Courtesy – Adding nuance to the Copenhagen techno sound (interview)

English November 30 2018 Courtesy-4-Please credit Kasia Zacharko

Interview and reportage by Cameron Pagett. Additional photos by Kasia Zacharko.

A liberal array of red and blue light columns course across a very crowded floor. The beginning hours of morning have fallen over the city and again I am perched at the lighting desk in Volume KBH. Another year, another chapter in diy-organiser Fast Forward’s history unfolds in a smokey warehouse. The speakers are loud, it is nearing halloween and many of the patrons arrive and move with the music in outlandish costumes bringing an extra flair to the scenery and special ambiance this Copenhagen-based collective is known for.

Standing in the dj booth, tenderly and carefully managing the controls stands almost certainly Copenhagen’s most recognized techno-dj, Courtesy (Najaaraq Vestbirk), founder of the now closed renown local label Ectotherm and current creative director of new project based label Kulør. Music swirling like a ravishing tailwind after a hurricane, bodies swaying in the heat, she is taking the audience through a joyous and energetic set full of feeling, emotions and dancing bliss. The lights begin to beam as fire strobes reaching down and the familiar nostalgic and present melody from Kulør’s first release and Schake track “Automated Lover” fills the room.

From the lighting desk situated near the ceiling I feel as if the room is standing still. The mood is strong in this track, it’s the type of song that makes one feel as if you can see time unfold in slow motion while your feet move a kilometer per second. The strobes turn to glorious pillars of lightest blue and drape over the walls romantically, Courtesy sways her head rhythmically from side to side residing in her element, hands on the controls and heart seeping into the speakers. She is in a special place. Læs resten

Sugar – Submerged on the dance floor

English Kritik October 25 2018 sugar

Sugar “No Sex Only Feelings” (Euromantic, 2018) – review by Cameron Pagett

Sometimes it’s good to let loose… really loose. Have the ability to let yourself go and simply move and enjoy the moment, twist your hips, turn your head and give in. It’s nearing 3 AM in Volume KPH at the gateway to spring with the windows shaking and nearly giving out from the booming speaker and footsteps pounding on the pavement. “I’ve never heard him this good,” one remarks.
This show in March was one of the first times an audience got to hear the much awaited new material from local DIY legend and Fast Forward co-founder Nikolaj Jakobsen (aka Sugar). He played a real cracker of a set including a lot of the tracks from his album “No Sex Only Feelings” which was released some months later, in the beginning of September.
The night at Volume was marked by many memorable performances, and from close memories and some worthwhile video evidence the party hit full tilt and begat a frenzy during a fast, furious and melodic 2.5 hours. It was the perfect setting and size with bursting prismatic lights, expansive sound and an attendance hitting the over 1,000 mark.

Now, the album is finally out, and it is fantastic. The diligent and precise mixing is accompanied by a wonderfully executed work in mastering from local wizard Joel Krozer. If you have any familiarity with the Copenhagen techno world which is characterized by a 140 BPM tempo, a hard, pulsing kick with a lean toward dancy melodic bliss, then this album is a coronation of sorts to a style defined and raised in numerous studios across the city. Læs resten