Location: Berlin, Est: 2016
Potted History: A-TON was founded in 2016 by Jenus Baumecker-Kahmke as an imprint of Ostgut Ton, the label attached to Berlin’s legendary Berghain techno club.
“I took over both the main and sub-labels from Jenus this past January,” explains current label big chief, Walter W Wacht, who moved to Berlin from Boston in 2000 to study and never left. “A-TON and Unterton both play a really important role, I see them as platforms for musical juxtaposition; releasing music people might not have been expecting, which also reflect Berghain’s dedication to more experimental electronic formats, new music and modern composition.”
Aside from A-TON’s strong archival releases, Wacht says the label is about ensuring that electronic music and visual art infiltrate each other.
Mission Statement: “A-TON’s focus is on archive, ambient and art-related releases,” offers Wacht. “Aside from the obvious implications regarding significant archive releases by Ostgut Ton artists, it’s also about highlighting the mutually influential aspects of visual art and electronic music on the one hand, and experimentation and functionality in electronic music on the other. Essentially, it’s a reflection of Berghain’s unique emphasis on all of the above.”
Key Artists And Releases: A-TON releases also shed light on the breadth of their artists’ overall output, for example, Luke Slater’s 7th Plain releases in the ‘Chronicles’ series are, says Wacht, “some of the most underrated IDM of the 90s” and who are we to argue?
“In terms of art-related releases,” he continues, “I like to think of these as functioning like concept albums, but without the stringent narratives, allowing the listener to complete the story.”
A good example of is Inland and Julian Charriere’s excellent new album, ‘An Invitation To Disappear’.
“Charriere works quite a bit on the subject of the Anthropocene, which is focused on the visualisation of strange geological timelines where an aspect of future hyper-industrialisation results in a kind of pre-history with contemporary artefacts, but devoid of people – something Inland expertly soundtracked on this release.”
Which, to be honest, is something we totally missed in our review.
Future Plans: “A-TON is also an outlet for residents at the club, who themselves are involved in more experimental electronic formats. Oren Ambarchi, Konrad Sprenger and Phillip Sollmann’s recent ‘Panama / Suez’ EP is a perfect example, with its post-techno, krauty electronics driven by guitar, of all things. Sollmann in particular draws on experimental electronics in his techno productions as Efdemin – as was the case in his Harry Partch-inspired live show Monophonie in 2016. In the future, these are exactly the kinds of connections A-TON will make.”
For more, visit a-ton.berlin