Rami Abadir is a Cairo-born music producer, sound designer, DJ and music critic currently living in Berlin. His work combines experimental, club and ambient music and deals with themes inspired by fiction, memory and cultural artefacts. At SONICA, he’ll present his vision of cutting-edge Arabic club electronica, which he presented on last year's acclaimed album 'Mutate' (SVBVLT, 2022), which landed on the AOTY lists of Resident Advisor and The Quietus. It features a unique blend of hyperactive jungle, footwork, Jersey club and reggaeton rhythms, as well as elements of the Egyptian urban folk genre maqsoum, punctuated by the sounds of the darbuka percussion. His releases have also been released on Genot Centre, Hush Hush, Yerevan Tapes and Kaer'Uiks.
Abadir is part of SHAPE+ which is co-funded by Creative Europe.
AHO SSAN (FR)Concert
Aho Ssan is currently one of the most exciting representatives of the French experimental music scene. His debut album 'Simulacrum', an exciting vision of noisily complex and twisting IDM electronica, was released on Subtext Recordings in 2020. Based on Jean Baudrillard’s concept, it explores contemporary society’s presentation of inclusivity and equality against his own experience of growing up in France. In 2022, he released the mind-blowing collaborative EP 'Limen' with Kenyan sound artist KMRU. Approaching sound from different directions, he relies on impossible jazz simulations and inventive Max/MSP patchworks. Aho Ssan is a vital new driving force within the tradition of Black radical music, combining virtuosic compositional talent with exploratory technological experimentation. At SONICA, he will present his latest project 'Rhizomes', soon to be released on Nicolas Jaar’s Other People label. The artist collects different sound materials to create a musical rhizome, a concept that links back to ideas of horizontality, collaboration and cross-disciplinarity.
Aho Ssan is part of SHAPE+ which is co-funded by Creative Europe.
ALE HOP (PE)Concert
Alejandra Cardenas is a Berlin-based artist, researcher and experimental instrumentalist from Peru. She composes electronic and electroacoustic music by blending strains of noise, pop, avant-garde and ambient. Using a complex repertoire of extended techniques for electric guitar and real-time sampling devices, she conjures a singular sonic vocabulary to craft performances of astonishing physical intensity and stunning atmospheres. Her solo career began in 2012 when she won the Red Bull Music Academy residency and made her first live performance at Boiler Room. She’s been featured in specialized music media such as Pitchfork, the Wire, VICE, Noisey, Bandcamp and Tiny Mix Tapes, and presented her work at festivals like MUTEK and CTM Festival, and in concerts and exhibitions in Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, United States, UK and across Europe. She also writes scores for films, dance and theater projects.
Aho Ssan is part of SHAPE+ which is co-funded by Creative Europe.
ALEKSANDRA BAJDE (SI)SONICA Commission Premiere (Immersive Performance)
Aleksandra Bajde is a Slovenian composer-performer, lecturer and researcher living in Vienna. Her recent work is inherently interdisciplinary and is a hybrid of composed and improvised music with elements of performance art. She is exploring and experimenting with the endless possibilities of sound and its expression, while also forging new links with other art forms and genres. Bajde expands her sound palette through incorporation of unconventional singing and playing techniques, different sound objects, and electronic sounds. Her music has been performed in several prominent venues and festivals, i.e. Alte Schmiede, Wien Modern, Brucknerhaus Linz, Crossroads Festival, November Music, Operadagen Rotterdam, Cologne Opera, Ljubljana New Music Forum and many more.
Aleksndra Bajde is part of SHAPE+ which is co-funded by Creative Europe.
ANÁSTA (SI)DJ set
Anásta is a Slovenian DJ and visual artist. She is a member of the Ljubljana-based DJ and activist collective Ustanova, which supports and represents the LGBTIQ+ community and promotes safety in nightlife. She has performed at various clubs around Ljubljana as well as at the Ljubljana festivals Grounded and Spider. Her selections explore and blend various contemporary club expressions, from moody dancehall mutations to energetic percussive workouts, with a special focus on Latin American rhythmic modes. In 2021, she was a resident of the DJ Seansa radio show on Radio Študent.
ANDREAS TROBOLLOWITSCH (AT)Public Space Intervention
Andreas Trobollowitsch is a Vienna-based composer, performer and sound/installation artist.
He studied musicology in Vienna and Paris. Based on rotation, vibration and feedback systems he uses mainly modified everyday objects, prepared fans and string instruments. Recently he has been focusing primarily on conceptual compositions, self-developed musical instruments, sound and drawing installations.
Interested in dichotomy of the intellectual and the physical he includes visual aspects, spatiality, movement, and the way that they relate to sound.His were pieces commissioned for festivals and ensembles including Musikprotokoll Graz, TodaysArt The Hague, Contemporary Music Ensemble Synaesthesis Vilnius,
The Rhythm Method New York His works appeared on Todays Art NL), Festival Novas Frequências Rio de Janeiro (BR), Lisboa soa (PT), Tsonami Festival (CHL), Festival Dotolimpic (Seoul, KOR), City Sonic (Brüssel, BE), Cynetart (Dresden, DE).
BITTER BABE (CO/US)DJ set
A multidisciplinary artist and DJ hailing from Bogotá, Colombia, Bitter Babe’s cutting-edge selections blend Latin-inspired percussive rhythms ranging from dembow, raptor house, tribal, guaracha, reggaeton and brazilian funk to bass-heavy club music. Now based in Miami, she has been a key player and part of the new school of artists shaking up the city and putting it on the electronic music map alongside artists like INVT, Coffintexts, and friend and collaborator Nick León with whom she co-produced two EPs, 'Fuego Clandestino' on Tratratrax and 'Delirio' on Club Romantico. Her solo productions can be found on the avant-garde label SVBKVLT and on forthcoming compilations by TraTraTrax and Omnidisc. She also has a future solo EP coming out on TraTraTrax soon. She is co-founder of LATITUDES, a multidisciplinary project focused on the unity and growth of the Latin American electronic music community.
DARSHA HEWITT (CA)Exhibition
Canadian born, Berlin based artist Darsha Hewitt uses sound, electromechanical installation, handmade electronics, video, drawing and photography to critically investigate the materiality of the machines and practices of technology that consumer society throws away. With a media archeological approach, she deconstructs generations of obsolete technology to trace out systems of power, economy and control inherent throughout technological infrastructures. The effect simultaneously demystifies the confounding inner systems at play within our technology while further re-mystifying it by transforming it into unexpected sonic experiences that raise questions about our technological entanglements and its implications on humans and ecology. Her current work looks into the ecological dimensions of music and sound reproduction technology.
ISABELLA FORCINITI (IT/AT)SONICA Commission Premiere (Immersive Performance)
Isabella Forciniti is a Vienna based sound artist from Italy. She works in cross currents of experimental music, electroacoustic music, sound and multimedia art, digital and modular synthesis and in free improvisation. Currently she explores the musical and social potential of digital networking via mobile devices considering artistic, scientific and technological perspectives and is focussing on digital music performance, improvised music and tangible interaction design. She works with movies and is scoring gender-critical silent movies from the early 20th century. Forciniti worked with Elliott Sharp, Burkhard Stangl, Chra, Patrick Pulsinger, AGF, Billy Roisz and performed at numerous festivals such as Wien Modern (AT), Simultan Festival (RO), CTM Berlin (DE), Festival Visiones Sonoras (MX), Unsound Festival (PL), Elevate Festival (AT).
Isabella Forciniti is part of SHAPE+ which is co-funded by Creative Europe.
KATCHA (SI)DJ set
DJ Katcha is a vital member of the Ljubljana queer collective Ustanova, a platform dedicated to music and activism, supporting the LGBTIQ+ community and promoting safety in nightlife. A regular in Ljubljana’s DJ booths, she has collaborated with most of the currently active collectives in the Slovenian capital, performed several times at Grounded Festival and last year also at MENT Ljubljana, City of Women and Spider festival, as well as in Udine and Gorizia in Italy. In her mixes, she connects the dots between contemporary global club genres, Latin American rhythms, electro, ghettotech, techno and more.
KӣR (RS)DJ Set
Kӣr is the solo production and DJ epithet of Bane Jovančević, resident live artist and programme manager at the infamous Belgrade club Drugstore. By combining traditional and experimental influences in electro-acoustic music, Kӣr creates a sound in which drone-adjacent post-industrial textures and melodic movements transgresses into tribal rhythms. The clash of synths and acoustic instruments evoke a soundscape of Byzantine sacral traditions and Balkan folklore rhythms. The basic concept is to challenge conventional and predominant rhythmic structures in music by juxtaposing traditional rhythms with contemporary electronic sound design. His releases can be found on renowned labels such as Crème Organization, Yerevan Tapes, Rocket Recordings and DISK. He also makes music for theatre and film. Some of the films he worked on were presented at festivals such as Berlinale, IFRR, Tokyo Film Festival, Visions du Réel, winning several main prizes.
LUCRECIA DALT (CO)Concert
The headliner of the SONICA concert is the one and only Lucrecia Dalt! Tracing a timeline of Dalt’s sonic trajectory is an elusive endeavor. As a musician, sound artist, performer, and composer, she has traversed a myriad of musical portals, relaying innate sensory impulses and excavated references into luminous constellations. Shimmering with modulation and the incandescent tones of her voice, Dalt’s compositions summon magnetic atmospheres in her distinctive, and ever-expanding, universe of sound. Following the acclaimed releases of 'Anticlines' (2018) and 'No era sólida' (2020) as part of the RVNG Intl. family, Dalt returned in 2022 with her eighth solo album '¡Ay!' – conjuring a new realm where her signature experimentation and treasured early influences meld together. Glimmers of her musical origins, also diffused through her previous records, are cast by specters of growing up in Colombia, where a spectrum of tropical music genres (salsa, merengue, bolero) formed a part of her surrounding environments. This timeless masterpiece, a must-listen for fans of Tom Waits, Ray Barretto, Angelo Badalamenti and Talk Talk, unsurprisingly landed at number one on The Wire's AOTY list and among the top 20 albums of the year by The Guardian, Pitchfork, Crack Magazine, Bleep and others. Don’t miss the Slovenian premiere of one of the best albums of 2022!
LUNA WOELLE (SI)Exhibition
Luna Woelle, is a Slovenian 3DCG artist and DJ currently based in Tokyo. Graduating from a graphic design high school in Ljubljana she moved to Japan to study Japanese traditional cuisine, driven by her interest and previous projects based on the art of Kaiseki presentation. She works in the realm of digital art - starting with abstract, organic shapes, moving onto hard-surface modeling and experimenting with 'Imaginary Robotics'. Reacting to her understanding of consumer capitalism and her adapting to the highly convenient life in the technologically advanced metropolis, she creates objects that remind us of robotic apparatuses, but are in fact only material goods without any function or value. As a co-founder of an experimental music label / audio-visual platform Mizuha 罔象 she works as a visual curator and manager. With technical support from Psychic VR Lab, she implemented AR into a 30min 3D animation for a group audio-visual performance at MUTEK Japan 2022.
msn gf (SI)
msn gf is a Ljubljana-based DJ and (supposedly) producer representing the queer collective Ustanova. In her DJ sets, she walks the line between the club-ready and the radio-friendly, the powerful and the ecstatic. The release of her debut track on the 'Iskra Delta: Onboarding Soundscapes' compilation, a schizo remix of the Slovenian eurodance banger 'Prvič Vem' by Power Dancers, was followed by gigs at Grounded Festival and various local club nights. An inquisitive soul, she likes to dig deep into the archives of forgotten Slovenian pop, weaving what she's found into sweet but sharp contemporary productions that ingeniously avoid nostalgia. You don't know her, she goes to a different school ;)
Nihiloxica is a project that harnesses the full force of the ancient Bugandan drumming tradition of Uganda and focuses it on the contemporary dance floor through a dark lens of techno sensibility. Formed by UK musicians Spooky-J & pq and members of the Nilotika Cultural Ensemble, incubated in Kampala by acclaimed label Nyege Nyege Tapes, the cross-continental band explore the common ground between techno and tradition, a conversation between two cultures with a common aim: to make people dance. Their debut album 'Kaloli' (Crammed Discs, 2020) has earned them excellent reviews, hailing them as one of the most exciting live bands at the moment. Already tearing apart dance floors and festivals across the world with an at once transcendental and earth-shattering live show, Nihiloxica are only just getting started.
N/OBE (HR)Live set
Slovenian live premiere of debut album 'Monuments'
The Zagreb-based producer, DJ, promoter, co-founder of the VOLTA collective, composer and radio host is one of the most exciting artists from the Yugosphere. As a DJ, he presents a modified overview of the digital avant-garde, equally emphasising the energetic and the exploratory. His music is marked by asymmetric, complex rhythms, detailed production values, and a textured, dramatic intensity, often employing sampled strings and Balkan ethnic instruments. He has taken part in compilations released by Early Reflex and Kaer’Uiks, simultaneously releasing multiple SoundCloud-only singles. His soundtrack for the stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange has won him the Rector’s Award from the University of Zagreb. His work-in-progress debut album, 'Monuments', is a sprawling chronicle of Yugoslavia’s rise and fall reimagined through the visuals and semantics of its world-famous modernist monuments to the Partisan revolution. The album, set to be released in Autumn 2023, portrays a vision of layered, hybrid club music that is both earnest and exploratory. He has performed on stages in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Italy, and Hungary, as well as at a Boiler Room event in Zagreb.
Urška Preis, who works as a solo artist under the pseudonym rouge-ah, is a musician, harpist, visual artist and music writer. She is one of the most visible representatives of the younger generation of Slovenian experimental music. Her debut album 'bare' was released by Kamizdat in Autumn 2018. Together with producer Tine Vrabič aka Nitz, she forms the duo II/III which debuted in 2020 with the EP 'It Could Be Paradise' for AmbientSoup. She is also a member of Rok Zalokar’s fluid ensemble Zhlehtet and the four-piece experimental noise group Sujevera. She has performed at various domestic and international festivals, and in recent months she is active on the Berlin music scene, currently performing in Florentina Holzinger's show 'Ophelia's Got Talent'. At SONICA, she will present new material from her upcoming sophomore album, which will further explore the potentials of the digital harp, focusing on the sonic exploration of dreams and their integration into the musical fabric.
SIMON WETHAM (UK)Performance & Installation
Sound artist Simon Whetham has been exploring aspects of sound as a material for creation, unearthing obscured environmental sonic phenomena, acoustics and resonance, sonic energy and transduction. His projects are increasingly multi-disciplinary, becoming more visual, performative and tangible, exploring physical sound traces and transforming energy forms. Published works have been released through Mappa, Kohlhaas, Line, Crónica, Misanthropic Agenda and Falt. He has collaborated with many sound artists/musicians: Tarab, Gregory Büttner, Scanner, Derek Piotr,, John Grzinich, Alan Courtis, Kate Carr, Rhodri Davies… Whetham participates in various international artist residencies, and performs and exhibits internationally.
TADI (XK)DJ Set
Tadi is a visual artist, graphic designer, DJ and producer based in Prishtina (Kosovo) and Belgrade (Serbia). She is the co-founder of Bijat, a feminist/queer club night. She is also the co-founder of Prishtine Is Burning, a queer performance/club night in Prishtina. Her latest releases include 'Lamento Remix' on Hivern Records, 'Gur l' on Armata productions, DJ sets for NTS Radio, Boiler Room, Soft Spot, Servis, etc. Among clubs who hosted her are Club Drugstore, Manifesta grand opening, Arkaoda, DokuNights, Servis and Lumbardhi where she also had a live performance.
URŠULA BERLOT (SI)SONICA Commission Premiere (Immersive Performance
Uršula Berlot works as a visual artist, theorist of art and lecturer, with an interest in the intersections of art and science. Her artistic practice is related to perception and conditions of consciousness, her light and kinetic installations investigate forms of cerebral landscapes, simulated nature and relationships between body and technology. Her regular collaborator is British sound artist Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner. Her work was exhibited among others at Today Art Museum, Beijing, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, BA-CA Kunstforum Tresor in Wien, Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, SONICA Festival in Ljubljana and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.
Uršula Berlotis is part of SHAPE+ which is co-funded by Creative Europe.