/// STRUMA+IODINE / offstage / acute sonic statements / proliferating niches / escape-routes and disruptive manoeuvres / consensus factory strike / genre blindness / dissidence / irritation and immersion / heterogeneous electronics / idiosyncratic cosmos / potlatch and ceremony / experiment and autonomy / unten durch oder oben drüber /// (2012-2023)
The Vienna based music series Struma+Iodine turns 10 years in February and celebrates its anniversary with long time companions and new voices.
Since its beginnings in fall 2012 Struma+Iodine is dedicated to present the various facets of contemporary electronic music, of club culture and advanced sound. In live concerts, DJ-sets and podcasts we have featured almost 400 international and local artists. To reflect this diversity, the celebration turns into a mini-festival featuring 15 international and local acts. On two floors, eight live acts meet seven DJs bringing together stubborn Noise, Dark Ambient, digital Avantgarde, trippy Techno, Post-Hyper-Pop, anthemic Trance, apocalyptic Hardcore, droney trombone and electrified viola. The aim of the curation was not only to represent the multi-layered spectrum of adventurous electronic music, but also to invite some of the protagonists of Vienna’s forward thinking electronic music scene on stage.
The Berlin-based musician, DJ, artist and label-head Pavel Milyakov aka Buttechno has been considered one of the leading figures of Moscow’s underground music scene. Opposed to the aggressive imperial politics of his homeland, Pavel uses his work to acknowledge the historical and cultural context, delving into sociopsychological issues that haunt the society, and addressing memory — both collective and individual — and its potential to change our visions of the future.
Chameleon-like and unbiased, Milyakov takes up the most diverse genres. Under his birth name he produces experimental and abstract sounds and releases albums in duos with acts such as Bendik Giske, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Yana Pavlova, or Richie Culver. As Buttechno, he dedicates himself to dancefloor-oriented genres. He serves Finnish-influenced minimal as well as euphoric trance, relentless hardcore as well as uplifting acid house or broken beats. This restless shapeshifting is based on Milyakov’s undisguised musical enthusiasm and his open understanding of sounds and rhythms.
Milyakov presented his live sets at such venues as Berghain, and Tresor and performed at festivals like CTM, Berlin Atonal, Terraforma, and Primavera Sound. Working with different media, he created the audiovisual pieces “Infra” and “Haunted Mansion” commissioned by the Venice Biennale in 2020 and 2021. Pavel also runs and curates the “psy x” record label — a platform for sonic and visual works by like-minded artists and for ‘non-format’ records of his own.
SPEKKI WEBU dj-set
Dutch DJ, producer and label owner Spekki Webu acts as a mind expander among his colleagues. With a hypnotizing psychedelic mixture of tripped-out trance, extraterrestrial tribal techno, jungle, breaks and ambient, shifting gears between hypnotic slowmotion and breakneck 90’s rave, he catapults us into other dimensions, inducing a cerebral high. Gliding from one track to another in an incredibly subtle and mesmerizing way, his mysteriously abstract, multi-layered sets develop their deep, hypnotic pull over time. Spekki Webu’s sound alchemy promises not least complete immersion in sound and rhythms – “As if you were drifting through deep space”, Factmag states.
ELVIN BRANDHI live
Elvin Brandhi is the pseudonym of musician and vocalist Freya Edmondes, originally from Wales. Her long nomadic lifestyle has taken her from continent to continent. Edmondes spent several years in Vienna for her art studies. She is active in collaborative projects, including PLF, a trio with Lukas König and Peter Kutin. Her music is kaleidoscopic, idiosyncratic and fragmentary, as if made up of thousands of impressions. The rhythms are aberrantly experimental. There are frantic sounds of various sources, looped samples, glitches and Edmondes’ voice, that is sampled and manipulated in many different ways. Her voice is actually at the heart of the tracks, ranging from aggressive to pensive, forming an orchestra of affective vocal noises.
Her performances are as much disruptive as they are refined and can easily stand next to the most heavily produced club sounds- Armed with a viola, Beatrix Curran aka Battle-ax, envelops a space with relentless chains of reverb and distortion building up cohesive, strong and highly emotive soundscapes.
Battle-ax both undermines and is reinforced by her classical training. Born in Sydney, Australia, she moved to Vienna, having been first attracted to the city’s musical history. It was when she began playing in clubs however, that her improvisational style was able to brazen itself between romanticism, atonalism and an energized repetition motivated by those she plays alongside.
IN MY TALONS live
The producer, multi-instrumentalist and artist Florian Pfaffenberger aka In My Talons is channeling musical styles from past and present to form irritatingly emotive, hybrid tracks that are successfully overcoming high/low binaries and seemingly opposing aesthetics. Extracting the affective intensities of different genres, his opulent MIDI-driven arrangements are fusing R’n’B vocals with pan flutes, fractured dub bass with Medieval strings, fury Ragga tunes with sentimental Prog-Rock Riffs, or trancy synths with Trap drills. This amalgamation of meanings and practices follows a democratizing gesture that is sophisticated and self-reflective, and not afraid of pushing the limits of good taste. Manoeuvring on a meta-level, his post-modern-appropriation is not drenched in irony, on the contrary, In My Talons is laying out personal narratives in dense retro-futuristic power-pop-ballads.
JUNG AN TAGEN live
The musician and artist Stefan Juster has been successfully carrying out psychoacoustic experiments as Jung An Tagen for years. Under the auspices of the Editions Mego label, three releases appeared before Juster founded his own platform ETAT, an online label that focuses on the international digital avant-garde. Juster demands aesthetic openness with his sounds. He develops self-sufficient compositional systems and refuses typical musical syntax. In doing so, “he seems to want to rewrite the rules of electronic music” states the Wire.
ALPHA TRACKS dj-set
Felix Benedikt aka Alpha Tracks is one of Austria’s most successful techno exports. When trance was rediscovered by the techno underground a few years ago, he was right at the forefront. Since then, he has been considered one of the figureheads of the genre. The producer and DJ, who was socialised in the Viennese Cheap environment, harks back to the rave era of the early nineties in his high-BPM sets, ignoring speed limits and taste doctrines.
TINTIN PATRONE live
Tintin Patrone is a German-Filipino sound artist based in Hamburg. She produces sustained, distorted, or eerie sound by directing her single instrument output through a number of low-latency, modified, and/or minimally oscillating digital filters. Her playing patterns of a drone allow for the creation of large, robust drones that are mimicked, distorted, or recombined to form longer and more varied textures and structures.
KARO PREUSCHL live
The musician, performance artist and lyricist Karo Preuschl is an active figure in the Viennese art and culture scene. In addition to her work for the theatre and as a poet, she is known as a solo musician under the moniker Coco Bechamel and MC Rine and from duos such as Koenigleopold, Snake Boots and Wien Diesel. As Karo Preuschl, she presents abysmal modular synth vocal noise improvisations, testing out the full frequency spectrum. Immediacy, spontaneity and originality meet uncompromisingness and charming wit.
The DJ, producer and artist Schirin was considered one of the hottest underground DJs in the city before she moved to Berlin a few years ago. Her hardcore techno-oriented mixes feature hardstyle, trance and gabber and are always on the edge.
Musician and artist Hanno Schnegg aka Nachtbote filters sparkling bleeps and hypnotic rhythms from his modular synth. His trance-inducing techno is oriented towards minimal as well as the mystical synaesthesia experiments of an Aleksi Perälä.
DJ WARZONE dj-set
DJ Warzone has been considered one of the heads of Vienna’s techno underground for a good decade. The producer and DJ with Kurdish roots is as clandestine as he is active. With his harsh lo-fi sound, he serves the entire spectrum of the hardcore continuum. His sets feature dirty drum machines as well as caustic synths.
DJ JACKHAMMER dj-set
DJ Jackhammer is one of Vienna’s finest gabber and hardcore DJs. Her sets are energetic, euphoric and sexy and combine current anthems with oldschool tracks. She is a founding member of the early hardcore/millenium/terror collective Busyaction, which hosts parties and hosts a radio show on the res.radio station.
FLOWER CRIME dj-set
The musician, DJ and artist Hannah Hansel represents a similarly hard, but in contrast more minimalist and hypnotic approach in her DJ sets as Flower Crime.
Ursula Winterauer lives and works as a musician, producer and curator in Vienna. She is co-founder of Ventil Records and active as a musician under the pseudonym Gischt. Similar to her live sets, she also brings together sounds from industrial, techno, post-club and dark ambient in her DJ sets.