Online music magazine based in Copenhagen, Denmark

Monthly archive

January 2014

VIDEO: Asbjørn – “Brotherhood”

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Asbjørn has shared a new video for his single “Brotherhood” which is set to feature on his second album collection Pseudo Visions being released on February 1st, Pseudo Visions will be the follow up to 2012’s Sunk Ships. The video was directed by the Copenhagen videographer duo Powerclap and follows a story where “Brotherhood” is chapter one in a string of videos still to come.

ARTICLE: FROST Festival 2014

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After the doldrums of January, Copenhagen’s music scene comes back to life in February, and the FROST Festival is a notable contributor. Now in its fourth year, FROST brings Danish and international bands to conventional and unconventional venues around Copenhagen for concerts. Running from 1 February until 2 March, the festival aims to span genres and settings.

“FROST is all about putting the live music experience in context,” says festival director Mikael Pass. “We put a lot of effort into scouting for interesting, alternative venues across the city and match them with the artists we wish to present. This way the atmosphere of the room and the music blends, hopefully taking the concert experience to a different level. This year, a lot of the events take place in venues connected with water – an abandoned swimming pool, an old aquarium, ice rinks. Don’t ask me why.”

Though the water theme of many of the settings may be a coincidence, FROST’s organizers have a set of criteria they look for in their alternative venues.

“A perfect FROST-venue needs to hold a strong story telling atmosphere. It should work as the perfect backdrop for a concert,” says Pass. “At the same time it needs to fulfill the basic requirements – electricity, toilets and, of course, an acoustic that won’t destroy the concert experience. Then we look for a band that can fill the room and reflect its ambience. Sometimes we settle on the band first and then look for a perfect venue for them. The band becomes the soundtrack to the room and the room becomes the backdrop to the music.”

Though Pass is obviously excited to see all of the bands performing, he admits to being particularly excited about a few.

“Mostly I’m curious to see how the matches between the bands and venues pan out,” he says.  “When Saints Go Machine at the old aquarium, Erlend Øye at the bottom of an empty pool, The Mountains and Turboweekend in the beautiful and historic Brew House of King Christian IV.  And I can’t wait for Moonface to sing his insanely beautiful songs behind the piano in Koncertkirken.”

Beyond the offbeat venues, the city of Copenhagen itself — especially as it stands in February — is crucial to the concept of FROST. And don’t be surprised if future editions of the festival necessitate keeping your mittens on.

“We find it very interesting to explore the possibilities in creating music events in the winter city – not only indoors, but also to get people to use the outdoor spaces of Copenhagen during the winter,” says Pass. “This year, we produce shows at two public ice rinks and hopefully we can develop more outdoor activities in the future. Another goal is to do more light installations both at our venues and across the city to light up the dark Copenhagen winter,” says Pass.

One can see how Pass can be optimistic. Almost half of this year’s FROST events have sold out before the festival has even begun, and its reputation continues to grow.

“We get the feeling that we have become an established part of the Danish (and international) music scene. This makes it easier to discuss projects with both artists and the people running the alternative spaces,” he says. “However, we don’t make things easy on ourselves: Creating one-off events in alternative spaces takes a lot of time, money, networking and energy. And it’s a very open format; every edition of the festival has been a completely different story. FROST is like the bumble-bee that wasn’t designed to fly, but so far has managed to do so anyway.”

FROST 2014 begins this Saturday, 1 February. For the full line-up and ticket information, visit www.frostfestival.dk.

 

LIVE REVIEW: Traams, KB18 29.01.2014

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Traams’ debut Grin cemented 2013 as the year the UK got post-punk right. As bands like Savages and Factory Floor looked to the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Throbbing Gristle for drive and inspiration, Traams managed to amalgam the best of British post-punk with US noise rock, and have received a justifiable amount of recognition for it.

I need precise telephonic instructions to find KB18 among the snowy streets of Kødbyen. The weather has not been kind to us. The Copenhagen curse dictates that the most interesting bands are often all but ignored. So be it, I will continue to berate you readers until this town learns to appreciate the talent that passes it by every week.

Communions (Photo by Tom Spray)

After a few beers and what seems like most of David Bowie’s hits on the PA, Communions hit the stage. Tonight they are supposed to be inaugurating their new seven-inch, Cobblestones, released by Posh Isolation. Not that you would ever know it, since there isn’t a whiff of their vinyl or cassettes anywhere. A pity, since Communions stand out among their peers for embracing some West-coast surf riffs to lighten up the Danish gloom. The eponymous single closes the set, and stands out for its use of melody and noise.

To their complete credit, Traams don’t seem to care how many people were put off by the snow and wind, and inject some much-needed adrenalin. Songs like “Red” and “Low” showcase their rhythmic prowess, spinning riffs on their head and thrashing out intense duels between Stuart Hopkins’ guitar squeals and Leigh Padley’s melodic bass lines.

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

A real departure from post-punk etiquette can be found in the guitar solos in “Sleep”. They scream out of Hopkins’ abused guitar, testifying that this is no revival bullshit. This is mirrored by Padley’s own bass solo in “Loose”, a reminder that the bass as a lead instrument did not die with New Order. Driving these two contesting forces is Adam Stock’s tight drumming, moving seamlessly from drum rolls to 4 on the floor motorik beats.

The closer, “Flowers”, is Traams in a nutshell, driving forward without remorse. Padley later reveals that it is their oldest song from the set. The band are hopping around, shaming an audience either too polite or too wrapped up in the ennui of existence to display any kind of involvement. The Chichester trio are way ahead, so put on a coat and keep up.

VIEW THE FULL GALLERY HERE

INTRODUCING: Communions

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Like their big brothers, Iceage and Lower, Communions are squarely based among the Mayhem set, where waistbands are high, haircuts sharp, and screamed vocals drenched in reverb. The young quartet has gained attention by melding the typical hardcore/goth hybrid of the likes of Iceage with surf-rock melodies and one-note guitar riffs. Today, marks the release of their first EP, Cobblestones, naturally released by Posh Isolation. The title track features the band at their catchiest, and “Children” sees a battle between some jaded vocal drawls and a very involved drum kit thrust far back in the mix.

For those who didn’t manage to get their hands on a copy of Dokument #1, the 500 or so copies of Cobblestones provide a rare chance to access a band that has so far shunned any kind of online presence.

LIVE REVIEW: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Lille Vega, 29.01.2014

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The demographic of the crowd for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks at Lille Vega is striking: the overwhelmingly male crowd seems to be evenly divided between those who have been following Malkmus since the ‘90s, and those who look just old enough to have discovered Pavement on their 2010 reunion. Amusingly, many men of all ages have Malkmus’ haircut.

Malkmus is still the archetypal indie rock guy, lanky, hunched over when he sings, and he comes on stage chewing gum, which he manages to keep up through the entirety of opening song “Tigers” before spitting it onto his setlist.

Yet somehow there is an ease to the evening. Having stacked several of his shorter tunes early in the set, the band seems to speed through songs, as evidenced by a 22 song set list (further bolstered by a medley of covers in the encore). This balances things nicely when Malkmus does indulge in guitar solos, including the ridiculous rock star move of playing his guitar behind his back for the outro of “Senator.”

Stephen Malkmus (Photo by Ivan Boll)

The vocals could stand to be a little louder, they sometimes get lost under the guitars and keyboards, but the band is tight. Between songs, when Malkmus makes sometimes awkward banter (or at least when his question about whether anyone in the audience has ever accidentally appeared in the background of Borgen falls on deaf ears), his bandmates take jibes at him that he readily deflects back them.

While a chunk of the show was devoted to the band’s latest album, Wig Out at Jagbags,  the Pavement songs “Harness Your Hopes” and “Summer Babe” still creep in at the end. Of course, these are the songs that garner the most enthusiastic responses of the evening. Malkmus is still the archetypal indie rock guy, clearly comfortable with what he’s doing now. But obviously most of his audience arrived at what he’s doing now via what he did 20 years ago.

VIEW THE FULL GALERY HERE

TRAAMS (Support: Communions) | KB18, Copenhagen, 29.01.2014

in Photos by

Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

Communions

Communions (Photo by Tom Spray)

Communions (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

TRAAMS (Photo by Tom Spray)

VIDEO: MØ – “Don’t Wanna Dance”

in Blog/New Music by

A couple weeks ago aired her new single “Don’t Wanna Dance” on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show, today she’s shared the visual side for the single. The video see’s Karen Marie Ørsted and friends dancing around in a scrapyard to some carefully choreographed moves that allow for the scrapyards staff to also join in. MØ will release her debut album No Mythologies To Follow February 24th on Sony Records.

Watch the video below:

Todd Terje set to release debut album

in Blog/New Music by

Norwegian producer Todd Terje has released details of a full length debut album. His debut album has been a long time coming after a string of EP and single releases, his debut entitled It’s Album Time is set to be released on Olsen Records (7th April).

Jacob Bellens | Lille Vega, Copenhagen, 26.01.2014

in Photos by

Photos by Ivan Boll

Jacob Bellens (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Jacob Bellens (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Jacob Bellens (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Jacob Bellens (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Jacob Bellens (Photo by Ivan Boll)

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