PART I: FRIDAY, 22nd OCTOBER: KONCERTKIRKEN
PART II: FRIDAY, 5th NOVEMBER: MUSIKHUSET KØBENHAVN
|19.30||ŠIMANSKÝ - NIESNER (CZ)|
|20.30||BLUE LAKE (US/PL/SE/DK)|
|21.15||LINO CAPRA VACCINA (IT)|
|22.30||Kapela Maliszów (PL)|
PART III: FRIDAY-SATURDAY, 3rd & 4th DECEMBER: MAYHEM
Anders Vestergaard (DK)
Drummer and composer Anders Vestergaard is a highly original voice in the Danish underground music scene. He is active in a number of different acts from the explosive free jazz variant of Yes Deer to the more dynamic and melodic music of Girls in Airports. As a solo artist AV has released two albums; the latest "Prime Float // Unitary Perfect" was released on Anyines in 2018 and features two long stretches of ceremonial and physical drumming. His live performances are characterized by an intense physical presence and a movement towards the transcendence of body and space.
Arv & Miljö (SE)
Arv & Miljö is the solo efforts of Matthias Andersson, a member of Enhet För Fri Musik and one of the two owners of Gothenburg record store Discreet Music. Arv & Miljö has been ever-changing, perhaps because Matthias in his own words "tends to grow tired with a certain piece of equipment as soon as I get too comfortable with it". Arv & Miljö started out as a noise project, then grew into soundscapes, music concrete, and collages, before the project found it’s current home in some version of ambient on 2018's brilliant Svensk Sommar I Stilla Frid. This current rendition of Arv & Miljö holds inspirations from krautrock and new age with an awareness of the cosmic. This expression was at the same time expanded and refined on last year's Himmelsvind which could just as easily have served as the soundtrack to a current Swedish children's film or an art film from the 70s.
Blod is Gustaf Dicksson's, member of Enhet För Fri Musik and one of the two owners of Discreet Music, solo vehicle. Is it a concept band? Perhaps. There seems to be common threads, at least, running through the nine full lengths Blod has labored so far: A thematic preoccupation with coming of age in the late 70s/early 80s, Folkhemmet, and further-left socialism in a distinctly Swedish/Scandinavian context is generally reflected in both artwork and song and album titles. These themes are conjured up by relatively sparse instrumentation – mainly guitar, flute, and keys/organ – on melodic, mostly wordless tracks. That these themes are only contextually implied in the music coupled with Blod's ability to weave familiar, but original, motifs into his music bestow it with a strong evocative quality. Off the top of our heads, we cannot think of any other music which, to the same degree as Blod, is the sound of remembrance. While the earlier work at times, perhaps, felt somewhat roughly outlined, which was only part of its charm, everything seemed to come together on this year's Missväxt, which sees Blod aided by Loopsel and Danish Astrid Øster Mortensen. The closing track, Danmark Frit, is in the running for our favorite track of the year. You do not want to miss this.
BLUE LAKE (US/PL/SE/DK)
Blue Lake started several years ago as a vessel for Jason Dungan’s solo recordings and collaborations, based around an interest in the post-jazz improvised music of the 1970s and 80s, folk and new age music and instrument-building. After a discovery of a traditional zither in a Swedish loppis, Dungan began building a range of multi-string instruments, modeled on the zither but taking elements from the guitar, banjo and koto.
In the past two years, Dungan has recorded and performed solo as Blue Lake, releasing LPs and cassettes. Blue Lake has recently begun performing live with a larger group, which also includes Carolyn Goodwin, Maria Dybbroe, and Nicole Hogstrand. Blue Lake has performed solo or as a band at Momentum (Odense), Den Frie (Cph), Polychrome (Cph), and Menue (Cph).
For FoEG, Blue Lake will play as a quartet, performing a single piece of music that uses the zither as a conducting element to guide an extended improvisation, and the participants will be Jason Dungan (US) on a self-built zither and clarinet, Tomo Jacobson (PL) on upright bass and reeds, Pauline Hogstrand (SE) on viola, and Oliver Laumann (DK) on percussion.
C Joynes (UK)
Over the last decade, C Joynes has ploughed a singular furrow through solo guitar, with a body of work incorporating English folk-tunes alongside North & West African music, and lifting proto-minimalist and improvised techniques from the European classical and avant-garde traditions. He has played extensively across the UK, Europe and the USA, sharing bills with performers including Shirley Collins, Richard Dawson, 75 Dollar Bill, Jack Rose, Sir Richard Bishop, and Six Organs Of Admittance. Joynes’ new release, ‘Poor Boy On The Wire’, is his first full album dedicated wholly to the electric guitar, where he exploits the instrument’s potential by placing intricate parlour compositions alongside overdriven garage blues throw-downs, wiry electric folk and the brittle ringing tones of free improvisation.
DJ Marcelle (cancelled) (NL)
Although DJ Marcelle has been collecting music longer than most of us have been alive, she still feels like The Netherlands’ sweetheart. She’s an artist with a mischievous, rule-bending and almost ironic approach to her DJing, producing and radio hosting – cut with her trademark wit yet supported by an unquestionable amount of skill.
Well known for her three-turntable setup, DJ Marcelle makes compositions out of songs and symphonies out of mixes – colliding disparate genres, appropriated vocal snippets and warped soundscapes into a giant Frankenstein-like melting pot. She will close this year’s festival with a massive dance party Saturday night.
Svitlana Nianio (Elik cancelled) (UA/PL)
Elik sees the musical marriage between ukrainian experimental singer songwriter Svitlana Nianio and polish guitar maverick Raphael Rogiński. Nianio has been active since the late 80s, both in groups like Cukor Bela Smert and solo with various collaborators. Her music draws on aspects of modern composition and traditional and medieval music with the aura of her voice and simplicity of her compositions at the center. Deeply rooted in primeval myths, Svitlanas music creates a world of magic realism, in which the temporal dimension and the other world constantly move and permeate.
Nianio's music saw a major international resurgence in interest during the 2010s, leading to the reissue of some of her albums and a return to public performing beginning in 2015 followed by new music and new collaborations. One of these projects is the duet Elik with Raphael Rogiński.
Photo by Konstantin Chernichkin
Family Underground (DK)
Sara Czerny and Nicolas Kauffmann have played their part in the Danish underground scene for two decades. Most of their time has been spent together in Family Underground, formed in 2000, and the spin-off trio Timeless Reality. Family Underground’s starting point seems to always have been meticulous explorations of dense drones and psychedelic music. From here they’ve worked their way through many corners of experimental music on a wide range of releases that span post-industrial, noise, fuzzed out guitars, heavy electronics and much more. Live, they've earned quite an international reputation for their improvised, multisensory drenching in sound.
Jaleh Negari (DK/IR)
Jaleh Negari is an Iranian/Danish composer and drummer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Negari works in the field of experimental instrumental- and vocal music, electronic music, percussion and sound art. She has been a key figure in the experimental scene in Copenhagen for more than a decade, exploring her practice as a composer and drummer with a vitality like few others. Her work is incredibly versatile and spans from hip hop groups to performance setups, experimental noise acts and avant-garde composition.
Jaleh Negari appears as a member of the bands Selvhenter and Pinkunoizu and as a part of the dance- and sound performance group Meshes. She is also a founding member of the artist collective and label Eget Værelse (eng: A Room Of One’s Own) along with fellow artists Maria Bertel, Sonja LaBianca, Maria Diekmann and Anja Jakobsen, which has become a platform for acts like Selvhenter, Valby Vokalgruppe and the solo projects of the members.
In 2021 Jaleh Negari released her second solo album Weaver ~, unfolding her work with electronic composition through musical translations of field recordings from travels in Denmark, Indonesia and Iran.
Johan Carøe (DK)
Johan Carøe is a film composer, producer and instrumentalist whose work ranges from string and synth-minimalism to maximalism through processed classical instruments, noise and synthesis. He has co-composed soundtracks with such legendary names as Yasuaki Shimizu and Angelo Badalamenti and just released the collaborative effort ‘Repair Techniques’ with Sofie Birch.
Carøe also puts out music in his own name on local labels like No Technique and Forlaget Kornmod, including his EP, 'Zenmetal', from 2019 and the debut LP, 'Lovesongs', the following year. His solo output rests on a bed of contemporary classical music and electronic music with a healthy influence from Japanese new age music.
Kapela Maliszów (PL)
The Malisz family originates in Męcina Mała, a small village in the Beskid Niski region of the Western Carpathians. Multiinstrumentalist Jan Malisz started Kapela Maliszów with his children, Kacper and Zuzanna to continue the family’s rich tradition of music. Jan Malisz was himself taught the basics of a variety of instruments by his father Jozef and today, as well as playing them, he builds violins, hurdy-gurdys, nyckelharpas and pipes in his workshop.
The trio is inspired by traditional music from the Beskid Niski and Pogorze region, where the folk songs and dance music is traditionally played with a violin, a basolia (similar to a cello) and a drum leaving much room for improvisation and freedom. The band’s compositions are characterised by fiery, trance-like mazurkas driven by the precariously proficient violin playing of Kacper, the haunting voice of Zuzanne and the organic improvisatory interplay of a family brought up on music.
They’ve previously performed at Ethniesy Festival, Womex Festival and with our very own friends, Fanø Free Folk Festival.
Sofie Herner, also a member of Enhet För Musik and Neutral, is the guitarist behind the solo project Leda. While Neutral, a duo with fellow Gotherburger Dan Johansson, is experimental guitar rock with nods to both noise rock, post punk and no wave. Neutral, though, still seems relatively easy on the pallet compared to Leda. Here the recurrent figures of Neutral are abandoned in favor of a vigorous and more free and uncompromising take on experimental guitar music akin to, in a Danish context, long-time FoEG friend Jørgen Teller. Expect guitars ranging from resonating overdriven riffs to whaling fuzzed out soundscapes.
Hailing from outside Rotterdam, quartet Lewsberg rose to underground prominence following heralded live performances and their acclaimed self titled 2018 debut, which drew Velvet Underground comparisons. While there is something to the comparison – sparingly plucked guitar, snarly tambourine, the occasional violin solo and all – their arty, lo-fi college rock rumble is a vehicle for solid songwriting with an ethos to tirelessly perform their cyclical songs without ever veering off track. Counterculture and college rock, perhaps a hint of Pixies, mixed with (post) punk nihilism makes for one kickingly strong cocktail when served up live.
Loopsel is Elin Engström (Monokultur, Skiftande Enheter) solo (although, at FoEG Loopsel will perform as a duo). Loopsel's so far only full length album, The Spiral, was recorded for a video installation in Copenhagen in April 2019. Originally released on cassette, Digital Regress is currently taking pre-orders for a third vinyl pressing. The Spiral "manifests fragmented pieces of shimmering guitar, organ, and electronics creating a drifting ambiance that evokes a feeling of distance and mystique". From formless, but never harsh, experiments to beautiful, organic melodies on top of a pulsating beat, part of The Spiral's lure is that everything feels meticulously worked out, yet never contrived.
Other sounds of the night - Moondog performed by Stefan Lakatos and Bengt TribukaitOther sounds of the night - Original Moondog compositions for piano and percussion performed by Stefan Lakatos and Bengt Tribukait (SE)
Louis Hardin, better known as MOONDOG, is one of the most unlikely, mythical and persevering composers to come out of New York’s mid century music scene which gave birth to the careers of kindred spirits like Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
Moondog (1916-1999) effortlessly created his own trademark blend with inspirations from Western classical baroque music like Bach, oriental and native american music, jazz and the street sounds of 6th Avenue, where one could often find him standing, dressed in a cloak, selling his poetry, sheet music and recordings. But mainly he was standing on the sidewalk composing, writing his music in braille. Moondog lost his eyes at the age of 16, so day or night did not matter to him. His compositions hold both simple melodic elements and complex rhythms such as 5 and 7, and polyphony in a combination that is both captivating and meditative at the same time.
Percussionist Stefan Lakatos became fascinated by Moondog's music as a teenager and the two met in 1980 and formed a close and fruitful friendship that lasted until Moondog’s death. It seemed only natural that Moondog would pass on his trimba to Lakatos - the unique percussion instrument Moondog designed himself, which serves as the central element in most of his compositions. In this sense, Lakatos is Moondog’s musical living heir and Moondog once labeled him as "the leading exponent of the Moondog method of drumming", even writing 4 songs specifically for Stefan in the late eighties. He has proudly continued to play this unique music as far afield as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Barbican in London, toured with a group of Indonesian gamelan musicians performing Moondog's compositions at the Unsound Festival in Krakow as well as at Berlin's Berghain. Stefan also leads the quintet The Original Moondog Strings which we dearly hope to present at a later date.
Bengt Tribukait (b. 1964) is an award winning organist, chamber musician and accompanist. A fascination with Bach's music awoke in him early on and he expressed his desire to become an organist at the age of five, however, he devoted his childhood primarily to the piano. From age 15 he took his seat behind the organ and has since toured the world, often in close collaborations with many contemporary composers, and with a keen interest in music from the middle ages onwards. He also plays harpsichord, piano and harmonium.
In this duo format Lakatos and Tribukait will perform a selection of Moondog’s compositions for various keyboard instruments and percussion.
Copenhagen-based, London bred DJ N.E.GIRL has a focus on the deep and darker side of electronic music, blending styles and genres from the global underground scene. With her love for Soundsystem and club culture, expect a jungle and drum and bass set - from classic rave to new age selections.
Puce Mary (DK)
Copenhagen/Mayhem/Posh Isolation-raised Frederikke Hoffmeier’s solo project Puce Mary has been one of the most prolific musical projects of the past decade, constantly poking around in the unsettling wasteland between noise, industrial and drone. Her sound has evolved over the years growing ever more intense and determined, culminating (so far) in 2018’s “The Drought”, a perfect marriage of tight control over modular synths and Hoffmeier’s piercing voice. The days are short and dark right now and there is no better soundtrack for that than Puce Mary.
ŠIMANSKÝ - NIESNER (CZ)
Jakub Šimanský and Tomáš Niesner have been friends for over twenty years and shared the stage in bands like Vlněna, Fotbal and the noise rock band Unna. Some years ago Šimanský picked up the acoustic guitar and released his debut solo record Face to Face Against American Primitivism in Eastern Europe Vol. I. A couple of years later Niesner joined his old bandmate and the duo released Tance Neznámé (Unknown Dances) on the Stoned to Death label and contributed to the Imaginational Anthem Vol. X released on Tompkins Square label in 2020.
Focusing solely on acoustic guitars Šimanský - Niesner don’t hide their inspirations from american primitivism and all that follows with nontraditional tunings, bluegrass rhythms and the mantric repetitions found in asian spiritual music. But Šimanský - Niesner also add their own dash of czech country-folk romanticism to the mix.
LINO CAPRA VACCINA (IT)
Lino Capra Vaccina (b. 1953), a composer and percussionist based in Milan, is one of the true maestros of the extraordinary Italian minimalism. He started his musical career as a member of the pioneering band Aktuala, which developed a hybrid of rock, avantgarde and traditional music from around the world and of the ancient past. This was shortly followed by collaborations with italian superstar Franco Battiato as a percussionist and co-author, before Vaccina went on to create one of the masterpieces of minimalist music and italian psychedelia - Antico Adagio in 1978.
Long out of print Antico Adagio was unearthed and re-released by the Milan-based Die Schactel in 2015, and after that Vaccina has released several new solo and collaborative albums on the Dark Companion label. Vaccina took strong influence from the American strain of minimalism like Philip Glass and Steve Reich but went down a different path to fulfil his vision. Often utilizing vibraphone, marimba, gongs, piano and all sorts of percussion instruments Vaccina creates compositions that lead you into an undefinable realm, so rich in texture, tone and resonance. In all of Lino Capra Vaccina’s music there is a warmth and elegance present alongside a deep focus on creating a sonic world that matches his ever present high ambitions.
Photo: Franz Soprani/© Dark Companion