Blanken. Bintus and DJ Zhao complete the bill. Needless to say, all highly recommended.

Check out the Facebook event page here, or Resident Advisor here.

Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel presented by Taco Bell: NFOP + ISO50

27 Feb 2014 — Tonje Thilesen

We're very excited to announce that we're taking part as one of the blogs of Hype Machine's Hype Hotel at SXSW this year, more particularly on Saturday, March 15th, together with our friends at ISO50. Together, we've curated a line-up of acts that particularly fits the sound of our websites, including live sets by Berlin local Machinedrum and his highly anticipated Vapor City Live performance, fellow Norwegian Cashmere Cat, Montreal's Jacques Greene, Danish producer Tomas Barfod (featuring Nina K), Hyperdub's rising Jessy Lanza, and The Range. In the DJ booth between shows, you will also get a chance to catch ISO50's Heathered Pearls, Joel Ford and Brandom Boom from The-Drum


SCHEDULE: 

12 The Range
1pm Tomas Barfod + Nina K
2pm Jessy Lanza
3pm Cashmere Cat
4pm Jacques Greene
5pm Machinedrum (Vapor City live)

Heathered Pearls (DJ)
Joel Ford (DJ)
The-Drum (DJ)


Make sure to RSVP via Hype Machine so you can come celebrate the event with us, and of course, don't forget to check out the other day shows curated by our friends Disco Naivetë x Crack in the Road, Yours Truly x Gorilla vs Bear, I Guess I'm Floating, Consequence of Sound, and Ears of the Beholder x Yvynyl

Thanks to the sponsors Taco Bell, Titos Handmade Vodka and Miller. See you there! 

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4 Years of No Fear Of Pop at Sameheads

20 Feb 2014 — Henning Lahmann

As some of you will know, No Fear Of Pop started as little more than a historical accident, and in some ways you may even say that it still is. But hey, it's been around for four years now already, and isn't that sort of legitimising in itself? Almost an aeon in blog terms, we're still happy to be doing what we're doing, and we promise (?) that we have no intention to stop. Which is why we figured that it's about time to finally properly celebrate another year of existence, and the night to do so will happen at Neukölln venue Sameheads tomorrow, Friday, February 21 – so come and have a good time with us, congratulate, bring flowers, or just seize the opportunity to finally complain about everything that bothers you, in general and concerning our humble website.

The magic starts at 10pm. A few fine friends and long-standing supporters are helping us to make the party unforgettable, in this order:

10pm No Fear Of Pop
11pm Cory & Robin
12am Jason Grier
1am Antonie93 (Montreal/live)
2am Joey Hansom
3am Why Alex Why?
4am Michael Aniser (Noisekölln)

Go here for more details. Also, don't miss our show on Berlin Community Radio tomorrow afternoon, 4pm CET as usual, to hear us play some of our all-time favourites that were posted on the site over the past four years.

In anticipation of the night, our dear friend Joey Hansom has made us a mix, including some of the more dancefloor-friendly tunes that have been featured on No Fear Of Pop. Take a listen below, and join us tomorrow night!

Tracklist:

Airbird “Part of the Game”
Gacha “Remember”
Jef Barbara “About Singers”
Planningtorock “All Love’s Legal”
Godmother “These Things Take Time”
Easter “Sky”
Antoine93 “Only Do the Music”
Alexander Geist “A Woman’s Right to Choose”
White Car “Now We Continue”
Shine 2009 feat. Paula Abdul “So Free” (Jensen Sportag Remix)
Tomas Barfod “Aether”
Ital “Queens”
Heatsick “Speculative”
Ikonika feat. Jessy Lanza “Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)”
Kassem Mosse “Broken Patterns”
Avalon Emerson “Zsa”
Holly Herndon “Chorus”
Maria Minerva “Gloria”
Felicita “Shougang Fantasy / Wavey”
Stay+ feat. Queenie “Crashed”
Cloud Boat “Pink Grin II”
Laurel Halo “Throw”
Arca “Mother”
Kuhrye-oo “For the Fame II”
How to Dress Well “Ready for the World”

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NFOP Presents: His Clancyness at Monarch

11 Feb 2014 — Henning Lahmann

This Friday, February 14 (for the lovers), we're happy to welcome back one of our favourite Canadian/Italian human beings on planet Earth, Jonathan Clancy aka His Clancyness. After spending some extended time with his band A Classic Education, he returns with more of those wonderfully blurry-eyed, wistful slacker pop tunes of his solo project. No need to dig out the old, worn out classifications such as bedroom pop, those who follow this humble site are aware that we here at NFOP have always been enchanted by Clancy's impeccable knack for writing simple yet consoling little gems. It makes sense then, we think, to present his concert at Kreuzberg's Monarch this week, and to accompany his presence with a selection of some of our current favourites. It's gonna be an early show, starting at 8pm sharp, and if you want to dance while DJ, you'll even need to come an hour earlier – just the perfect to start into your weekend, we hope you agree. See you there!

Check out the event details over on Facebook. We're giving away 1x2 tickets for the show. To win, just send an email to submissions@nofearofpop.net with the subject "His Clancyness" before Friday, 12pm CET.

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NFOP x Cream Cake: Sasha Go Hard

30 Jan 2014 — Henning Lahmann

The first NFOP-presented event in 2014 is an extra special one, tailor-made to soothe your post-CTM blues, and above all a joint venture with our favourite DJ/promoter duo in town, the magnificent women of Creamcake: On Tuesday, February 4, 21-year old über-talent and Chicago upstart Sasha Go Hard will rock Kreuzberg's Südblock, accompanied by turntable magic courtesy of the fabulous Perera Elsewhere and the Creamcake crew. Come celebrate one of the most unique and distinct talents in forward-thinking rap with us next week – watch the video below if you're not convinced already.

We're giving away 2x2 guest list spots. Write us an email with the subject "Sasha Go Hard" before Monday, 3pm CET. Check out the FB event page for more details.

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Stream: CTM Festival Preview on BCR

20 Jan 2014 — Henning Lahmann

It's safe to say that without certain cultural events happening, there would be no way whatsoever to survive a Berlin winter. We are not talking about that negligible thing called fashion week, nor do we mean the Berlinale (though to be fair, that one helps to stay alive as well). Of course, what we are referring to is CTM Festival, formerly called Club Transmediale, which we consider the best of its kind in Germany, and still one of the most interesting and engaging music festivals in all of Europe, too. The 15th edition of the event is going to start this week on Friday, January 24, and run through Sunday, February 2.

This year's festival theme is Dis Continuity, as CTM will make the attempt "to explore and map fragments of an alternative or neglected history of electronic and experimental music that still waits to be fully written". In other words, the festival's curators set out to shed light on more forgotten or even neglected undercurrents and narratives in the history of adventurous, forward-minded music, be it Maryanne Amacher's oeuvre, the work of American composer Phill Niblock, or Parisian Groupe de recherches musicales. Juxtaposed with some of the most exciting contemporary experimental and electronic music, CTM will investigate hidden interconnections and offer new interpretations on the history of the showcased genres.

It would be both too much and unnecessary to reproduce the whole schedule of concerts, exhibitions, panels, and workshops here. You will find everything you need on the festival's website. Suffice it to draw your special attention to the two NFOP-approved labels that will be blessed with a special focus during the week, Bill Kouligas' PAN imprint and Editions Mego. Other highlights include performances by Phoebe Kiddo, Samuel Kerridge, Helena Hauff, Concrete Fence, Moiré, Actress, patten, Lucky Dragons, and Boddika.

In anticipation of the festival, we did a preview special on our show on Berlin Community Radio on January 10, playing some tracks of artists we are particularly looking forward to see, with a particular focus on the Opal Tapes showcase on the final club night at Stattbad Wedding. Listen to the show in full right here, and check out the tracklist below.

Tracklist

(1) Actress "Grey Over Blue"
(2) Moiré "Real Special"
(3) Helena Hauff "Micro Manifesto"
(4) Concrete Fence "Caulk"
(5) Rashad Becker "Themes I"
(6) patten "Sixth Seven"
(7) Basic House "Caim in Bird Form"
(8) Lumisokea "Eleven"
(9) Karen Gwyer "Free Food / One Men Striper"
(10) 1991 "Celebrated As Difficult"

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