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London’s CURL drops a typically surreal & symbiotic group effort for their Curl Compilation 2 cassette & download release, Jan 11

12 January 2021

London label and collective CURL released their Curl Compilation 2 cassette and download on January 11.

Featuring artists, writers and producers such as co-founder Coby Sey, Roxanne Tataei, Daisy Moon, Bunny Hoova, baby___asl, and others, the LP consists original music and sound pieces made by people from CURL’s loose London network. Also including Leah Walker & Rebecca Salvadori, Wu-Lu, PK Brako, Sissy Fuss, Olivia Salvadori, Suny and Pelin Pelin, contributors have either performed at CURL shows and parties, played with their live band or attended their events and shown support.

AQNB editor Steph Kretowicz‘s ‘BSAD (buy shit and die)’ audio-narrative collaboration with producer Ben Babbitt also features—which premiered as part of Berlin’s 3hd 2020 last year. Kretowicz took part in CURL’s performance around recent Artist Statement podcast interviewee Akinola Davies Jr‘s ‘Mayonnaise, Corn on the Cob and My Car’ short film screening at an earlier edition of the festival. The filmmaker’s own musical field recordings make several haunting appearances throughout Curl Compilation 2.**

See the CURL Bandcamp page for details.**

Curl Compilation 2 (2021). Press image. Courtesy CURL, London.
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Czech curatioral platform PAF concludes online event series with PAF New York, featuring BCAA system, galen tipton, & more on December 12 & 13

11 December 2020

PAF Olomouc is presenting their online PAF New York event on December 12 and 13. This is the final event of the Czech curatioral platform’s three-part PAF Olomouc series across London, Oloumouc, and New York.

Staged as a virtual game experience by Prague collective BCAA system with contributing artists galen tipton, Jonáš Gruska, h5io6i54k, Matyáš Maláč, medieval cortex, and ver, PAF New York creates a sinkhole of liminal experiences out of banal everyday routines.

The Prague-based interdisciplinary collective is the final contributor the PAF’s event series, which featured artists Babeworld, Jesse Kanda, and Billy Bultheel earlier in November 2020.

Check the PAF website for more info.**

BCAA system for PAF New York (2020). Photo courtesy PAF.

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Speculative imaginings on AI, authenticity & a future Singapore in Lawrence Lek’s AIDOL 爱道 (OST), releasing via Hyperdub today, November 27

27 November 2020

Lawrence Lek is releasing AIDOL 爱道 (OST), via London’s Hyperdub, today, November 27, 2020.

This new soundtrack release features music from Lek’s feature length film first shown at London’s Sadie Coles HQ, and more recently as part of Unsound Festival. The third in a series of video by the artist that includes 2016’s Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD) and 2017’s Geomancer, AIDOL 爱道 builds on Lek’s science fiction universes exploring notion around AI, authenticity, and geopolitics, set against a future imagining of Singapore.

As stated by Lek, discussing AIDOL 爱道 in his conversation with AQNB associate editor Jared Davis for our Artist Statement podcast earlier in the year: “it’s not just this idea of post-humanism, trans-humanism or non-humanism that’s interesting to me. It’s this allegorical nature of a non-human subject.”

See Hyperdub to purchase and listen back to our podcast episode with Lawrence Lek for more.

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The Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair returns for a digital cable TV streaming bazaar with 100 artists

22 September 2020

Returning for its sixth edition, the Artist Self-Publishers’ (ASP) Fair will take place this weekend on September 26 and 27, for a fully online iteration featuring 100 artists and publishers, presented by ICA, London. 

For this digital edition of the fair — which features self-publishers such as Emily Pope, Hate Zine, Black Lodge Press to name a few — ASP have drawn inspiration from cable TV and home shopping media. The fair will be a “streaming bazaar” online where visitors can chat with the stall holders, view performances, readings, screenings and purchase zines.

In addition to the publishers that also include the likes of Arts of the Working Class, Nervemeter among others, ASP has programmed guest performers for each day, such as “trans chancers” and arts writers The Right Lube, interdisciplinary artists R.I.P. Germain, Ruth Angel Edwards, as well as musicians Lolina and Scratcha DVA and more.

See the ASP website for more details.**

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Exploring miasma as ghostly presence with a live sonic fable by Ewa Awe in London for AQNB x 3hd 2020, Sep 26

15 September 2020

AQNB x 3hd 2020: Hyperobjectivity, a performance event for small groups featuring a new work by Ewa Awe, takes place at an undisclosed outdoor location in London on Saturday September 26, 2020, presented as part of 3hd 2020’s ECO-Centers companion programme.

In keeping with the ECO-centers theme of a nature-centered political philosophy known as ‘ecocentrism’, Hyperobjectivity explores the ungraspable concerns around climate change, the pandemic and a failing capitalist system that problematise anthropocentrism, colonialist frameworks, and our false mastery over nature. Uncertainty marks this moment, but also a feeling of potential new ways of thinking emerging—away from rationality and objectivity.

For Hyperobjectivity, we have invited London-based Polish artist Ewa Awe (aka Ewa Poniatowska), who has performed at the likes of Tate Modern, London as well as Beursschouwburg Brussels, to respond to these themes. Her work for the event, titled ‘New Miasma Theory Chapter 2’—the second in an eponymous series of fantastical sonic fables—will consist of narrated sonic walks in an outdoor London location, culminating in a ceremonial performance. Exploring the notions of miasma as ghostly presence and ethereal symbols of collective beliefs, ‘New Miasma Theory Chapter 2’ welcomes an audience towards reverie, blurring boundaries between reality and fiction. Produced in collaboration with writer Sanja Grozdanic, the project evokes oral storytelling rituals.

Highly limited bookings for socially-distanced groups of six people are available via Eventbrite. For those unable to attend, the project will be in part documented and shared online.

See the 3hd 2020 website for more details.**

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Quantum Natives release free download of otherworldly ambient video game Cryptic Island Eco-Sanctuary

14 August 2020

Quantum Natives is releasing a free download video game of recent signee enchanted landsCryptic Island Eco-Sanctuary today on itch.io.

Cryptic Island Eco-Sanctuary (2020). Courtesy the label.
Cryptic Island Eco-Sanctuary (2020). Courtesy the label.

Described by the label as an ‘an ambient exploratory experience’, Cryptic Island Eco Sanctuary intertwines the serene and surreal. Talismans and anthropomorphized stones are nestled across the game’s misty landscapes, constituting subtle details of this otherworldly getaway suitable for experiencing amidst lockdown.

Quantum Natives’ otherworldly ambient video game Cryptic Island Eco Sanctuary is available for free download today

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Before and After explores the serendipity of nature, music, & isolation, July 19 – 26

23 July 2020

From July 19 to July 26 in the wilderness of Baveno, Italy, Before and After is hosting a series of events on sustainable futures and new environmentalism through sonic mediation.

The program is organized by Tones on the Stones in collaboration with Terraforma festival’s Threes, featuring Hyperdub‘s Mana, Nicolàs Jaar, as well as environmentalist practitioners Riccardo Blumer, Emanuele Coccia and others. Limited to an audience of 30 people and online streaming, the series will generate a temporary micro-community to assess the value of nature as a place for artistic possibility.

See the Before and After website for more information.

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LIMBO magazine launches today as an initiative to provide new paid work for creatives, July 13

13 July 2020

Launching today, LIMBO is a new physical magazine with all profits from sales and advertising going directly to contributing artists and the magazine staff. 

Edited by Francesca Gavin and featuring over 100 contributors, the magazine includes work from a broad range of artists including Paul Maheke, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Evan Ifekoya as well as Lloyd Corporation. Spanning visual arts, music, fashion, essays and more, LIMBO also features contributions made by well established creatives and business such as Vivienne Westwood who have waived their fees for the initiative.

See the LIMBO website for more details.**

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Read an open letter by over 60 Black artists & cultural workers in Switzerland to address anti-Black racism in the country’s arts institutions

17 June 2020

Over 60 Black artists and cultural workers in Switzerland have signed an open letter to address anti-Black racism within the country’s arts institutions, in an action that could serve as a useful template for similar calls globally.

Sent to 77 Swiss organisations last week, the letter demands a long term and concrete commitment to change, following social media posts by these institutions on social media. As stated in the letter: “We hereby ask you to be truly accountable and take action beyond the stage of social media. We ask you to implement real, tangible change and to become section leaders when it comes to anti-racist practices in the arts and culture landscape of Switzerland.”

The letter is available in English, French and German, making for a valuable resource towards further action against anti-Black racism in other contexts worldwide.

You can read the letter in full here.

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100+ labels & artists compiled by DJ & producer Raheim to spotlight black-owned operations before Bandcamp’s fee free Friday, Jun 5

5 June 2020

Raheim (aka Rahim Afful-Brown) has put together a list of 100+ black-owned labels to look out for ahead of Bandcamp‘s effort to support artists impacted by COVID-19 by waiving all sales fees on Friday, June 5.

The online music company’s effort has become imbued with added urgency as Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and systemic racism took off in the United States and the world, following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. London-based producer Afful-Brown—who also presents a monthly show on Reprezent Radio—sent out a tweet looking for black-owned labels on Wednesday, which gained so much traction he’s shared a public spreadsheet of artists and organisations to look out for today and in the future.

Put together with artist and musician Annie Pearson, the resource list is organised according to label name, owner and genre, along with Twitter handles, SoundCloud, Discogs and Bandcamp accounts, where applicable. The guide includes names like UNIIQU3’s Club Queen Records, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland’s World Music and MikeQ’s Qween Beat, as well as Teklife, Rhythm Section, Scratcha DVA & Shy One’s DVA Music, Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder, Actress’s Werk Discs, and many more.

Bandcamp’s fee-free Friday is running from midnight to midnight PST on Friday, June 5.

You can see Raheim’s list of labels here.

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Announcing even my dreams don’t go outside: An AQNB art & music compendium from our community, out Apr 22

13 April 2020

AQNB is releasing even my dreams don’t go outside, a download-only album of new music and visual works on April 22.

Compiled and curated by our team, the compendium features contributions from artists featured on the platform in the recent past, alongside those helping to define our scene into the future. It’s inspired by the endless scroll of introspection that has come to define this time in global crisis, while aiming to build positive momentum and financial support for the artists involved during lockdown.

Music contributions come from Dasychira, Elvin Brandhi, Fauness, Keru Not Ever, Rui Ho, ssaliva and others, as well as visual pieces by Tea Stražičić, Alexander Iezzi, Emma Pryde and more. See the lovely cover art by Jennifer Mehigan below.

More to come, watch this space.**

even my dreams don’t go outside (2020). Compendium cover artwork by Jennifer Mehigan. Courtesy AQNB, London.
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Traumabarundkino makes room for some things new with events from Juliana Huxtable, Ziúr, Year0001 & more through February

5 February 2020

Happening throughout February, Berlin’s Traumabarundkino will be presenting a number of events, alongside and independent of the ongoing curatorial program for Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K‘s QT, UR, EA collaborative exhibition.

The Mitte-based venue has been working towards diverse collaborations with a spectrum of creative organisations and artists, since establishing itself in June 2018. This month that focus reaches a new level by featuring the five-year anniversary of Stockholm’s Year0001 label, the inaugural Break It Off presented by Juliana Huxtable and Ziúr, as well the launch of Borshch Magazine‘s ‘Dark Side’ issue, plus other things.

Here’s the list of scheduled events so far:

See the Traumabarunkino FB event page for details.**

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Merging the exhibition, performance & club space for Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K’s QT, UR, EA in Berlin, Jan 17 – Mar 14

Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K
8 January 2020

Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K‘s QT, UR, EA collaborative exhibition is on at Berlin’s Traumabarundkino, running January 17 to March 14.

Also featuring contributions from choreographer Ali Heffetz and A/V artists bod [包家巷], Alza54 and Simon Goff, the Mitte-based venue near the Hauptbanhof central train station and government district of Berlin will be transformed. Science fiction narratives derived from the virtual arenas of open video games will be transmitted through the multi-dimensional installation and exhibition that incorporates dance, performance, sound, real-time VR and permaculture.

Opening night will include a three-hour event with eight participants, meeting and engaging in scenes of spontaneous ceremonies and stage-fighting, while the project as a whole will continue to expand and evolve over its eight-week run. Curated by Madalina Stanescu, an accompanying curatorial program will merge exhibition, performance and club space to become a single organism.

See the FB event page for details.**

Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K
Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K, QT, UR, EA (2020). Promo image. Courtesy Traumabarundkino, Berlin.
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Examining the digital age’s supernatural imaginary & occult resurgence in the Paranormal Storytime event presented by AQNB at London’s The Yard Theatre

16 December 2019

Paranormal Storytime, an event presented by AQNB and curated by Jared Davis, is on at London’s The Yard Theatre on Sunday February 16, 2020, from 7pm. 

Taking its title from a phenomenon of supernatural stories shared by YouTube vloggers, Paranormal Storytime looks at the digital age’s occult resurgence and neo-gothic tendencies, as well as our fear of the unknown and its relation to technology. 

New York-based writer, critic and author of speculative fiction novel Oval Elvia Wilk will present a talk, and Cologne-via-Washington D.C producer Swan Meat will perform live, with her new EP soon to be released on Infinite Machine. The evening will also present a screening programme with video works by artists Tianzhuo Chen as well as Wang Newone. Berlin-based artist Tea Stražičić has designed Paranormal Storytime’s poster artwork.

Tickets are available now on Eventbrite, see the Facebook event for more details. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.**

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Traumabarundkino embraces collaboration with a show from The Transcendence Orchestra, Punctum, Thoom & more, Dec 13

4 December 2019

The Transcendence Orchestra is playing Berlin’s Traumabarundkino, with supports from Punctum, Thoom and Hatam on December 13.

As part of the Mitte-based venue’s progressive and inclusive agenda in unconventional settings, the night follows a series of events crossing disciplines—including dance, fashion, film, video art and, of course, music—since opening mid last year. The show ends 2019 by staying true to the venue’s focus on collaboration, intimacy and community with its programming, where Birmingham-based industrial techno producer Anthony Child (aka Surgeon)’s The Transcendence Orchestra project with Dan Bean of Bleep43 headline. Artist Darren Russell (aka Paddy Shine of Manchester psych band Gnod) joins them, with set design by Theresa Baumgartner.

The night will also include a rare performance from Caterina Barbieri and Carlo Maria Amadio’s Punctum collaboration, which reduces sound to its bare bones and explores abyssal sonic spaces. Club Chai affiliate Thoom will also be there to apply her percussive voice and drone style to a special set that oscillates between themes of vulnerability, playfulness and provocation by using repetition, utterances and song . Meanwhile, sound artist and composer Hatam—who is one half of Hacklander \ Hatam, a member of Labour and co-founder of NK Projekt space—will DJ to close.

Read more on the Traumabarundkino’s mission and see their FB event for event details.**

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LA-based producer Maral shares a ‘Spooky Halloweed’ mix in advance of Weed Rave’s next “stoner extravaganza” happening Oct 25

24 October 2019

Weed Rave‘s Halloweed event is on at a secret Los Angeles location on October 25, with an accompanying mix by local producer Maral premiering on AQNB today. The LA-based party and self-described “stoner extravaganza” champions what it calls the next evolution of nightlife culture centered around cannabis instead of alcohol.

Founded in early 2019 by cannabis and music journalist Michelle Lhooq, Weed Rave’s ‘Halloweed’ party will be headlined by DJ Assault and Bala Club‘s Kamixlo, alongside Kelman Duran, Maral and other stalwarts of LA’s rave scene. The downtown warehouse—which previously housed a cannabis grow-op—will be divided into an uptempo Sativa Room and chillout Indica Room, with a contrast between harsh industrial and spooky ambient sounds. 

Maral, who is playing the Indica room, is a staple in LA’s underground and recently released EP Mahur Club, based on Iranian folk music on Astral Plane Recordings. One of the scene’s rising talents, she played at the first Weed Rave back in January as part of an ambient room.

Track listing:

Andy Stott – Execution (maral eraserhead edit) 
Dj Assault – Return of Terror Tec
Dj Trajic – Headbangers 2-(2-3)-(6-3)
Aura T-09 & Doubtful Guest – Hardcore
Baby Crass – You’ve Got Big Hands (maral edit) 
Minimal Violence – Persuasive Behavior 
Julien Andreas – Trust in Filth 
Kamixlo – Mi Sabor
Maral – Someone Said K
elman Duran – Life Is Real
Chico Sonido – Swang Trappyton (maral edit) 
Aura T-09 – Brandy & Me 
Ghorba – Scoby Apprentice 
Ossia – Dub Hell 
Maral – Guess I’m Dumb edit 
Maral – The Empty edit
Kelman Duran – Just Jump Off 
Dj Haram – No Idol 
Maral – Joonie’s Jam 
Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Thru This 
Dj Deeon – R U Sure 
Dj Nehpets – I Came To Bring The Pain 
The Screamers – 122 Hours of Fear (Part 1)
?????** 

 Weed Rave’s Halloweed is on at a secret location on October 25, 2019.

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Creamcake announces full line-up for their 3hd Festival program, called “Fluid Wor(l)ds” & inspired by the art of storytelling

10 October 2019

The fifth edition of 3hd Festival is happening across venues in Berlin, running October 22 to 27.

Organized by interdisciplinary platform Creamcake, the program has been presenting artists working at the interface of visual art, music, performance and digital culture since 2015. This year’s theme is called “Fluid Wor(l)ds”, where participants are invited to share how they “navigate, renegotiate and adapt to the shifting realities of networked communication through language, text and narration.”

Artists and projects already announced include Alpha Maid, CURL / Akinola Davies Jr, Ruth Angel Edwards, Josefin Arnell & Max Göran as HellFun, Yen Tech, x/o, Julian-Jakob Kneer, and Malibu. Some of the new additions are Roxman Gatt, Laurel Halo, Hyph11E, Vika Kirchenbauer, mobilegirl, Qualiatik, Erica Scourti, Geo Wyeth, umru and many more from the almost 50-strong lineup. The event is taking place at Trauma Bar und Kino, Postscheckamt & HAU Hebbel Am Ufer, as well as online, along with a cross-platform anthology edited by AQNB editor Steph Kretowicz, and featuring contributions from Margaret Haines, Sarah M. Harrison, manuel arturo abreu and others.

See the 3hd Festival website for details.**

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Stacy Skolnik launches erotic poetry collection mrsblueeyes123.com exploring consent & censorship at New York’s MX Gallery, Sep 19

17 September 2019

Stacy Skolnik is launching mrsblueeyes123.com, with additional performances by Vanessa Place and Abby Lloyd at New York’s MX Gallery on September 19.

The New York-based artist, writer and Montez Press Radio crew member self-published the titular full-length collection of poems online on September 16, after the material on a corresponding Instagram account of the same name was banned by the social-networking service. Exploring consent, objectification, censorship, and the erotic, the poems often read carnal with some webspeak and come accompanied by provocative selfies of the artist:

“29 year old mouth 5’4 busty and who
are you? horny with a tongue? online? drive?”

The launch will include performances by artist-clown Lloyd and writer-lawyer Place, while flanked by Corey Presha’s Jackie Robinson, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, What’s Happening exhibition, which runs to October 24.

See the MX Gallery website for details.**

Stacy Skolnik, mrsblueeyes123.com (2019). Online publication launch flyer. Courtesy the artist.
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Power & paradise: Anne Imhof’s Golden Lion award-winning Faust performance gets an album release on Berlin’s PAN, Sep 13

3 September 2019

Anne Imhof is releasing an album accompaniment to performance and exhibition Faust via Berlin’s PAN off-shoot soundtrack series, Entopia, on September 13.

Described by the press release as “part documentation and part elaboration”, the piece expands on the several-hour long live event and Golden Lion Award winner, presented as part of the 57th Venice Biennale. In an AQNB review of the show in 2017, Hadden Manhattan asked, “Can the latent allusions to fascism implicit within Imhof’s work maintain criticality, or do they encourage a dark public fascination with the totalitarian theatrics of power?”

Imhof’s album collaboration with Eliza Douglas, Billy Bultheel and Franziska Aigner continues the conversation, with one of three anchoring tracks, ‘Queen Song’, premiering through PAN already, which you can listen to below:

See the PAN website for details.**

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Creamcake’s third & final ‘Paradise Found’ concert ends with a ‘pop’ by featuring Dorian Electra, Shygirl & more, Aug 17

13 August 2019

Creamcake’s third & final ‘Paradise Found‘ music & performance series event is on at Berlin’s Klosterruine on August 17.

This closing concert brings together a spectrum of experimental and progressive sonic and cross-genre live acts to explore its themes of intense transmission between bodies of all kinds, in the tranquil ruins of an inner city monastery. Following the more contemplative and eccentric earlier events, ‘Paradise Found 3’ dials up on its pop inclinations, with Los Angeles-based rising pop star Dorian Electra presenting their futuristic sound and queer satire, along with the wit and humour of London lyricist and DJ Shygirl. Multidisciplinary artist and Quantum Natives artist i.Ruuu, as well DJ and curator of “post-gender avatar” Agatha Valkyrie Ice‘s mixtape series Brooklyn Bridge also take part.

See the Creamcake FB event for more details.**

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