Bas Under Buen, Bispepuen motorway underpass ( July 2012)

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July 26, 2012 – 12:02: ***** (5 stars out of 6): July 21 at Bispeengbuen

Bas Under Buen picked up the pieces of Roskilde under the motorway

Drum N Bass, something of a niche sub-genre within the spectrum of electronic music, more so in Denmark where it’s a rather small albeit rapidly-growing cultural movement. The last few years have seen Drum N Bass grow from being a fringe music phenomenon celebrated in musky concrete basements and in the dens and alleyways of underground Copenhagen to a genre that has become renowned for providing some of the best parties for miles around.  Nowhere has this been more evident than at OHOI’s annual ‘Bas Under Buen’ party- an evening that attracts the creme de la creme of Denmark’s intimate Drum N Bass community for several hours of sheer bass and beats under the the Bispebuen motorway bridge on the outskirts of Nørrebro. One could hardly imagine a more ideal setting; five thousand plus attendees under a concrete bridge, with the dipping summer sun flickering on the horizon.

This year’s event was a mammoth occasion that topped all previous ‘Bas Under Buen’  parties. I got to Bispuebuen rather late into the proceedings, and found myself surrounded by masses of smiling, dancing revelers who at the time were being steered through the heftier, more down-tempo sounds towards the dub-end of the electronic music genre. As the sun set to the East of the motorway, the music got a tad commercial as the likes of  Guns n Roses anthemic number ‘sweet child of mine’ and a tacky remix of Rae Jepsens overplayed and overrated ‘Call me maybe’  reverberated off the concrete roof of the motorway.

This didn’t really stir things up that much, though it did help accommodate the musical interests of some of the crowd. Personally I was a bit bemused about it all, and as such it was a relief when underground ragga/dancehall boys Maffi, Klumben, Top Gunn, Sukker Lyn and the revolutionary Mighty Mala came on to put on the best half an hour or so of the evening’s entertainment. Well-rehearsed live versions of epic contra-mainstream culture tunes such as the emphatic, up-front “Du en lort” seemed to get the crowd raving and dancing, rattling through the warm evening air with a vengeance. The show ended at eleven o’clock sharp, finishing off with some of the wildest Drum N Bass tunes for miles around as the likes of Pendulum’s peerless track “Tarantula” caused quite a bit of pandemonium.

For many Roskilde festival attendees, Saturday’s shenanigans under the Bispebuen motorway were the perfect antidote to the post-Roskilde blues. Judging from the crowds reaction to it all, it would appear that Drum N Bass continues to cement its status in the landscape of the Danish clubland, proving itself as a genre to be reckoned with.

Feature: Roskilde Festival 2012

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July 4, 2012 – 22:25
There’s plenty to do for Roskilde faithful waiting for the music begin (All photos: Scanpix)
It’s late June and the summer looms temptingly over the horizon. The air around the town of Roskilde is heavy with the whiff of excitement, expectation and electricity as thousands of people make their way in small packs towards the annual Roskilde Festival, one of northern Europe’s largest cultural gatherings – so big, in fact, that it temporarily transforms the town into Denmark’s fifth-largest city.
For many, Roskilde Festival has become something of an annual pilgrimage, whilst for others, quite a few of whom are still in their teens, Roskilde 2012 will be the first time they participate in the phenomenon that they’ve heard so much about. Old and young, goth or dread, the festival seems to attract them all for ten crazy days of carnival-like escapades, catharsis and music.
At its simplest, the Roskilde Festival is a music festival that manages to attract numerous revered acts from Denmark and the rest of the world, year after year. Scratch beneath the surface though, and you’ll find that there’s a lot more to Roskilde than music alone. This is a festival of numerous facets and features that amalgamate to form the totality of the overall experience, which is no doubt different for each individual at the event.
“I claim this land in the spirit of Woodstock, Glastonbury and Lollapalooza. Let the mud games begin!” (Photo: Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk)

“I claim this land in the spirit of Woodstock, Glastonbury and Lollapalooza. Let the mud games begin!” (Photo: Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk)

One of the most talked about topics at the festival is the camping area and the multi-functional purpose it serves as both a temporary shelter and wild party location. Finding a desirable place to pitch camp, and fighting off others with the same intentions, is one of the most important phases of the Roskilde Festival experience – something that’s easier said than done.

To their great credit, the festival organisers have tried to ensure that the race for a camp is as fair as possible by implementing an official opening time before which it is virtually impossible to enter the festival grounds. The new entry system, introduced only last year, has done away with the long-standing tradition of fence-breaking practiced by many festival-goers in previous years. All the same, finding a suitable camp location remains a race, if not a lottery, which is won by only the fittest and slyest ‘runners’, whose job it is to seek out desired camp locations for the rest of those attending with them.
Once the camps have been pitched, those not involved in the queuing-up and camp race usually turn up with the bulky baggage and camp gear and proceed to turn what was once a field with green grass into a makeshift humble abode. Many camps are equipped with bare necessities such as a pavilion tent and a sound system of some sort, whilst others are more elaborate, featuring everything from inflated sex dolls to mini jacuzzis and crates of pricey champagne.
“Remember Jeeves, a gentleman never drinks more than one drink before luncheon.” (Photo: Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk)

“Remember Jeeves, a gentleman never drinks more than one drink before luncheon.” (Photo: Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk)
The Copenhagen Post team rolled up at Roskilde and have been partying it up at different locations around the camping grounds since Saturday. We also had a chat with a handful of the many guests in an effort to discover what they like best about the festival. Read on for the best of the action so far:
Euro 2012 final: Sunday night at the big screen by the park Skate in West
Skater or not, the park Skate near the West end of the festival camping grounds has traditionally been one of the coolest zones to hang out. Footy fans got treated to Spain’s 4-0 drubbing of Italy in the Euro 2012 final, courtesy of a large screen placed high above the half-pipes and bowls.
Fancy Dress Flashmob: Monday afternoon, Camping Area K by the lake 
Imagine donning your best suit, downing several Carlsbergs and then taking a dip, with the coolest sophistication and calmness, in Roskilde’s swimming lake. The scene was no figment of the imagination on Monday afternoon, as one smartly-clad partisan after another shattered conformity and took to the water in tuxedos and ballroom dresses. The action even featured an orchestra who strummed out Mozart and Beethoven to complete the atmosphere. No instruments were harmed during the process. There were plenty of ruined tuxedos though.
Raske Penge: Sunday evening at  Pavilion Junior 
Raske Penge, Eaggerstun and Shaka Loveless are three artists whose music is getting the most airplay in the camping areas. Nørrebro-based Raske Penge gave Roskilde’s guests an enticing preview of what to expect from the rest of the festival with a formidable performance at Pavilion Junior, an arena that has played host to numerous Danish bands in their infancy. With Pavilion Junior crammed to the brim on Monday, it’s safe to say Raske Penge could easily have filled one of Roskilde’s bigger stages.
Dream City: Camping Area P 
Dream City is a sustainable approach to camping at the Roskilde Festival, allowing campers to design themselves a home of sorts with their neighbouring camps. Coupled with a wellness centre and a strict tidy-up after yourself policy, Dream City seems to be a very fun, user-driven initiative, which, combined with the other themed camping areas (Swim City, Poor City, Art City, Green City, Street City and Game City), makes for an interesting additional component to this year’s event.
And what are the guests saying about their Roskilde warm-up?
“You can't beat the atmosphere” (Dion,  Perth, 2nd Roskilde)

“You can’t beat the atmosphere” (Dion, Perth, 2nd Roskilde)
“I think it's really well organised. I like the organisation” (Aina, Barcelona, 1st Roskilde)

“I think it’s really well organised. I like the organisation” (Aina, Barcelona, 1st Roskilde)
“Why, the Orange Feeling, What Else?” (Anya, Moscow, 3rd Roskilde )

“Why, the Orange Feeling, What Else?” (Anya, Moscow, 3rd Roskilde )
“I love the amazing atmosphere”  (Emilie, Nyborg, 4th Roskilde)

“I love the amazing atmosphere” (Emilie, Nyborg, 4th Roskilde)

Distortion Festival Highlights, Copenhagen (June 2012)

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A look at the musical highlights of Distortion 2012
Distortion 2012 was one that will live on in the memories of the revellers (Photo: Emil Thiim Berner Hansen)
Four days after it all started, Copenhagen’s craziest cavalcade came to an abrupt end. Those who partook in the proceedings will no doubt have plenty of smiles and positive recollections that they will be talking about for a while to come. Here’s a quick glance through the rear view mirror at some of the best moments of Distortion 2012
Pete Tong at Vor Frue Plads,Wednesday, May 30
One of the grand old men of electronic music, the pioneer of Radio One’s Essential Mix, Pete Tong sprung a surprise at this year’s festival when it was announced that he’d be playing at Vor Frue Plads a mere three days before his appearance. Lulu Rouge and Rune RK were on the warm-up duties but ultimately the show was all about Pete. To say that his performance was epic would be a gross understatement.
Anders Trentemøller in Nørrebro, Thursday May 31
Anders Trentemøller has the rare privilege of being Denmark’s best DJs whilst simultaneously being rather anonymous in Copenhagen.  One may well have easily walked by him playing a laissez-faire set in the heart of Nørrebro on Thursday; a rare blend of electronica laced with occasional outbursts of rock and indie. This was all before his more publicised show at the skate park the day after, which was no less than anyone would have expected.
Mike Skinner at Lastbilscenen, Friday June 1
Brummie Mike Skinner, a man who has managed to shine in his performances in Denmark year after year, was on hand to chase away the rain on Friday night. Performing to a mix of hefty dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass, Skinner was at his usual best and not even a heavy downpour could deter the crowd from turning out in the hundreds.
Distortion Rave S-train, Friday June 1
Imagine an S-train packed to the brim with a horde of merrymakers all bouncing to the sound of heavy beats and blazing bass lines. Distortion’s cherry on the cake this year was one such-like concoction, a circus that ended up being taken over by a marching band who decided they’d waltz in on Mike Sheridan’s set and steal the show.

Theatre Piece Review: No Known Cause, Tap 1 (August 2011)

” We live our lives side by side, thin plaster walls dividing our existence. In “No Known Cause” new rules apply. A combination of performance, video and installation creates an alternative and distorted reality. Absurd meetings occur, conversations out of sync, you are a guest in the nature of your life. ”

“No Known Cause” has to be one of the most intriguing, most engaging theatre productions i’ve ever seen. The one hour long production has been scaring, captivating and pleasing theatre lovers and other enthusiasts for the past week or so, staged at the endearing industrial surroundings of the Ny Tap hall, outside Carlsberg’s factory by Enghave station.  Part of The Metropolis festival for art and performance in Urban Space, “No known Cause” leads its spectators through the journey of a young man and his elation, sorrow, dilemmas, actions and reactions. In keeping with previous productions by the exciting Wunderkammer artistic collective, the audience are part and parcel of the plot of the piece. This particular production shepherds its audience through a series of hazy dreams and graphic sequences that epitomise and accentuate the fragility and significance of life.  Be prepared to be  guests in the ever-evolving patterns of your wandering lives !

Be sure to check out the remaining shows of the production, tonight, next Wednesday and next Thursday.


Stella Polaris 2011

Warm vibes on a grey Sunday. 

Denmark’s marquee chill-out festival, Stella Polaris, proved to be an expectation-defying affair on Sunday, as thousands of Copenhageners, young and old defied the grey summer weather and flocked to the the grounds outside Denmark’s national art gallery for the fourteenth installment of the annual event. This year’s occasion featured an intriguing blend of veteran Stella Polaris artists such as Lulu Rouge and Nicka, newcomers such as Kura and established headliners such as Moby and Le Gammeltoft, in contrast to last year’s lineup which was a tad more-star-studded. As always, Stella Polaris was much more than merely a musical event. Many turned up with nothing more than a picnic basket and a blanket with little notion of what sort of music to expect and left the event beaming and in good spirits.

Chill-out don Kalle B got the ball rolling at noon, showcasing the very best of his laid back take on electronic music fused with the odd pop influence every now and again. With the crowd warmed up and the grey skies that had looked rather threatening during the morning clearing steadily, “Kura,” one of the hottest prospects in European electronic music took to the stage on their Stella Polaris debut and delivered a set that showed exactly why the Danish-Icelandic duo are as highly rated as they are right now. Their compelling fusion of dreamy ambient soundscapes and potent vocals paired alongside hefty bass thuds set the tone perfectly for Denmark’s first ladies of Deejaying, Le Gammeltoft and thereafter Rosa Lux, both of whom delivered energetic and clinical performances.

Chilled masterclass

Come Moby’s late-afternoon appearance, and the grounds at Østre Anlæg were as crammed as they got all day. Moby’s spellbinding performance was arguably the best of them all, a dreamy rendition that featured covers of timeless classics such as Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” Lou Reed’s “Wild side” and Agnes Obel’s “Riverside.” The critically acclaimed New yorker , in veritable Stella Polaris spirit stuck to the confines of ambient, laid-back grooves in his 2 hour set, and seemed to enjoy every minute of his stint behind the turntables. Moby’s tranquil performance was followed by a somewhat livelier appearance by the ever-consistent Lulu Rouge, who ended the event in style as they always do, smiling and waving as they lashed out witty, uplifting music to the delight of the energetic crowd.


Copenhagen Electronic Festival 2009 review


If last year’s strøm festival was high octane, this year’s event can only be described as something out of this world. Electronic music and artistry seems to have been embraced by a lot more people who have discovered the magic behind it and in so doing, joined forces in being a part of its vivid legacy.

This was certainly true of the free concerts at Enghave park this weekend, where the likes of “The Field”, “Flying Lotus” , “Aeroplane”, “Troels Abrahamsen” and “Mary Anne Hobbs” gotpeople in high spirits. Here’s a short recap of the highlights.

Much credit has to be given to Swedish cats “The Field” for their virtuoso antics on Friday, which got the crowd jumping with tasty cuts from their new album, the critically acclaimed “Yesterday and today” Spot-on mixing, and a real immersion on the part of the band was what sold them though; these blokes really know how to get the party started.

“Aeroplane” followed suit after “The Field” left the stage, opening with a sizzling remix of “Friendly Fires’” “Paris” tune, and building on from there. I personally think that this was the peak of the night, though many would argue that it was the ravey “Flying Lotus” and his garland of quirky arcade game sounds, trippy visualisations and jittery musical bits and bobs that took the show to its zenith. Alice Coltrane’s great nephew certainly has the musical gift, no doubt about that.

Saturday’s Enghave shenanigans featured “Olga Kouklaki” and her lively vocals overlayed by dreamy, deep musical accompaniments before Troels Abrahamsen took over the baton and delivered a rich, emotional assemblage that set the stage for the undisputed highlight of the night, Mary-Anne Hobbs. Dubstep is something of a new revolution in the UK, and an even scarcer commodity in Denmark; bearing witness to the effect Mary- Anne Hobbs’ chunky basslines and heavy-set amalgamations had on the crowd was an experience like no other. Radiant, charming and communicative, the radio one Dj was nothing short of a sensation, may will no doubt remember her as quite a standout as far as standouts go.

Copenhagen Electronic Festival 2008


The concept behind this novel ensemble was as radical as it was evocative. Shrouded in the sacrosanct purlieus of the Trinitatis church, revellers were treated to an alluring display of some flagrantly avant garde electro delivered by a series of adept artistes whose performances were frequently punctuated by sermons from the resident priestess endorsed by hollow background chant monotones.

Whilst the marriage of experimental electronic music and church ethics may seem highly controversial to some, its union in this case certainly came across as a very agreeable, well-measured initiative that cordially squashed any dubious presumptions one might have had beforehand.

Music wise, as aforementioned experimentalism was the order of the day as multi-layered drum loops, cacophonous synths and low-end bass riffs filled the cavernous church walls, creating a mis en scene of a most mystical and soothing nature. Background video skits either side of the alter peppered the cryptic, cabalistic feel of things, churning out a series of articulately prepared visualisations centralising primarily on scenic urban takes and daily life rituals, all fast forwarded, cut and scrambled for good measure.

Despite the setting filling all tick boxes, some performances lacked refinement and came across as slightly unvarnished therein. Unlinked tracks created several distasteful moments of silence every now and again, reflecting a distinct dearth of continuity and fluidity. Some performances also seemed excessively dispassionate and mundane. Adding to the inconsistency were several streaks of decibel violations that left a disturbing ring in the ear, amplified as it were by the myopic church walls through which the sound percolated untethered.

Aside from the discordances, Copenhagens electronic music festival has plenty to be proud of thus far, if for nothing else than the church / electronic music alliance and the quality of the daring music on show. Whilst lacking finesse and consistency at parts, the novelty and provocation of the overall concept shone through with credible brilliance, yielding a highly stimulating, indulgent experience of memorable proportions.