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Music & clubs

Strom Festival brings post-genre elec­tronica to the Philharmonie

Two-day electronica fest Strom Festival, starting Feb 7, hosts a high-profile line-up in the Berliner Philharmonie. With 14 hours of music and a chance to dance into the wee hours at a once-in-a-lifetime location, our critic eyes up the programme.

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Photo by Matilda. Catch Nina Kraviz on day two of Strom Festival for Electronic Music from Feb 7 through Feb 8 at the Philharmonie.

While Berliners often get a hard time for their com­mitment to electronica, no other city has done as much to redefine the narrative about excellence in underground music. Now, for the first time in its his­tory, Berliner Philharmonie will host a two-day pro­gramme of purely electronic music: Strom Festival. And though any raver would admittedly get a kick out of rigging a few Funktion-Ones up to buttresses, organiser Stefan Goldmann is striving for more. A longtime champion of the exacting technical and musical standards of electronic music, Goldmann has brought techno to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Kyoto’s Honen-in Temple. At its heart, Strom is a celebration of post-genre elec­tronica. Spread over three distinct spaces, the fest will make use of the main auditorium for seated lis­tening and audiovisual performances; the foyer for dance sets, and the Hermann Wolff Room. The lat­ter will house Ableton co-founder Robert Henke’s light installation, “Phosphorous” for the duration of the festival. Starting Feb 7, at 20:00, Austrian downtempo duo Kruder & Dorfmeister introduces the concept behind the main room: music arranged for its sonic qualities rather than for its danceability to be enjoyed in Berlin’s most finely acoustically tuned venue. Christian Vogel follows – the seminal techno artist continues to push the envelope after three decades – with his audiovisual performance, a digital take on experimental music theatre. Despite this, Strom is also an electronic music festival in the familiar form, and with Berlin’s Don’t DJ and Bulgar­ian icon KiNK, Friday night’s dancefloor offerings are serious stompers. Day two highlights include sound artist Ryōji Ikeda, who will present his immense electronic art installation to a blacked-out audito­rium for total immersion before things come to a head with Nina Kraviz. One of the scene’s bright­est stars, the Siberian DJ will absolutely test the structural integrity of Hans Scharoun’s archetypal concert hall with her club-forward sounds. And with at least seven hours of music on both nights, you can expect to be dancing well into the wee hours at this once-in-a-lifetime location.

Strom Festival for Electronic Music | Philharmonie, Tiergarten. Feb 7-8.