Interview: Krake Festival Announces Initial Plans For 2015
Krake Festival is scheduled to take place August 3-8 at various locations around Berlin
Krake Festival has announced plans initial plans for the event. KRAKE is a Berlin based festival for challenging electronic music, organised by Killekill, a small label and promotion agency run by Nico Deuster (a.k.a. “DJ Flush.” Krake means octopus and the festival is organised in a comparable way: reaching out to selected locations during one week presenting the best in electronic music, whatever style it is.
Due to take place August 3-8 at various locations around the city (including, Urban Spree, Suicide Circus and the Berghain Kantine), the over-all set up will be the same as last year: A week starting with an arty night on Monday, the classic Wednesday night at Berghain Kantine, a bomb night of modern techno on Friday at Suicide Circus, and the peak of the festival on the last day where they combine the areal of Urban Spree with that of Suicide Circus to offer a massive festival place, to wander around between six floors full with music and arts.
Headliners this year will include:
Cassegrain & Tin Man – live
Sendai (Peter Van Hoesen and Yves De Mey)- live
Electric Indigo (female:pressure) playing ‘Morpheme’ A/V version w/ Thomas Wagensommerer
Mondkopf – A/V live show
Alienata (Killekill, Kat Channel)
Untold – A/V live show
Bintus – live
Eomac – live
Kamikaze Space Programme – live
Ekman (Berceuse Heroique) – live
+ Live visuals from THENOV29FILMS
As a perk to ticket buyers, a KRAKE compilation will be available for free download when tickets are purchased from the Killekill webshop. The compilation will include tracks from Cassegrain & TIn Man (Killekill), Eomac (Killekill), Kondaktor (Modal Analysis), Umwelt (Shelter), Bintus (Power Vacuum), Electric Indigo, Inner8, & Ken Karter.
More information on the festival can be found here and via the below documentary made as a recap of last year’s festival.
Ahead of the festival, XLR8R spoke with Nico Deuster, Killekill label and Krake founder, to hear his thoughts on the festival’s continued success.
So this is your 6th season hosting the Krake Festival. How have you been able to improve/modify the festival over the years?
We started really small with the Wednesday at Berghain Kantine and the weekend at Suicide Circus, but now the festival has grown into a full week of music, arts, workshops etc. and become one of Berlin’s major festivals for quality electronic music.
The inclusion of Urban Spree last year was probably the biggest modification as this enabled us to build a six-floor festival right in the center of Berlin. Also this place added the art and DIY flavour to the festival which we always wanted. A lot of improvements have also been made on all other levels, I would say. The line ups get better and better, we have more and more nice people involved, the over-all management gets better and better and so on.
What was your initial goal when deciding to host a festival? Has this goal changed?
Our initial goal was the same that we had when we started Killekill as a weekly residency at Berghain Kantine.We wanted to give something to Berlin which we felt was missing. At that time I found the music scene here in Berlin really boring. There was tech house everywhere and it all sounded the same to me. Of course there were exceptions, but that was the general impression which I and also others had. With the weekly Killekill nights which crossed over literally everything from Ambient and Drone to Breakcore, Electro, Techno, IDM and whatsoever we built up such a great network that I felt it was time to give our ambition a bit more impact. So we started the Krake Festival then.
The music scene in Berlin has improved a lot now I would say, the diversity has grown, and there are a lot of events where music is the major ingredient again and not just some background noise. But with the growth of the scene here in Berlin and also internationally there has come up a totally new bunch of professionals who are threatening the scene from a totally different angle. Everybody has an agent, the essence of a scene, which is a personal relation between artists, promoters and crowd, is becoming more and more difficult to create. Also a lot of the bigger artists are asking for very high fees nowadays, plus there is a booking fee on top, plus a 5-star hotel of course, and the pick-up has to be done by a profesional driver in a limousine in the worst case etc. And then they come and play weak, standard music, which every other DJ in Berlin can do. This sucks.
Of course I see the need for some artists to have agents involved, and also I understand why they need this and that if they travel a lot. But everything needs to be handled with a sense of proportion. And sometimes I don’t have the impression that this is the case. So one of our main goals now is to keep these people out of our festival and support the ones who are still pushing the envelope musicwise and who are grateful to play out to a great crowd and respectful to our work as well. There are many, many great artists hidden underneath the mainstream who are much better than what you find overground and who are happy to play and nice to work with. This very personal approach is what we are now putting more and more forward I would say.
How does Krake differ from other music festivals in Berlin?
There are a lot of bigger events here in Berlin which are being called festivals by their promoters, just because they go on for longer than a night or because they are outdoor. To me a festival needs more than this, and considering this there are only a few to be taken serious. CTM and Atonal are the most interesting ones, the rest is more or less mainstream or not festivals at all.
Atonal has a very specific approach with a lot of industrial or post-industrial artists of a certain kind. CTM has a very good programming, but it is quite intellectual, which can be a bit boring sometimes. Krake is musically more open than Atonal and more party-oriented than CTM I would say. It’s a try to bring the focus back onto music without over-emphasizing the intellectual part in it. it’s more sensual than intellectual, more fun-oriented than concept-driven one could say.
What are some of your expectations you are hoping to exceed artistically speaking for Krake 2015?
With our art exhibition, which will be shown every day at Urban Spree during the Krake week, we are stepping into new fields. The laser installation by Robert Henke in particular is something we are looking forward to. We are trying hard to exceed our expectations there.
The body performances, which we are planning with Bodies for the wednesday night, are something we are very much looking forward to as well. This will be challenging. But the biggest challenge will be the Saturday night with six floors between Suicide Circus and Urban Spree. Last year this exceeded our expectations by far, and we are very, very much looking forward to making this happen again this year.