Strøm Festival Preview

As the summer mania ebbs gently back into the backdrop of routines and obligations that the rest of the year concerns itself with, so too the festivals and festivities of the month of August gradually recline away from the excessiveness of the early summer. Meet Strøm Festival, Distortion’s younger, better-behaved sibling. Where Distortion is loud, proud and rowdy, Strøm, now in its 6th year in Copenhagen aims to add other dimensions to the festival experience whilst catering for a broader audience.

strom-fest-2009

                                                                                                               http://www.stromcph.dk/ 

This year’s event runs from the 12th to the 18th and features the standard impressive raft of workshops, avant-garde musical experiences and quality parties that make it Scandinavia’s foremost festival of electronic music . Here’s the best of what to look forward to:

12th August

Panorama (In conjunction with the Red Bull Music Academy): The official opening party at Strøm this year is a gig unlike any other. Located at the architectural marvel of Tietgen Kollegiet, a building that looks like a modern day miniature colosseum, the event features the artistic Mike Sheridan and British pioneer Martyn Ware, whose combination of lo-fi sounds and synthesizer mastery will leave Amager reverberating in the wake of their performance.

Tietgenkollegiet, Rued Langgaards Vej 10-18, 2300 Copenhagen S, 15:00–16:00,Free

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/587306634652717/?fref=ts

panorama

13th August

Trans Metro express masterclass: Now a hallmark of the festival, this immersive experience features performances by several artists in the crammed confines of the metro, creating one of the most unique commuting experiences known to man. To be honest, it’s all a bit too cramped and the atmosphere is somewhat nervy so it’s not one for the claustrophobic at heart but on the other hand, it’s a one-off experience that doesn’t happen in many other cities and should not be missed.

 – A poorly made video but you get the gist of it- the idea behind this concept is pretty cool.

Vestamager Station, Øresunds Boulevard 99, 2300 Copenhagen S
,13:00–14:00, Free

Vinly love: Whoever said that vinly was dead ? Label and club owner Kenneth Christensen will play a special “vintage” set for vinyl bods and the like at his shop Sound Station 66 in Frederiksberg. In an age of digitalized playback, this will surely be a much-needed stroll down memory lane. Watch out for two other vinyl love events during the festival.

Place: Sound Station, Gammel Kongevej 94, 1850 Frederiksberg C 
Time: 17:00–18:00
Cost: Free

14th August

Jah Tubby’s world system: The infamous soundsystem Jah Tubby’s from the UK will be hosting a street party in the heart of Nørrebro that’ll surely rival Distortion’s opening day bash in the same area of town earlier this year. And with the Danish dancehall revolution showing little signs of subsiding (Raske Penge, Top Gunn and Klumben will be performing later on in the evening) this could well be one of the best parties of the summer.

Place: Outside Rust, Guldbergsgade 8, 2200 Copenhagen N , 16:00–22:00,Free

15th August:

Buraka Som Sistema: Fusing Angolan Kuduro percussion with modern electronic music is no mean feat. Buraka Som Sistema popularised an entire genre of music almost singlehandedly a few years ago with their daring exploits. The Portuguese / Angolan group will be leading the charge at a mouth-watering lineup at Pumpehuset, where the likes of Copia Doble Sistema will also perform.

Pumpehuset, Studiestræde 52, 1554 Copenhagen V, 21:00-04:00, 130 DKK + fee

From Luanda, Angola to Portugal- fusion music at its best. Buraka Som Sistema may have had their heyday but they’re a damn good act all the same.

16th August

Boiler Room presents Strøm live from Copenhagen : One of the world’s most credible online music shows, Boiler room, will be hosting an event at a secret location in the city. The only thing that is known at the moment is that the likes of Kasper Bjørke, Kenton Slash Demon and the legendary Trentemøller will be performing.

Location: TBA, 15:00-19:00,

Kenton Slash Demon happens to be none other than Jonas Kenton, the lead singer of Danish Indie / electronic band, When Saints Go Machine. His efforts on his solo project coupled with his prowess as the frontman of WSGM makes him one of Denmark’s musicians du jour.

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Copenhagen Electronic Festival 2009 review

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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

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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.