Various Artists CTM: Club Transmediale - XLR8R

Various Artists CTM: Club Transmediale

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CTM documents Berlin's annual Club Transmediale festival of experimental music, and some of the ancient sounds found herein manage to achieve a grace that no laptop or damaged guitar can touch. The string solo on "Atabat," by Syrian classical masters The Omar Souleyman Band, has a taunting trickster's voice in its bewitching chords, which were perhaps just as arresting centuries ago as they are today. Some standouts include O.S.T.'s haunting string drones on "Synken," Frivolous' ring-a-ding-ding microhouse, and Like a Tim's spaced-out Atari 5200 acid-techno. But at times, the kitchen-sink eclecticism leaves an uneven mess, and a glib and skuzzy death-metal and noisecore element vandalizes CTM.