Alex Zhang Hungtai – “When you are not truthful to yourself, the playing itself will suffer” (interview)
Interview by Alexander Julin, photo: Sean Marc Lee
Alex Zhang Hungtai has been creating enormously diverse music throughout his career. In addition to the also stylistically diverse project Dirty Beaches, Hungtai has been releasing music under the moniker Last Lizard and more lately in his own name. Besides the more free jazzed collaboration with David Meranha and Gabriel Ferrandini as well as part of the trio Love Themes, Hungtai has released both minimalistic piano and saxophone compositions since he ended Dirty Beaches. His latest solo release, the album “Divine Weight”, points back towards his last album as Dirty Beaches, “Stateless”, which also was an ethereal and atmospheric saxophone album. However, “Divine Weight” incorporates a more alternative approach to playing the saxophone which implies limitations but also the unfolding of the instrument’s potential; a potential which suggests a personal and existential dimension in addition to the musical.
“The saxophone is not only a friend that helps me reveal myself to me. It is also a harsh training buddy that punishes you when you play lies,” Hungtai explains in the following interview, in which he reflects upon the personal dimension that the saxophone opens up, and the responsibility it demands of its player. Læs resten
Blonde Redhead – More Than a Nostalgia Convention?
Blonde Redhead at Vega, August 29th 2018 – live report by Ivna Franić
Passing on opportunities to indulge your 16-year-old self by going to see bands you were into at an earlier stage in life (and had slightly lost interest in over the years) normally isn’t a very difficult task, at least for some of us. Whether it’s out of fear of disappointment, poor previous experiences or the assumption that the only thing you could gain from going to that show is a feeling of sweet nostalgia, the excuses along the lines of: “It’s been what, more than 10 years since you were last excited about them?” or “Their last few records sucked anyway!” usually do the trick.
Now, I don’t know if it was due to their very good EP “3 O’Clock” from last year which hinted at a long-awaited return to form, or to some sort of personal thirties crisis, but I felt like this summer was as a good a time as any to see Blonde Redhead live. Læs resten
Lost Lands Festival 2018 – Partying and experimenting with the apocalyptic hippies (live report)
Lost Lands Festival, Copenhagen, August 17-18 – review by Wieland Rambke, photos: Cameron Pagett
For its third installment this year, Lost Lands seized the grounds of a small space on Copenhagen’s Refshaleøen and transformed it into a magical clearing. Approaching the festival a day before it started, the first thing I saw was the shape of a rusty boat hall, lying in the landscape like an enormous metal bug. It turned out to be the indoor stage, where half of the concerts where held.
Outside again, I came upon a yard framed and dominated by fresh, solid wood work. This, I learned, was the outdoor stage and bar area. Set between decaying industrial architecture and natural overgrowth, this spot on Refshaleøen became a fitting place for a festival that seeks to combine bold, decidedly left-field and challenging electronic music from a multitude of genre directions. Noise, ambient, hardcore techno, synth-pop: All these attributions dissolved and became irrelevant. Both in the concerts of many individual artists, as well as their combination as a whole. The whole point of the festival is not to cater to a specific field or genre, but to provide a place for those with a love/passion/obsession for unusual and daring music. This element, common to the artists, the audience and the organizers, made for two days of ever-surprising concerts. Læs resten
Asger Kudahl – Fluidly upending life as we know it
Asger Kudahl ”Sketches for Revolution” (Resonans Recordings, 2018) – review by Wieland Rambke
Good old revolution! Can we even still imagine it? And how about the one that is most pressing and most urgent? Through the course of human history, revolution has meant the end of oppression: The casting-away of the yoke of submission. But today, a whole new revolution is needed: A revolution to end the ever-accelerating, no-holds-barred exploitation of planet Earth. An exploitation that happens for purely bogus reasons, for profit and nothing else. The question used to be if we want to live under oppression or as free people. Revolutions used to provide the practical answer. But today, the question is if we are going to live at all. Revolution is a collective effort, and, in a world of increasing individualism and isolation, revolution becomes less and less imaginable.
On the release “Sketches for Revolution”, Asger Kudahl – a musician, sound designer and the co-founder of the label Resonans Recordings – has gathered the incidental music he created for the contemporary dance performance “The Vampire Revolution”. The decision to release the music in its own right is entirely justified: The pieces stand for themselves. Læs resten
Disformation – Liberating music from all kinds of context (interview)
By Wieland Rambke
How do you create a space without a context? This question lies at the heart of new-founded experimental music label Disformation, conceived by Casper Gottlieb and Jesper Bagger Hviid of Copenhagen-based noise act GOHV. In its output, the label seeks to release music that pits itself against the very notion of context: Disformation rejects the creation of narratives as a whole.
For the listener, every attempt at being able to personally relate to the label’s output is denied in favour of releases that seek to isolate music as much as possible from any associative frame. What remains is music that is as blatant as it is abject. Music that is simultaneously cloaked and in-your-face.
But how do you create a space with no boundaries, without any points of reference? What remains when the backgrounds disappear? Læs resten