Sonar Festival Copenhagen, Djuna Barnes & Darkness Falls

Pics taken for Sonar Festival Copenhagen. Allan Mutuku Kortbaek, all rights reserved

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Sónar festival ready for Copenhagen debut

Original article written for The Local Denmark, available here.

Skærmbillede 2015-03-16 kl. 18.47.32

Barcelona’s renowned Sónar festival has thrilled millions over the years since its inception in 1994. Billed as an international festival of advanced music and new media art, the brand has grown to become synonymous with Spain’s second city, showcasing acts as diverse as experimentalist Four Tet to more well-known musicians such as electronic deity Richie Hawtin.
Sónar veers towards the avant-garde and the experimental, as the varied palette of international musicians it hosts reflects. The Sónar brand has also held events in cities such as London, New York and Buenos Aires, exporting its philosophies to various unique venues in these locations.
The latest installment on a growing portfolio of international Sónar venues is none other than Sónar Copenhagen, which will take place at DR’s hallowed concert house this weekend. A two-day ticket pass will set you back a cool 850kroner whilst one day tickets go for 475 DKK.
The Local will be on hand to cover the first installment of the event, which features over 30 different artists on three state-of-the art scenes. Here are our picks for who to see:
Trentemøller: This is a no brainer as Andreas Trentemøller is probably the best Danish DJ alive. As a live act, he has played in venues as diverse as Roskilde Festival’s expansive and revered Orange Stage to small house parties in his Vesterbro neighbourhood.
Djuna Barnes: The founder of Vesterbro’s epic Jolene bar and a woman with so much passion for music and life, Maria Gerhardt is also a writer and activist. Her music is heavily autobiographical and anchored in a plethora of influences.
Jon Hopkins: Jon Hopkins rocketed to popularity with his 2013 album Immunity, one of the seminal works of this generation of electronic music. Hopkins’ sound veers towards the more progressive echelons of the spectrum; a luring lull of centrifugal genius at the outer confines of space.
Metronomy: Now somewhat an erstwhile fixture in electronic circles, Britain’s Metronomy are at the crossroads of good indie and quirky electronica that’s heavy on the instrumentation (they are a class live act).
Âme: Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann are a pair of the more seasoned acts on the billing this weekend. Together, they constitute some of the old guard of electronic music and are known for having re-interpreted countless pieces of music from house and techno over the years.
Kvame Liv: An upcoming musician in the Lana Del Rey meets Santigold mould, Kwame Liv’s EP Lost The Girl is a passport to what is undoubtedly a destiny riddled with fortune for this aspiring talent.
Sekuoia: Another upcoming local talent, Patrick Alexander Bech Madsen’s music is a blend of the ethereal and the evanescent; dream-weaving in technicolour that’ll leave you spellbound with its smatterings of ambient, dubstep and other textured influences.

Music Listings, Copenhagen Late August 2013

Music listings, August 30th- September 5th

CocoRosie: If you’re one of the many nostalgics who long for Roskilde festival-esque experiences, or anything remotely similar from the second you leave the festival grounds every June, CocoRosie’s concert at Vega on the 3rd of September may well be the last such moment of the year. The American sisters sound like a user-friendly version of Icelandic standout Bjørk, albeit with far more indie influences demarcating their identity. CocoRosie are the sort of band that you’d hear shattering the silence of a dark European forest at the peak of summer. You’ll have to make do with experiencing them at Store Vega this time round, though their introspective sound will give your imagination plenty of leeway to run wild.

CocoRosie: Store Vega / 3rd September . 250 DKK

Lulu Rouge / Djuna Barnes : Lulu Rouge is one of the most well-known faces on the Danish deejay circuit, within which, along with the likes of Trentemøller and Mike Sheridan, he’s managed to carve a niche out for himself. A headliner at the annual Stella Polaris chillout festival, Lulu Rouge will most likely venture into a more dance-inducing setlist than his festival forays. He’ll be backed by one of Vesterbro’s most revered personalities, Djuna Barnes, who is no stranger to the world of deejaying and electronic music herself. Los Angeles based Awesome Tapes of Africa will be adding a tribal element to the proceedings with their funky, ritual-like sounds, making for quite a good mix of genres on the evening.

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Cocorosie: Pic http://www.touchandgorecords.com

Lulu Rouge / Djuna Barnes / Awesome Tapes From Africa : Rust. 30th August. 60 DKK

Signe Eeg: Signe Eeg’s music is the sort of thing you’d listen to on a Monday night after work. Her soothing voice is as calming as it is captivating, softly flanked by gentle piano accompaniments and the occasional flutter of contrabass. She’ll be performing at the bastion of all things jazz in this city, Monmatre, in a Matinee concert that’ll sooth you softly into September on the 1st of the month. Signe will also perform the evening before, if a Sunday afternoon of jazz is not to your taste.

Signe Eeg quartet, Jazzhus Monmatre, 31st Augustt (20:00) and 1st September (Matinee / 15.00) 375 DKK

Alain Apoloo / The Juke Joint / Modjo’s Blues Bar : Modjo’s Blues Bar is practically the only place that’s worth going to on a Monday night in this city (that is unless you’re into chanting karaoke and getting sloshed with tourists at Sam’s bar). Alain Apoloo may well one of the best guitarists Copenhagen has ever seen, and many in musical circuits wonder why he’s not signed to a major American music label touring the world. Luckily for Copenhagen, his feisty guitar-plucking and cocky vocal skills can still be heard every Monday at the Juke Joint, where many other underground talents strut their stuff in the open jam session.

Alain Apollo: Modjo’s Blues Bar, 2nd September : 20:00 / FREE

Katolysik / Jazzhouse, 30th August 60 DKK

A bit of a wildcard this one. If you’re into spoken word, Katolysik are a dynamic duo who combine poetry (some freestyle) with a guitar and effects pedal. Their lyrical themes seem to capture the imagination of the Danish zeitgeist quite well, hence their popularity. There are also few other rivals in the spoken word category of music in the city, so expect a unique experience but do brush up on your Danish, as some of it can be a bit hard to understand for the untrained ear.

Tina Dickow / Tivoli, 30th August. 95 DKK

Few Danish singers can compete with Tina Dickow at the moment. In fact, if you’re one of those in search of high quality “local” music, look no further. The Århus-born Dickow has gained popularity both locally and abroad for her adventurous forays into the world of the singer-songwriter, producing her music through an independent label. Tivoli is a great place to see her whilst there’s still a slight chance of sun and good weather.

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Tina Dicow_ http://www.backseatseattle.com

Twista / Pumpehuset, 31st August. 180 DKK

A couple of years ago, Pumpehuset was headed for bankruptcy and catastrophe therein. Fast forward and the hard work of getting the venue back on its feet is paying off, with many quality bookings being made at the moment to restore the venue’s profile. Twista holds the coveted accolade of being the world’s fastest rapper, capable of “spitting” a bewildering 598 characters in 55 seconds according to the Guinness Book of Records. A seasoned veteran in the world of hip hop, Twista, or “Tongue Twista” as he was known in the past will be supported by Dj Hornes, Realz and Denmark’s uncrowned pop Prince, Joe Moe, the latter of whom has a new album out on the streets currently.

Rub a dub – SRF afterparty / Pharfar single release: 1st September / Stengade. 50 DKK

This year’s very first Scandinavian reggae festival is likely to be a grand affair with the likes of Albarosie, Raske Penge and Mr Vegas performing on Refshaleøen. If the deserted island is too far off, catch a snapshot of the action at the official after party which has been bound with one of the most exciting nights on the monthly calendar, Rub a dub Sunday’s. Danish Dancehall don, PharFar will be releasing an eagerly anticipated new album on the evening which will also feature appearances from the Donkeysound record label, one of the powerhouses behind the upsurge in Danish dancehall at the moment.

Downbeat Impact Vs Larica, BolsjeFabrikken (LÆRKEVEJ, Nørrebro): FREE

The legendary Candy Factory on Lærkevej or BolsjeFabrikken as it is known locally will soon be closing. Before it does however, some of the house’s veritable patrons, cult Ska Outfit Larica will probably tear the roof off it with what will surely be a mammoth evening. Larica will be backed by a host of local and international names on the evening. Did we mention that beers cost a meagre 10 DKK ?

Troels Abrahamsen : Bipolar release party, 30th August, Culture Box, 70 DKK

Troels Abrahamsen is better known as the leader of Danish electronic rock outfit Veto. The charismatic frontman combines lazy, high pitch vocals with trippy albeit lightweight beat structures that are more ideal to sway along to than they are to going amok. Abrahamsen will be flanked by popular trouble maker James Braun and names such as Erosion Flow and Walk Live. As usual, there are 2 rooms to choose from, the larger, more spacious Black Box and the basement Red room, with its low ceiling and lo-fi aesthetics.

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Troels Abrahamsan: http://www.politiken.dk