Roskilde Festival 2017 A-Z day one

Another year, another Roskilde Festival (my 8th one to be precise). Here are my shots from the first day of the event, along with a few general observations. #Rf17 seems to be a lot more formal but that doesn’t neccessarily mean it’s better organised. It’s early on but I have yet to figure this festival out (or I have grown old).

A- Authorities

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Rescue services are in full force, which is reassuring for us merrymakers

B – Beer bowling

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Beer bowling – a national sport at Roskilde, comme tojours.

C – Can collectors

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Can collectors from far and wide

D – Delights

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Delights – of the (charming) culinary sort – lots of em!

E – Epic Sax Guy

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We found him!

F – Foxes

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Where there’s foliage there’s foxes – this one was sat by the train tracks in Roskilde West

G – Gadgets

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Gadgets & gizmos galore – Fatboys and fidget spinners are killin’ it at Rf17

H – Happy times

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Keep em coming 😉

I – Illimatic fashion

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Rf17 is hip ville 2.0

J – Jams

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Traffic jams, music jams, people jams (like this one on the bridge over to Roskilde West)

K – Kicks

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Some stand out more than others

L – Loopey slogans

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You can thank Trump for them later

M – Mobile phones

IMG_1466There are mobiles galore and I am also guilty of reaching into my pocket for mine a bit too often

N – Nosh

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Nosh – lots of it, mostly organic

O – Old Gees

IMG_1515.JPGIt’s a festival for the young and old but young at heart

P – Police

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There is a heightened police presence this year. I saw police with M16 rifles ( a first), plain clothes police with labradors and police cars driving around

Q – Questions

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What are you looking at?

R – Rubbish!

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One (wo) man’s treasure, another (wo) man’s trash

S – Skate

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The skatepark is less flamboyant this year. Last year’s festival saw Red Bull host a range of engaging activities in my favourite corner of Roskilde West. This year, not much is happening there, though Game Denmark have taken ownership of most of the sporting activities in the rest of the area.

T – Tunnel

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The tunnel at Roskilde station – blissful at this moment in time but typically jam-packed

U – Urine

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Urine – urine everywhere (but there are more toilets and urinals around)

V – Vans – They are off the wall and über alles

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W – Woodstock

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Woodstock and Roskilde – not that many parallels but you will find the Woodstock Hummel bus parked in Roskilde West

X – X marks the spot

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We all love setting crosses by the names we’d like to see on stage

Y – YOLO

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You really do only live once at Roskilde. Cheesy? – it’s Y, give me a break!

Z – Zzz

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Beauty sleep – get lots of it at RF17!

See you out there for more action from the music days from Wednesday onwards. Which bands are on your hit list this year? Here’s a list of my favourites from last year. For more Roskilde Festival pictures, check out my 2015 photo roundup

Capital Fluxus at CPH Dox Awards Ceremony

Pics from Capital Fluxus’ performance at CPH Dox’s Awards Ceremony – held at Charlottenborg Palace, Copenhagen.

As Copenhagen Dox, the city’s largest documentary film festival made its return after a one and a half year hiatus, Capital Fluxus marked their musical versatility with a performance at the festival’s awards ceremony.

Who are Capital Fluxus?

“Capital Fluxus are well on their way to becoming one of Europe’s most interesting hip hop acts – and well, honestly, they already are.” “They respect the basics of hip hop and urban music, and additionally try to shake things up by tossing some actual art into the mix.”

Vice Magazine, Denmark – Read full review here.

For Bitchslap Magazine’s low-down on Capital Fluxus’ first major tune, read here

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And here’s a their latest video:

CAPITAL FLUXUS – NOL & SOL from Jacob Schill on Vimeo.

The Kenyan Coast, December 2016

This is a journey back to the country I grew up in — this time round in the company of my girlfriend. I find myself guilty, each and every single day, of forgetting just how beautiful a country it was and still is.

Most people relate to Kenya through the glossy images and videos that travel boards market — or through the stories of children in need of food and a penny or two of your donations during prime time broadcasting. Both scenarios present an exaggerated view of a nation of so many facades.

Our journey begins in Mombasa — Kenya’s second city, which is a loud, polluted mess. Many of its hotels of yesteryear are now a distant flicker of the glorious tourism heyday and now stand crumbling — behemoths under the African sun.

But this is Africa though (TIA), so for every crumbling hotel, there is a fighting soul forking out a living for themselves — making ends meet. There is hope, everywhere — a force that is as constant as the lingering heat and the blue of the ocean.

 

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I am no fan of Mombassa but tuk-tuk rides can be fun. This one was

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Mombassa’s Nyali beach is not exactly paradise lost but some of it can be appealing it its own way

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Here, you will find overpriced, half- starved camels that suffer in the hot sun to cure your selfie fetishes. I need not add that these mighty beasts are not native to these parts

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Nonetheless, perched on their back, as in the Lawrence of Arabia days – you will find one tourist after another who thinks it’s cool to plod along the beach in tow

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If you want something a bit more real – wander north to Kilifi – 65 kilometres north of Mombassa. This was taken from the road on the way to my godmother’s house as we ventured inland, past the glittering Kilifi creek

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The real magic starts when you venture south though – to Diani and further on, Galu beach- 33 kilometers  south of Mombassa

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Daybreak  in these parts is an overture, masterfully woven – the water was still enough to paint on that particular morning

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Rupturing the peace ever so slightly, a fishing boat coasted gently along, leaving weak ripples in its wake

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Noon, and the overhead sky never looked more divine. There is something pacifying in the shade of a coconut tree

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Nothing beats the water though

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I am humbled, time and again by these mystical creatures – masters of the seas

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We found this sandbank in the middle of the Ocean, a barrier between the reef and the shore that rears its sandy head at low-tide

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Come dawn, back at shore and the distant clouds are aflame once again

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Clumsy creatures descend from the heavens, strangers in the early night whose arrival on the beach is marked by a short burst of rushing air followed by a thud and the occasional scream.

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Dusk turns symphonic just before the curtain call. I will miss these emphatic colours and the coruscating waters of the Indian Ocean. I will miss the smiling people – my people and their ways under the sun

In Search of The Human Scale: Cities That Move at 5 km/h, instead of at 60 km/h

Original article published for The Danish Architecture Centre, available here.

September 22, 2016 /

By Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk

The history of global architecture is replete with examples of monumental constructions. As a civilisation, we often tend to be endeared by that which is mammoth, gargantuan and high-rise; we are a society driven by affection towards that which manifests itself on a grand scale. This is true of the Pyramids of Giza as it is for today’s vast, unending skyscraper skylines of Dubai, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

However, whilst the architectural feats required to raise grand structures such as skyscrapers several hundred feet above ground warrant adulation, there are many who argue that there is an essential element that is often omitted from narratives of this sort.  In hisTED talk held at Copenhagen’s Black Diamond Library in November last year, Danish architect Jan Gehl discussed the need for pedestrian-driven cities that put people at the centre of the town planning narrative. The TED talk reflects some of the construction philosophies that have been at the heart of Jan Gehl’s work over the last forty years.

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Jan Gehl at TEDxKEA. TEDxKEA Credit: Daniela De Lorenzo 2015

The Human Scale

According to Gehl, one of the most important elements in the construction of habitats for humanity is what he calls, the human scale – the construction of structures and habitats with humans at the centre of the narrative. Now, whilst this may seem like a given, Gehl argues that modernist (post 1960) architecture and town planning has in fact, eliminated the human scale from the equation, in its bid to build for the modern man.

If we look at the cities before 1960, they were built in small instalments – typically around two building blocks- the street and the square.”/Jan Gehl

These buildings blocks were based on the movement of the feet in the case of the street and the eye in the case of the square.  In other words, the old cities were built for and took their departure in, the body. However, with the expansion of the world and the compatibility between mass production and modernism, the human, scale and in essence the way in which people moved on streets and within squares was forgotten.

For Gehl, what followed was a series of cities and construction projects that looked spectacular from the air but lacked essential functionality at the street level. Combined with the increasing role of the car in society, what followed was a prioritization of vehicle transport over people and pedestrians. Gehl had other plans for his city planning endeavours, however.

Strøget

It is needless to say that Gehl is most well known for his groundbreaking work on Copenhagen’s pedestrian street, Strøget. At 1.1 km in length, this is Europe’s second longest pedestrian streets after Bordeaux’s Rue Sainte-Catherine and a major tourist attraction. Strøget’s development was also a cornerstone for Copenhagen’s prioritization of bike and pedestrian traffic. However, whilst the street is revered today, this wasn’t always the case. Rioting motorists and death threats to the mayor of Copenhagen in 1962, Alfred Wassard, at the time the idea of a pedestrian-free street was conceived, threatened to derail the project entirely.

 

None of the cities had any knowledge about how their cities were being used by people but they knew everything about how the traffic used the city…. This gave a fantastic imbalance”

/Jan Gehl, TEDxKEA

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Copenhagen’s pedestrian street in the early 1960´s. Credit: Københavns Stadsarkiv 

Gehl was responsible for making recommendations to the mayor at the time, and started studying Strøget in 1962. Upon his recommendations, the street was pedestrianized the very same year on a trial basis. In 1964, this was made permanent. Removing car traffic from this area of the city was a priority in Gehl’s planning narrative at the time. However, Gehl’s subsequent policies and practicies have also had other focus areas embedded within their narratives (such as encouraging the use of bikes)

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Copenhagen’s pedestrian street, Strøget, today. Credit: Visit Denmark 2015

Gehl’s Influence Globally

Strøget founded the basis of Copenhagen’s pedestrian-friendly city planning policies, as we know them today. However, Gehl’s influence on humanistic planning also extends to the planning policies of other nations.

For instance, in 2007, Gehl was influential in re-mapping New York’s streets in a more pedestrian-friendly manner. Through his advice to the department of transportation, numerous city planning policies in the area have been made in in the interest of pedestrian-friendly urban architecture. Similarly, Gehl’s work has also been influential in Australia and New Zealand, where he has prepared public life studies for the city centres of Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Hobart.

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Times Square, pedestrian plaza pre Gehl intervention. Credit: Gehl Architechts, 2010 

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Times Square, pedestrian plaza postGehl intervention. Credit Gehl Architechts, 2013
Today, the town planning policies of numerous cities the world over are increasingly concerned with placing pedestrians at the centre of the architectural narrative. This is nothing new in the history of construction, as pre 60´s architectural traditions dictate, so essentially, what is needed, according to Gehl, is a return to some of the architectural paradigms that defined the way we built cities in the past.  This, he argues, creates intimacy and interaction; it creates a human scale that places people at the epicentre of the city and the life around it.

 

My DNA Journey

A few months ago, I embarked on a special journey with momondo – a simple DNA test. As part of the travel search engine’s The DNA Journey campaign, thousands the world over have taken DNA tests to ascertain their heritage.

And whilst it is important to point out that one’s DNA results are based on a database of people that the company that conducts the tests, Ancestry DNA, has built up, there is a high degree of certainty that the results show are accurate.

Prior to taking the test, I imagined that my results would contain DNA strands from numerous African and European countries (I was born in Kenya, to a Kenyan father and a Danish mother). My results (shown at the bottom of this post), not only confirmed my expectations, they also revealed that 9% of my DNA hails from the Middle East. This was a surprise, albeit a welcome one, particularly at a time when the world is at loggerheads with The Middle East, its religious practices and ways of life. The term “mixed race,” which is the manner in which I choose to describe myself gained even more meaning, in a world that is still very linear in its depiction of culture.

Let me illustrate: popular media continues to describe Barack Obama as the first “black” president of the United States, yet I am sure that if he were to be described more objectively, for example with regard to his DNA, different, arguably more accurate terminology would be used. Then again, would it? Our world still fails to recognize the right of ethnic minorities to define themselves and countries the world over, staring with the “United” States of America are split along racial and ethnic lines.

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Black, White, Mixed Race, Arab? What’s in a picture? 

 

More often than not, we are all described from the cultural relativism of the dominant hegemonic groups that rule the world, which, in our modern day consists primarily of fattened middle aged white men in suits. This hegemonic group is the very same clique of collaborators that refuses to pass legislation to curb weapon ownership. By and large it also keeps women, ethnic and sexual minorities out of its hegemonic influence.

This is a truth that saddens me, as a true citizen of the world. However, I believe that the world is moving forward and that the status quo is being challenged, every single day. Brands such as momondo, like United Colours of Benetton before them (see my essay on UCB’s advertising campaign and my take on why Benetton, not Coca Cola actually gives a damn about the world) are challenging the power balance each and every day with examples of purpose based marketing such as The DNA Journey (see below), and governments the world over, that continue to take strides in the right direction, on a legislative level at least. (well, maybe not in Putin’s Russia).

The true step towards bridging the gaps that divide us globally lies in a basic and fundamental recognition of the fact that our differences are source of all of our strengths. I believe that understanding how to embrace differences, cultural or otherwise, represents a genuine solution to addressing the challenges of the future.

Here are my DNA results in full:

European: 48%

Scandinavia: 30%
Great Britain: 14%
Iberian Peninsula: 2 %
Western Europe < 1%
Finland / Northwest Russia: <1%

African: 43%

Africa Southeastern Bantu: 23%
Mali: 5%
Nigeria: 3%
North Africa: 3%
Cameroon / Congo: 3%
Central Africa: 2%
Benin / Togo: 2%
Senegal: <1%

Middle Eastern: 9%

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Join momondo’s The DNA Journey here and read more about corporate video production in big brands here.

The W.H.Y Community

The W.H.Y community webpage was designed with a mid to top-tier management clientele in mind, under the auspices of the consultancy firm, Core and Company, who I interned with at the time.

As creative director and copywriter for this project, I was tasked with building the webpage, setting a tone of voic, finding imagery and creating content relevant for the aforementioned target group. The screenshots below are examples of the finished product

 

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How to Make Sense of The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Original article written for The W.H.Y Community, available here

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Keeping up with The Pace of Change

We live in a world in which the pace of change is unprecedented, thanks to exponential shifts triggered by contemporary automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies. What is the fourth industrial revolution and why is it crucial for us to understand its implications on our lives?

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We truly live in a spectacular era. Yes, we are constantly reminded of the perils of our world – terrorism, threats of economic crisis, unprecedented immigration patterns and tense superpower relations. Whichever way you lean politically, the chances are that these are issues that will feature prominently in your life over the next few years. Yet, there are equally favourable chances that companies such as Bitcoin, Boom Financial, CommonBond, DriveNow, Prosper, Airbnb, Tesla, Oculus Rift,DriveNow, Google and Uber may also shake things up in your life in the not too distant future if they are not doing so already. True to the age old adage, there is no opportunity without a gamble.

Whilst action is indeed needed when it comes to addressing the aforementioned challenges, we, as a human race today, stand on the cusp of changes in our history that are so profound that ”there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of The World Economic Forum.

 What is The Fourth Industrial Revolution?

You may be wondering where such an assertion, as spectacular as the very changes it describes, takes its point of departure. Well, let’s start with the device that you’re using to read this article. Within the next 20 years, this device, be it a computer, tablet or Smartphone, is going to be at the heart and soul of the shift in the manner in which we interact with the world around us. As concepts such as the Internet of things, robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, quantum computing, energy storage and others flare up from being prospects in their infancy to being the driving forces of our world, we can well and truly talk of what has come to be dubbed, the fourth industrial revolution.

Yet this is not a revolution of steam and industry – of years of experimentation and incremental change. It is not a revolution of grease, tar and concrete – this is an explosion, a stylish matrix of happenings that can and will change the status quo, if it is managed properly.

Like its predecessors, the fourth industrial revolution looks set to bring a wave on unprecedented changes in its wake. However it differs in its scope and scale in that when the technologies described previously work together, the results that they will produce are exponential as opposed to linear, creating effects that will alter what, how and who we are. Moreover, this fusion of technologies will, for the first time in history, blur the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres. But what does all this mean for you?

 Making Sense of The Fourth Industrial Revolution

As spectacular as the promises and the potential that the fourth industrial revolution are, we are, as it stands, at a point in history where we have yet to comprehend what exactly the revolution is and what it means for us. Our rudimental knowledge of how to respond to the technological forces driving the world forward is therein a limitation to the impact that these very forces can have on our governments, companies, and life, as we know it.

The sheer scope, scale and pace of change orchestrated by the technological changes inherent to the fourth industrial revolution are vast and difficult to grasp. Therefore, the key to implementing them successfully lies in LEADING THE CHANGE in a strategic and holistic manner. Those with the drive and the means to push for change need to:

  • Understand the scope of the technology driving the fourth industrial revolution
  • Grasp the pace of change that this revolution promises and scale it down to context-specific understandings
  • Generate a dialogue around this revolution that allows for knowledge sharing, game-changing conversation and immersive experiences that create and nurture an understanding of how to move forward

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The W.H.Y. aims to gather the talents and forces that can execute this paradigm shift and give them a framework within which they can craft their potential, channel their creativity, interact with like-minded people than can and ultimately, change the world. Our ability to do so ultimately depends on how well we keep up with the blistering pace of change. It is this ability to manage and respond to change that must lead the case for exponential change, which needs to be holistic and digested into context-specific scenarios if we hope to address the perennial alienation of the underprivileged.

Acceleration 4.o the 4th industrial revolution

Original article written for The W.H.Y Community, available here

Technology goes beyond mere tool making; it is a process of creating ever more powerful technology using the tools from the previous round of innovation.” –Ray Kurzweil

Four decades ago the world commemorated the advent of the personal computer. At that time, this device bent the rules of life on earth in a manner that seemed incomprehensible to even the sharpest of minds. Fast-forward forty plus years and we are now entering an age where up to two thirds of the population of developed countries own handheld devices such as smartphones.

 Less is more

If the PC of the eighties challenged the sceptics at that time, imagine how baffling a technology like today’s iphone would have been to them were it readily available for commercial use back then. Allow me to illustrate: A 1982 Osborne Executive portable computer weighs almost 100 times more, cost 10 times as much (adjusted for inflation) and has roughly 1/100th of the clock frequency (speed) of a 2007 Apple iphone. Remarkable isn’t it?

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 Less is” Moore”

Yet what’s interesting in all of this change is not particularly the change itself, but rather, the pace of change. The rate at which new technology develops is increasing and it is doing so exponentially. Part of the reason for this happening lies in the fact that the capabilities of computer chips have increased whilst their price has dropped. This trend has come to be termed “Moore’s Law.” What follows is a development trade-off that is turning the fantasies of our imagination into the everyday technologies that define the way in which we interact with one another and with the world around us. Whilst this is definitely part of the explanation behind the exponential development of computer-based technologies, Moore’s law is merely one of many such-like changes in other technologies such as DNA sequence data and manufacturing processes. Less truly is more and will be even more in the future if the current pace of change continues. But then again, there is every indication that it will only increase in ways we can’t predict, so how can we possibly foresee the future based on this notion?

The short answer is that we can’t – the future will always retain a quality of unpredictability. However, what we can do is familiarize ourselves with the nature of the technological evolution that we are in the midst of currently. Indeed, ”there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of The World Economic Forum. Today’s technologies are tomorrow’s solutions and they need to be implemented in such a way that their impact is holistic, as opposed to being limited to the reach of a selected few. Those in a position to spearhead this change need to understand how to do so – leaders, top talents and opinion makers need to grasp WHAT this change implies for them and learn HOW to implement it at strategic levels, one step at a time.

 

 

 

Capital Fluxus, waiting for the beat 2 drop since 1991

One of the exciting side-projects that I am working on right now is a hip-hop band that goes by the name of Capital Fluxus.

Contact me or use the details provided at the bottom of this post if you want to hear more or join us at Rust nightclub in the heart of Copenhagen’s Nørrebronx on the 3rd of August.

Capital Fluxus put the m in ‘multicultural’, with their French, Rwandese, Danish, Swedish and English influences. Theirs is a music replete with variation and contemplation; a sonorous repertoire that challenges, thrills and questions all at once.

Capital Fluxus Are About To Take Denmark By Storm

Even the most savvy of music nerds may not yet have heard of the name Capital Fluxus. Mark my word and watch this space though, for this exciting hip-hop quadrant is about to burst onto the scene with a vengeance.

“Waiting 4 the beat 2 drop since 1991”

Capital Fluxus are an unlikely combination of two Swedes (Jacob Schill & Jonas Algers) a Frenchman (Robin Houselstein) and a Dane with Rwandan roots (Céleste Nshimiyimana). A potpourri borne of a common affection for hip hop and beats, the name Capital Fluxus is a reference to the economic narratives of our time and life around them.

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Listen on Spotify

With the release of their first single, CTD (“Cherish The Day) in the bag earlier this year, Capital Fluxus are moving on to bigger and brighter prospects. Leading the charge with their latest release, “BYS” (“By Your Side”) – an upbeat tribute to the ups (and downs) of the summer, Capital Fluxus have also been booked for a first appearance at Copenhagen’s Rust night club on the 3rd of August.

The BYS release is one of a quintet of refreshing tracks off the “Capital Fluxus EP” which continues the tradition of re-interpreting the diverse music of English singer-songwriter, Sade.

 

 

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For Booking + Enquiries contact:

 

capitalfluxus@gmail.com

 

OR (+45) 50198706

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Don’t take my word for it though, check out the following review of Capital Fluxus:

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 Bitchslap Magazine

“Hailing from Sweden, Denmark/Rwanda and France the lads have just dropped their first tune, Cherish The Day, and it’s perfect Friday evening warm down material.”