This Thursday, No! Music kicks off with an eclectic but carefully curated selection of luminaries, stringing a common thread through the experimental, political, and jazz music scenes. The festival takes place in one of Berlin’s premier havens for cultural events, Haus der Kulturen der Welt.  Worth the visit alone, the building’s Cold War era architecture was conceived as a symbol of freedom and a figurative middle finger to the voyeurs in Communist-ruled East Berlin. Not just utilizing the gorgeous space, No! Music is also inseparable from the venue’s core concept. The festival was curated by HKW music curator Detlef Diederichsen together with Martin Hossbach, author, label head, and professional music curator. As taken from the HKW website:

…”[HKW] creates a forum for the contemporary arts and critical debates. In the midst of profound global and planetary transformation processes, HKW re-explores artistic positions, scientific concepts, and spheres of political activity, asking: How do we grasp the present and its accelerated technological upheavals? What will tomorrow’s diversified societies look like? And what responsibilities will the arts and sciences assume in this process?

HKW develops and stages a program that is unique in Europe, blending discourse, exhibitions, concerts and performances, research, education programs and publications. Its projects initiate reflection processes and devise new frames of reference. In its work, HKW understands history as a resource for alternate narratives.”

An important detail is that live music is just a small portion of the weekend’s affairs. There are also heaps of cool workshops, installations, and presentations that we highly recommend you check out.  Sticking to our supposed forte, we picked out a few of the music performances that we’re particularly excited about. Behold:


In the world of experimental improvisation, Zeitkratzer is a name to know. Since their foundation in 1999, they’ve collaborated with countless jazz and noise legends, as well as bridging the gap between experimental music communities with their orchestral covers power-violence pioneers (see there renditions of Throbbing Gristle and Whitehouse). Their performances are known to utilize anything and everything in lieu of conventional instruments for the sound they have to offer, creating soundscapes that test your threshold for discomfort.

Pussy Riot

Since their dramatic explosion onto the scene into the scene in 2012, Pussy Riot has been very busy with imprisonment, parole, and further protests at the Sochi Olympics. Admittedly, PR isn’t known for blowing away audiences with their musical performances. Their project is self-described as performance art and clearly places greater value on their dissenting political message. Given the current state international politics, particularly between Russia and the US, there is plenty to be angry about.

Pan Daijing

It is no secret that we’re fans of Frau Daijing.  Our first experience with her was playing the role of industrial DJ in Berghain in late 2015. Since then she has drifted further in the direction of conceptual sound performance, pushing boundaries wherever they are met and famously drawing from BDSM for inspiration.  Every evening spent with her has been different than the other, and we’re sincerely looking forward to what she has in store this time around.  The icing on the cake is that her performances are daily and have free admission.

Tiganá Santana

Breaking up some of the event’s atonality, Sr. Santana will be treating us with his interpretation of a politically significant masterpiece. In 1973, thanks to a stroke of genius, Milton Nascimento rescued his album Milagre dos Peixes from the censorship of the Brazilian military dictatorship, by replacing all of the lyrics with “lalala.” Singer/songwriter Tiganá Santana is celebrated for his combination of Brazilian and West African music. For No! Music he will be paying homage to Nascimento with his cover of Milagre dos Peixes.


If any of the above sound interesting, you can enter our raffle here to win some free tickets. There is much, much more going on than we have time to cover in detail, so check out the full program:

Thursday 9.11

18:45 Pan Daijing
19:00 Zeitkratzer
20:30 Pussy Riot
21:30 Matana Roberts &-Chor der Kulturen der Welt

Friday 10.11

19:45 Pan Daijing
20:00 Tiganá Santana spielt Milton Nascimento “Milagre dos Peixes”
21:30 Arrigo Barnabé “Claras e Crocodilos”
23:00 Nobody (Willis Earl Beal)

Saturday 11.11

15:00 Film: Yangon Calling – Punk in Myanmar, 62 min
16:00 Panel: Punk als Prinzip (mit Avi Pitchon, Peter Hein, Martina Schöne-Radunski
[Cuntroaches] u.a. Moderation: Conny Lösch)
17:30 Lecture Bill Drummond
18:30 Film: Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared, 83 min
19:45 Pan Daijing
20:00 4’33’’-Gala mit Isolation Berlin, Jolly Goods, Lambert, Lucretia Dalt, Die Maulwerker,
Wolfgang Müller, Perera Elsewhere, Claire Tolan, Mary Ocher, Zugezogen Maskulin
Moderation: Max Dax
22:00 Toshimaru Nakamura: No Input Mixing Desk

Sunday 12.11

14:30 Film: No Land’s Song, 90 min
16:00 Lecture Wael Koudaih: Laws of Probabilities or How to Compose Music that is
Compatible with the Sharia?
17:00 Panel: DIY or Die: Is Bartleby Dead in the Post-Digital Age? (mit Adam Harper,
Geert Lovink, Daniela Seitz [Creamcake] u.a. Moderation: Lisa Blanning)
18:30 Film: Jandek on Corwood 90 min
19:45 Pan Daijing
20:00 Jandek
21:30 Nihilist Spasm Band feat. Alexander Hacke