Online music magazine based in Copenhagen, Denmark

Monthly archive

February 2014

Listen to the new album teaser from Ice Cream Cathedral

in Blog/New Music by

Today, Ice Cream Cathedral announced they’ll will be releasing “The Swans” – the first single from their second album – on March 10th 2014. Last night the band played an invite-only concert where they revealed new material from their forthcoming album. The set was tight, and gave a sneak peak to their new dark electronic sound. As they explain in our recent interview the band explores new ground on their upcoming album.

The band also released a teaser video for the album, the bands second full length album will be released in May.

View the photos from their show yesterday below (Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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SESSION: Frightened Rabbit

in Sessions by

Add “Scottish” to the word “indie” and you can always expect a certain dose of gloom, but Frightened Rabbit inject some pathos and grandeur, resulting in an acclaimed fifth album, Pedestrian Verse. Three of the fivepiece, brothers Scott and Grant Hutchinson, and guitarist Gordon Skene, joined us to play acoustic versions of two tracks from their latest album, “Holy” and “Backyard Skulls”, plus “Candlelit”, from their 2013 E.P., The Woodpile.

LIVE REVIEW: Forest Swords, Jazzhouse, 22.02.2014

in Live Reviews by

It is always a pleasant surprise when most of the audience show up in time to see the opening act. The Jazzhouse is almost full when local hero Sekuoia hits the stage to deliver an hour-long set of warm, minimalist electronica. This evening he is playing without the assistance of drummer and guitarist, but if anything his performance is more energized than usual. “Rituals” still stands out as his most recognizable and catchy beat, but it is a rare privilege to be able to hear such an extended set from him.

Forest Swords (Photo by Tom Spray)

Under a black and white projection of abstract dancing figures, Forest Swords materialize as producer Matthew Barnes and trusty anonymous bassist. Apart from being a chance to experience his doom-laden dub in an intense and intimate setting, the performance also functions as an explanation of the record, Engravings. Samples and live instruments, which on the album are often undistinguishable, become evident live.

Make no mistake, Forest Swords is pure, Lee Scratch Perry-approved dub (Perry even remixed FS’s “Thor’s Stone”). That is not to say that Barnes isn’t innovative, but rather that his music has a very strong grounding, evidenced by the organic quality of his samples. Though often associated with James Blake or Burial, Forest Swords seems to have more in common with the austere sonic explorations of These New Puritans.

Forest Swords (Photo by Tom Spray)

Though for the most part the nature of songs is contemplative, the crowd is onboard, swaying and nodding along. Barnes doesn’t engage in much banter in between songs, presumably so as to not spoil the mood. When he does, it’s to enquire as to the quality of the sound to stage left. A couple of speakers, which had already been slightly distorting the bass during Sekuoia’s set, are starting to malfunction. What follows is a silent quarter of an hour during which Barnes, bassist and sound engineer fret over cables trying to solve the problem.

Although the frustration onstage is evident, the audience is mercifully understanding, and before too long the sound is sorted. The set has had to be cut short, but there are still some surprises. “Irby Tremor” features Barnes channelling spaghetti westerns on guitar, while the drum samples are crisp, almost koto-inspired. I am also convinced that “The Weight of Gold” is somehow secretly  borrowing from Morricone’s “Ecstasy of Gold”, but have little evidence to back that up. The mood that Forest Swords inspires manages to ride between these contemplative analyses and produce an undeniable physical response that waves these moments away.

Moderat | Koncerthuset, Copenhagen,15.02.2014

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Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

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LIVE REVIEW: Moderat, Koncerthuset, 15.02.2014

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Sat directly underneath the main concert hall of DR’s Koncerthuset, “Studie 1” is not so much a music venue as a faithful recreation of a rather swish regional airport. In one sense this befits Moderat, the fusion of Berlin “legends” and “pioneers” (hack-speak for “bands people have heard of”) Apparat and Modeselektor, whose latest album, II, sees them tackle a broad and accessible range of electronica. Like the album itself, the venue is very clean and tasteful, but I keep expecting songs to be interrupted by a distorted voice saying “Final call for passengers on the SAS flight to Gdansk…”

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Stuck behind the four inter-crossing panels that form Moderat’s backdrop, opener and fellow Berliner Anstam is visible as little more than a backlit shadow. Unperturbed, he jitters around, explaining that the next song is about Terry Gilliam. Cinematic references are obvious in the music, as grandiose themes are dismantled under pounding drums and noises bleeding into the mix. Only when his set ends to I realize I’ve spent the entirety of it trying to come up with anagrams of Anstam (spoiler: turns out there are none).

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I am trying to deal with this personal crisis as Moderat shuffle on stage. Not by any means the most charismatic of musicians, they do seem in good spirits as Sascha Ring attempts some of the worst stage banter I have ever heard in my life (excerpt: “We are finally in Copenhagen. I hope you will like that fact.”). Three men behind workstations, like a mutilated Kraftwerk, the band relies on multiple layers of lights and projections behind them to give some visual life to the music.

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Unsurprisingly, the setlist consists mainly of tracks from their second album, but the live interpretation of these tracks has a different set of values. In such a large space many of the more subtle or quiet sections of the album are completely lost, and throughout the set they are steadily eliminated in favour of straightforward club beats. This isn’t so much music for dancing as it is for standing-awkwardly-with-phone-in-one-hand-and-other-hand-punching-the-air.

Sasha Ring is also allowed much more space for vocals, which on the album generally signal the least interesting tracks. Live, however, they seem to garner the greatest response from the audience, perhaps because they provide the most palpable connection between band and audience. The evening is sold out, but most people in the crowd seem to be spending more time taking pictures of each other than listening to the music. Once again, during the break before the encore, I snap back into reality and discover I have spent the last hour looking at the ceiling and making a mental list of thing I have to do next week.

VIEW FULL PHOTO GALLERY HERE

LIVE REVIEW: Connan Mockasin, Bremen Teater, 15.02.2014

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When Chorus Grant takes the stage at Bremen Teater, there is no indication of how weirdly wonderful the night is going to be. Kristian Finne Kristensen & co, with their downtempo, ‘70s inflected rock, are very reassuring. They’re not just pleasant, they’re comfortable to listen to. It’s a really nice, really unassuming way to ease into the evening.

So when Connan Mockasin takes the stage, looking for all the world — with his bleach blond hair and black poncho — like a cult leader, things take a radically different turn. His psychedelic rock is really the perfect soundtrack to lying on your living room floor and tripping your face off, but it’s his personality and stage presence that make him worth coming out to see in person.

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Before even picking up his guitar, he comes to the front of the stage to tell the audience that he is delighted to be in Denmark. It’s his first show here, ever, and when he tells the audience that he’s wanted to come here since he was a child, he sounds genuine. That’s a big part of why his show works. When he casts cheeky grins at the audience in the middle of pre-song improvisations, it feels spontaneous. When he plays his guitar from a seat in the front row for much of “Why Are You Crying?” it feels impulsive and not like something he’s been planning to do since this afternoon’s load-in.

Mockasin’s band is similarly easygoing, which works well as much of the set has a slow-motion quality to it. They frequently hit wind chimes to add to the dream sequence sensation of the music. More than halfway through the show, Mockasin walks up to the soundboard in the middle of the theater to introduce their soundman and get an audience perspective. When he returns to the stage, the crowd are on their feet.

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

But if the evening has only been unpredictable up to this point, it’s with the encore when things get truly odd. The band help to carry out a large duvet surrounding a petite Japanese woman in a kimono. She leads the crowd in a chant of Mockasin’s name before he emerges from under the duvet, now dressed in beige pajamas, bare chested and doing little to sway me from my early assessment of him looking like a cult leader. He finishes his set singing through a pitch-shifted mic that’s dropped his vocals more than an octave. It might be going a bit beyond accessible artistic expression, but it’s definitely memorable.

VIEW THE FULL PHOTO GALLERY HERE

Connan Mockasin | Bremen, Copenhagen, 15.02.2014

in Photos by

Photos by Ivan Boll

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

Connan Mockasin (Photo by Ivan Boll)

LIVE REVIEW: Get Your Gun, Loppen, Copenhagen, 13.02.2014

in Live Reviews by

The room is well attended this Thursday evening at Loppen. People might have been tempted to show up due to Get Your Gun‘s recent single release ‘Black Book’ – a very promising pre-taste for their debut album The Worrying Kind, which is to be released this spring. The trio silently grab their instruments without a glance at the audience and the guitar riff for ‘Black Book’ starts chopping through the speakers.

With a long black trench coat, shadowing hat and a huge beard lead singer and guitarist Andreas Westmark, looks as if he just wandered in from the wilderness. The howling sounds of bass and guitar surrounds Westmark as he walks forth and back on the stage, while staring down on the audience. There is a certain anger in the expression that creates tension and suspense from the very beginning. In a quiet passage he walks into the audience and sings directly into peoples faces without a microphone. A strong an brave move that almost intimidates the bystanders.

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But Get Your Gun is not only an energetic live act – they’re masters of dynamic which is proven in ‘The Sea of Sorrow’: A tuneful track with polyphonic vocals that reminds me of ancient monk ensembles in vast cathedrals. The slow pulse sucks in the listener while bassist Søren Bøgeskov firmly dictates you through the track. The drums and the bass are at the heart of the band’s simple expression – it works as a strong backbone that allows Andreas Westmark to move and play like a man possessed without losing track.

Only ”thank you” is said between the songs until an humble announcement of the band’s visit on this year’s Roskilde Festival sends a victorious applause through the venue. An old favourite in the band’s repertoire ‘Death Rattle’ is proclaimed as the last track of the evening and the stoner inspired riffs and heavy beat force both bass and guitar players down on their knees as they begin to abuse their pedals.

The encore ‘Rage’ from the coming album was a superior statement that sets the expectations for the full length debut on high.

Shrouded in stroboscopes Get Your Gun silently walk off the stage.

VIEW THE FULL PHOTO GALLERY HERE

GET YOUR GUN (Support: De Underjordiske) | Loppen, Copenhagen, 13.02.2014

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Get Your Gun (Photo: Morten Aagaard Krogh)

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AUDIO: Schultz and Forever – “P.O.V.”

in Blog/New Music by

Schultz and Forever has shared a new single entitled “P.O.V.” which has seen a shift in his sound from folk to a more psychedelic approach. Jonathan Schultz is set to release his debut album (TBC) later this year, look out for a new session showcasing more tracks from his debut in the near future.

Listen to “P.O.V.” below: 

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