My first steps… with Kiasmos’ Ólafur Arnalds

Kiasmos are Janus Rasmussen (on the left) and Ólafur Arnalds

As a project of two friends Janus Rasmussen and Ólafur Arnalds like to describe their common baby, electronic outfit Kiasmos. Conceived other many years in various relaxed recording sessions, last year’s debut album presented the listeners a rich techno-narrative one might have not expected from the two. For Pop-Kultur Kiasmos will now join our multi-level approach, playing not only a surely memorable show at Berghain, but also hosting a workshop on »Live Composing« during »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«.
Reason enough to collect some first words of advice already. So on the day before leaving for a big US tour one half of the duo, Islandic BAFTA winning musician, composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds took some time off reviewing his first step to success.

ÓLAFUR ARNALDS: As I kid I went to a music school. Later, when I started out making music, I was very ambitious and did everything myself. I grew up in the punk scene, a very DIY environment, where nobody has an agent and nobody has a manager. I got into music that way and I didn’t have a record label around me nor any program. To be honest, there wasn’t very much support for me in the beginning but still I was happy.
I was also very ambitious with playing live and booked all my tours myself. I think, if you do it like this you will meet and find the right people to work with. But if you just sit around waiting for someone to discover you and make you famous nothing ever will happen. My agent and I met quite early for instance.
In 2008, two or three years after I started touring, I stopped working in my side job as a sound guy at a venue, so that was also a music-related job. I had also worked in bars for short periods of time.
And I didn’t have a mentor or someone similar. I just went out and did things. You learn from your mistakes. You learn just by doing stuff. This way you develop an idea of what you want to be. And you have to go to gigs and see other acts. When I’m playing a festival set with Kiasmos today I always try to see as many other act as possible. You can get your inspiration from basically everywhere.
Also, I wouldn’t have a career without the internet. Here I met Robert of Erased Tapes. But wait, no, I guess I would have found other ways if it hadn’t been there. I never had a plan B. I don’t know who I would be if I wouldn’t have become a musician. There was never anything else I wanted to do.

Kiasmos will appear live at Pop-Kultur on August 27, playing Berghain together with MssingNo, Michanika (Michael Rother & Anika), The Juan McLean among others. You can get your ticket in our online-shop. Also, Neneh Cherry with RocketNumberNine, Herbert, @NeinQuarterly, Mute’s Daniel Miller, Mourn are up for this day – so might want to get yourself a 10% discount by buying the »Wahl-Abo« (combo ticket option) for this day. Young musicians, DJ’s, producers, label-, club-, and festival-managers, journalists, bloggers and students of these disciplines can apply for »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« from now on until July 10th, 2015.

»Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«: Apply now!

Young musicians, DJ’s, producers, label-, club-, and festival-managers, journalists, bloggers and students of these disciplines can apply for the program from now until July 10th, 2015.

»Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« is part of the new festival »Pop-Kultur«, which premieres in August 2015 at the Berghain in Berlin. The newcomer program consists of workshop- and talk-formats as well as case studies with professionals from the music business.

Internationally renowned musicians, producers and theorists, that will also appear at the »Pop-Kultur«-festival, share there expertise in the nearby workshops of the Stage Services of the Berlin Opera Foundation from August 26-27, 2015.

Ólafur Arnalds, Jens Balzer (Berliner Zeitung), Ben de Biel (Maria), Stephanie von Beauvais, Anne Haffmans (Mute, Domino), Matthew Herbert, Native Instruments, Dota Kehr, Moses Schneider, Sookee, Maurice Summen (Staatsakt), Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt (University of Hildesheim) and many more will be involved with the workshops.

Their experience reports and background stories will convey a realistic and practical view on working in the pop-music-business. Moreover the experts offer their support in the development of your individual talents. And all this happens right in the middle of an inspiring environment: the site of creative production for the theatre- and opera-stages of Berlin.

Until July 15th, an expert jury will choose the 150 participants of »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« from all applications. The chosen participants will be notified shortly after. The workshop registration will be possible from that moment on. Expense contribution for both days will be 35€, including lunch.

Apply now!
Please, spread the news!

Confirmed: Norbert Bisky, SPEX, Balbina!

We are beyond happy to announce a few more additions to our festival programme:

On Thursday, August 27, at Berghain’s cloakroom internationally renowned German painter Norbert Bisky and neurologist Dr. Tom Fritz will speak about the incredible effects music and composing can have on the human mind, creativity and his ability to recover, fighting diseases such as Alzheimer. The second part of this module will see this year’s German pop breakthrough artist, Balbina, read some partly still unreleased lyrics and poetry. Both, the talk and the reading will be held in German, though.

Tickets / Facebook event / more information and links

On Friday midnight at Schlackehalle Berlin-via-Cologne pop-cultural magazine SPEX will now ask you to join a very special session in the light of their 35th anniversary. The talk will focus on a problem that is older than the magazine itself: the still outstanding appropriate representation of female musicians and journalists in festivals, label-catalogues and in the music media. This talk will also be held in German.

Tickets / Facebook event / more information and links

Pre-sale for »Pop-Kultur« has opened everywhere!

You want to get your tickets for Sophie Hunger, Bianca Casady & Co already? We are happy to announce that the pre-sale for »Pop-Kultur« has opened at all German box offices now!

Please, note: The so called »Wahl-Abo«, a combo ticket option which gets you a 10 % discount if you book three or more modules per festival day, is exclusively available at our online shop and via ADticket also operates a 24/7 ticket hotline under +491806050400 (fees apply).

Our complete program featuring more than 60 acts can be found here. Please, note that every ticket will get personalised!

»Pop-Kultur« is completely accessibly. Visitors with impairments / disabilities, please contact our staff directly via providing your name and ticket number(s) after buying your ticket(s). Your carer will then be gained free access to the modules you are attending.

CU in August!

New confirmations: Alec Empire, Sookee, and more!

A few updates. We regret to inform you that Tracey Thorn will sadly not be able to attend our festival because of private reasons. We are very sorry about this cancellation. But also we can now announce a bunch of new confirmations for our program:

With Alec Empire, Dieter Gorny and Anne Haffmans three very different experts will meet for a talk on Friday at Schlackehalle, how up-to-date copyright law has to work in 2015. The German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Heiko Maas, will also attend this event.

German rapper Sookee and Will Bankhead (DJ-Set) (The Trilogy Tapes) complete our Friday night at Berghain and Panorama Bar.

Viv Albertine, among many other things very well known for being the guitarist of legendary punk outfit The Slits, will open the first module at Schlackehalle on Wednesday with a live reading of her autobiography. The second part of the event will see conductor Andŕe de Ridder meet once again with Matthew Herbert on stage for a common talk.

Michaela Meise will now accompany @NeinQuarterly with melancholic tunes on the accordion for his Thursday afternoon talk.

33 ⅓ Things That You Should Know About »Pop‐Kultur« Right Now

#24 Will Make You Re-Think Your Vacation Plans!

1. Pop-Kultur is a new festival for Berlin.

2. After death metal, glam rock & pogo the city will enrich the international music scene once again with a new impulse.

3. Everything will be taking place from August 26 to 28 at Berghain.

4. Yes, THAT Berghain. Pop-Kultur will be utilizing every room of this special location – including Panorama Bar, Halle am Berghain, Garderobe and Kantine.

Schlackehalle am Berghain © Frederik Schulz (Titel „Kubus Sound“ 2012)
Halle am Berghain © Frederik Schulz /

5. Pop-Kultur shines a light on Berlin’s busy scene while meeting standards of internationality and diversity one can expect to experience in 2k15.

6. The festival advocates interdisciplinary exchange, including contemporary scientific discourse on music, society, and urban development. Its programme comprises live concerts, performances, talks, and readings.

7. Visitors can experience various international and German premieres. It began in Berlin! – is our motto for good reason. Over the course of three days, the festival turns into a one big productive laboratory for the most ambitious of ideas.

8. So… who’s coming? Bianca Casady of CocoRosie is. As Bianca Casady & the C.i.A. (US/FR), together with internationally acclaimed dancer Biño Sauitzvy, she will be presenting her newest musical performance and her upcoming solo debut album to a German stage for the first time.

9. Sophie Hunger (CH) will play an exclusive gig with a number of illustrious guests. The (super)moon is just the base camp for her!

[vevo id=”CH4931500030″ aspect_ratio=”16:9″]

10. Robbie Williams won’t be joining us.

11. But Matthew Herbert (UK) will. Living up his reputation as a man of many, many talents the British musician and producer will not only be presenting his newest full-length “The Shakes” for the first time live in Germany with his band, but will also participate in a talk and and conduct a workshop.

12. Icelandic duo Kiasmos (IS) weave their epic techno tapestries into the Berghain air. This electronic project is the newest brainchild of BAFTA-winning Ólafur Arnalds and Blood Group’s Janus Ramussen.

13. The “Ärger mit der Unsterblichkeit” (The trouble with immortality): the book written by Sven Regener and German underground legend Andreas Dorau (DE) about the latter’s life will be read out by the duo for the first time in Berlin.

14. Bernard Sumner (UK) will be also reciting from his new autobiography, while his New Order compatriots – Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris – will appear in a joint talk with Mute founder Daniel Miller (UK) and musician/composer Owen Pallett (CA). This will be held in the spectacular environment of the former Schlackehalle, where numerous tons of coal were melted down to slag every day, supplying East Berlin with power.

15. Hollywood actor and label owner Elijah Wood and his partner Zach Cowie, also known as Wooden Wisdom, will be joined by DJ Fitz to form a dancefloor conquering troika.

They are taking the Hobbit to Berghain
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. WingNut Films/The Saul Zaentz Company, 2001 (bearbeitet)

19. You’ll find the complete festival line-up with more than 60 acts on this website by Wednesday, April 22nd.

20. Pop-Kultur is all about making decisions.

21. The schedule is divided into single modules, each including up to four different gigs at the same venue. Tickets can only be bought for this slots.

22. Hence, there will be now day or festival passes, but you will still be able to create your own personal pass by combining the different modules.

23. Single tickets are between 5 and 25 EUR plus advanced booking fees.

24. Pop-Kultur presale opens in two weeks, on Wednesday, April 29 via this website.

25. We did not invite Beautycrush, nor Stampylonghead. Sorry

26. Instead, we do invite young talents of all disciplines to join our workshop programme Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs.

27. At the studios of Bühnenservice der Stiftung Oper Berlin (which is next to Berghain) we will pair you up with professional musicians, economical and political leaders and decision-makers out of the music industry. You can expect both inspiring and productive talks right in the middle where the creative production of the city’s theatre and opera stages take place.

Malsaal in den Werkstätten des Bühnenservice der Opern Berlin
Der Malsaal   © Werkstätten des Bühnenservice der Stiftung Oper Berlin

28. You will be able to apply for participation in Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs very soon.

29. Pop-Kultur can be seen as more than just a typical music festival. It also functions as a new and open space for Berlin, where the local music and art scene melds with its international peers and representatives of politics and economy.

30. But that doesn’t mean that there will be an “accreditation for professionals” after all! More art for everyone, less snacks!

31. Mingling spots to meet and converse can be found all over the festival area: on the lower level of the Halle am Berghain, in the beer garden, and also –by invitation– at the Diskogarten.

32. If you want to stay on the pulse with Pop-Kultur and receive further information, register for our newsletter now and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

33. Pop-Kultur is brought to you by Musicboard Berlin GmbH.

33 ⅓. Pop-Kultur takes pop culture very serious. Most of the time, at least…

How do I get my tickets for »Pop-Kultur«?

Our festival schedule is divided into single modules, each taking place at only one of the three days and only one of our five venues. (Berghain and Panorama Bar are combined venue with two floors.) A module can consist of up to fourteen acts and can include live and DJ sets, talks and readings, performances. Instead of day and festival passes you can only buy tickets for each module at »Pop-Kultur«. If you want to book three or more modules per festival day, the combo ticket option »Wahl-Abo« will get you a 10 % discount. The Bierhof, Berghain’s outdoor area, and the lower level of the Halle am Berghain will be open to all ticket holders during the whole day.

All tickets are now exclusively available via our online shop and ADticket also operates a 24/7 ticket hotline under +491806050400 (fees apply). On May 7 the pre-sale will also open at any other box-office.

»Pop-Kultur« is completely accessibly. Visitors with impairments / disabilities, please contact our staff directly via providing your name and ticket number(s) after buying your ticket(s). Your carer will then be gained free access to the modules you are attending.