Telekom Electronic Beats

CTM Festival: Sounds and Styles From the Global Cutting Edge

Photographer Antoine De Almeida and others capture hi-fi aesthetics, directly from the underground.

Words by Whitney Wei
Published on February 4, 2020 17:59 Berlin Time

This past Sunday, CTM Festival drew to a close, marking another year of importing adventurous and outré club music from all around the world into Berlin’s hallowed venues. Inviting such acts as the Brazilian band and political provocateurs Teto Preto, French multidimensional producer BORA, and Ugandan Nyege Nyege affiliate and cross-genre DJ Hibotep, the week-long event was both an exploration of the global cutting edge and the city’s diverse taste in all aspects of the arts. 

This year’s festival theme, ‘Liminality,’ threw the spotlight on spiritual and social rituals, as well as “aesthetic, psychedelic, and other transformative experiences.” For Electronic Beats’ revamped festival coverage, we were interested specifically in these social and aesthetic facets, and the ways in which individuals within subcultural circles organize themselves through both sound and style. Overarching themes, as seen in the images below, include the intersections between human and machine, bondage and liberation, as well as spectator and spectacle.

Combining images from French fashion photographer Antoine De Almeida, who snapped festival-goers outside shows, with selects by CTM’s official photographers, who captured artists in the thralls of their performance, the following series provides a holistic view into underground culture as we know it. 

Photos by Antoine De Almeida, Udo Siegfriedt, Irma FS, and Stefanie Kulisch. CTM flyer graphic design by VOJD. Additional graphic design by Ekaterina Kachavina.