Music has always played an important role in political resistance. Its ability to communicate and raise awareness is surpassed only by its unifying function as a point of shared identification for any community. At the same time, important societal changes have often emerged from underground music scenes resisting the injustices of existing systems throughout history. As online and offline spaces become increasingly corporatized, 3hd’s “Subversion” event at Berlin’s OHM on October 24, asks what counterculture can do to undermine them now. Exploitative economic models, individualism and capitalist interests threaten to dismantle the power of solidarity through appropriation, branding and fashion. “Subversion” questions the possibilities for disrupting this trend in a music market that seems as ubiquitous as the technologies it depends upon. Can these evermore complex systems of exploitation be avoided, evaded and opposed by another subcultural movement today?
Of the five artists who reimagine the possibilities for subversion in these newly complicated conditions, Alobhe produces foreboding sonic assaults with an underlying impulse towards exploding genres, while SADAF’s work draws from and subverts the language of auto-fiction, cinema and the artist/muse relationship. Kareem Lotfy has consistently sidestepped classification as an artist, working across disciplines and taking his music and art practice across countries, media and collaborators. Oxhy makes conscientiously lo-fi, sample-based tracks that take from an environment of scarcity and fear, and Andrea Novel’s Ydegirl project is a vehicle for exploring how women have been portrayed through time.