If you talk to enough musicians and DJs in Berlin, chances are they tell you competition here is stiff, to say the least. It can be hard for younger or less established, aspiring musicians to get their stuff heard in a club atmosphere. Thankfully, with the return of CDR, your shot at an audience’s attention has just increased.
CDR (Create, Define, Release) lets artists and producers submit tracks they are working on to be played by the night’s host DJ. This allows an artist to hear their track, get reactions from those around, and make changes to the material if needed.
BLY spoke with CDR founder Tony Nwachukwu:
Can you tell us a little about your professional history?
My roots have always been in beat programming, sound design and music production. In recent years, I have extended my experiences to the world of education and crafting opportunities for music communities and brands to learn together and from each other.
After studying at University and a brief spell in music retail, I armed myself with an Akai MPC 60, an Akai S1000, a case full of my floppy disc based sample library and an Atari Stacy to venture into a world of freelance beat programming and arranging. I worked with a wide range of producers and engineers in the early 90s. Attica Blues followed. We produced two albums, toured with the likes of Massive Attack, Moloko and Lamb, and remixed artists and bands including Macy Gray, Duran Duran, DJ Krush and UNKLE.
Post Attica, a series of independent productions, releases and fatherhood, came CDR, which was and still is a response to music industry observations and experiences – a platform for implementing some of my music/collaboration/learning/insight ideas. Nowadays, it’s now a nice mix of music and event production, teaching, curating and all in the name of the kick, snare and hi-hat.
Just what is CDR?
CDR is an international music project and community I setup to be the platform for the development of new music, production and thinking and includes SBTRKT, Maya Jane Coles, and Floating Points to name three! It is a space that inspires by supporting and broadening artistic goals. This includes music events, workshops, seminars and radio shows. We often partner with like-minds in the music, education and technology space.
You’re bringing CDR back to Berlin. How has its past experience been here?
The past experiences have been so inspiring and, to a large extent, have helped shape the vision for CDR moving forward. Sessions actually began (albeit covertly) way back in 2008 at Tape Club which was on Heidistrasse.
We returned in 2011 for a stint at Chez Jaki which was on Schillingbrücke, featuring sessions that included Theo Parrish, Eric Wahlforss (SoundCloud) and Gerd Janson (Running Back) before moving to Prince Charles until late 2014. CDR Berlin sessions were run with friends Dirk Rumpf and John Savary who were key to shaping the vision for sessions locally.
What will be taking place at Prince Charles on March 30th?
You will see CDR’s return to its roots with a focus on being THE space for new music forms, performance and community to flourish. The night will start with the ‘Archive selection’, a Dj set of tracks previously submitted at sessions and projects in London, Berlin, Pittsburgh, Toronto and cities across South Africa and India.
We then switch to ‘Open CDR’, a slot dedicated to hearing tracks straight from the hard drive submitted by session attendees. Tracks are submitted online or physically on USB stick or good ol’ – CD-R! We then conclude with a short talk and DJ performance from Kyodai (pictured below). Session highlights will be featured on our show on NTS Radio and on Be-at.tv
There are more CDR events planned for 2016, correct?
Wednesday, March 30th
Prince Charles, Prinzenstrasse 85f, 10969 Berlin
FREE until 9.30pm // €5 after