Polymorphism x Cosmo Rhythmatic

Berghain, Berlin

A collaboration with the famously adventurous CTM Festival, the Polymorphism crew’s 18th residency was slated to celebrate the release of CSLM, a joint EP from Grischa Lichtenberger (of Raster-Noton fame) and Canadian producer Jesse Osborne Lanthier which recently dropped on Berlin label Cosmo Rhythmatic. 

CSLM, which stands for “conversations sur lettres mortes” (“conversations about dead letters”) is a project that was originally prepared for Montreal’s MUTEK festival in 2014, distilled into a nine tracker that marries mechanical noise with heavy, articulate, often-syncopated soundscapes. 

The project came to life for one hour inside the Berghain’s cavernous main room as it was accompanied by visuals on a single screen and a few subtle white lights. Although CTM Festival carried similar vibes, it was something else to experience such an experimental, noise-driven set on a regular Klubnacht — the effect was unsettling, but in a good way. Instead of heated dancing, the crowd heaved along with heavy bass or gathered in small groups, merited by a set that seemed to favour reflection and contemplation over all. 

The night provided a wealth of live sets, likewise something not so typical for Berghain, which often slots only a couple during the early hours between Saturday night and Sunday morning. This time around Shapednoise played out live with an a/v collaboration with sYn called metaphysical, followed up with a closing DJ set from Shapednoise a few hours later. Nina likewise played in two short bursts; the result was a kind of cyclical exploration of everything the Cosmo Rhythmatic label had to offer. Dutch producer Xosar was another highlight of the evening, taking things deeper and darker with thundering bass and brutalist compositions that somehow managed to be sensual at the same time. Although the night was quite removed from Berghain’s typical techno, it offered a rare respite to truly get lost in the noise.