Tag: Spot Festival

Aztek a rising Aalborg, Denmark-based prog rock act can trace their origins back to 2015. when the members of the band Benjamin Vestergaard (vocals), Michael Buchardt (drums), Rasmus Lykke (bass), Minik Lundblad (guitar) and Jeppe Søndergaard (guitar) —met and bonded over their shared interest and love of experimental rock and prog rock. And since their formation, the Aalborg-based has developed and honed an adventurous yet accessible sound, centered around traditional rock instrumentation, atmospheric synths and Vestergaard’s plaintive vocals, which helps to imbue their material with an achingly melancholy air.

The Danish quintet’s experimental and ambitious, full-length debut, 2016’s Dream Dealer, led to the band playing region’s biggest venues and festivals, including Way Up NorthNibe Festival and SPOT Festival. Building upon the momentum, the act released their sophomore album Perfect Imbalance in 2018. Over the past year, the members of Aztek have released a handful of attention-grabbing singles that included The Bends-era Radiohead-like  Darkest Hour and the Violent Light-era Milagres-like “I’ll Be Waiting,” which reportedly will appear on the act’s forthcoming EP This Is Not Who I Wanted To Be.

Aztek’s latest single, the Anders Søndergaard-produced, “I Am Not Who I Wanted To Be (I.A.M.N.W.I.W.T.B.)” is a slow-burning and shimmering track, centered around a gorgeous melody and a soaring hook. While the track sonically reminds me of the brooding, pop atmospherics of JOVM mainstays Palace Winter. the track as the band explains is about losing yourself in a relationship.

“I have walked around in a dream I did not dare walk sup from again. A doze where it felt as if I was constantly one step behind myself, until I finally had to ask: Where did I get off?’ the band’s Benjamin Vestergaard says of the feelings that inspired the new single. Like its immediate predecessor, “I Am Not Who I Wanted To Be” was recorded remotely, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions.

Aztek · I’ll Be Waiting

 

Rising Aalborg, Denmark-based prog rock act Aztek — Benjamin Vestergaard (vocals), Michael Buchardt (drums), Rasmus Lykke (bass), Minik Lundblad (guitar) and Jeppe Søndergaard (guitar) — was formed back in 2015 as a result of its members bonding over their shared interest and love of experimental rock and prog rock. Since their formation, the Danish indie rock act have developed and honed an adventurous and accessible sound, centered around traditional rock instrumentation, atmospheric synths and Vestergaard’s plaintive vocals, which help imbue their material with a melancholy air.

The Aalborg-based indie quintet’s full-length debut, 2016’s Dream Dealer was an experimental and ambitious effort that led to the band playing some of the region’s biggest venues and festivals, including Way Up North, Nibe Festival and SPOT Festival. Building upon a growing national and regional profile, the act released their sophomore album, 2018’s Perfect Imbalance.

Last year, the members of Aztek released a couple of attention-grabbing singles that included “Darkest Hour,” an ambitious yet earnest song with rousingly anthemic hooks that recalled Pablo Honey and The Bends-era Radiohead with a bit of space rock while focusing on playing live shows and touring. Of course, much like the countless bands I’ve covered over the past decade of this site’s history, the Aalborg-based act had started writing new material for an EP as COVID-19 struck. So they were forced to record their forthcoming EP This Is Not Who I Wanted To Be virtually in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“I’ll Be Waiting,” This Is Not Who I Wanted To Be‘s first single is a slow-burning and cinematic track centered around shimmering synths, a sinuous bass line, a soaring hook and Vestergaard’s plaintive falsetto within an expansive song structure. And while the song possesses an aching, Quiet Storm R&B air that recalls Violent Light-era Milagres. “‘I’ll Be Waiting’ is a single about dealing with isolation and insecurity following a break-up during the quarantine and about hoping for reconciliation,” the band explains. “This duality between hope and insecurity is depicted through gloomy textures contrasted with uplifting electronic elements and inticing [sic] grooves. Better times are slowly arriving.”

Look for the new EP later this summer.

 

 

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Danish Duo Mavoureen Performs “Bliss” at Tapetown Studios’ Spot Festival Special

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Aarhus, Denmark-based recording studio Tapetown Studios and their longtime partnership with Sound of Aarhus. Together, the studio and the website have invited national, regional and internationally recognized touring bands to stop by Tapetown for a live session, which they film and then distribute to all of your favorite social media and streaming sites. During the live series’ history, they’ve invited British indie rockers Ulrika Spacek, Gothenburg, Sweden-based trio Pale Honey, the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstay Tim Cohen and his The Fresh & Onlys, renowned British psych rockers The Telescopes,  Malmo, Sweden-based punk rock act Sista Bossen, Copenhagen, Denmark-based indie rock quartet ONBC, up-and-coming, Los Angeles-based post punk rock act Moaning, Oslo, Norway-based punk trio  Dark Times

Tapetown Studios recently teamed up with Drowned in Sound and the folks at Spot Festival for another series of live sessions in which three internationally touring acts were invited to Tapetown to perform. The second act invited to Tapetown was the mysterious Danish post-punk duo Mavoureen. The act is putting the finishing touches on their forthcoming full-length debut, an effort recorded at Echo Canyon Studios with Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley contributing drums. Interestingly, the act performed the blistering, Nirvana-like “Bliss,” a song that frenetic and furious track that features fuzzy power chords, howled vocals, thunderous drumming and a mosh pit friendly hook. Much like its predecessor, play this one as loudly as humanly possible. 

Live Footage: Oslo’s Dark Times Performs “Give” at Tapetown Sessions’ Spot Festival Special

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Aarhus, Denmark-based recording studio Tapetown Studios and their longtime partnership with Sound of Aarhus. Together, the studio and the website have invited national, regional and internationally recognized touring bands to stop by Tapetown for a live session, which they film and then distribute to all of your favorite social media and streaming sites. During the live series’ history, they’ve invited British indie rockers Ulrika Spacek, Gothenburg, Sweden-based trio Pale Honey, the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstay Tim Cohen and his The Fresh & Onlys, renowned British psych rockers The Telescopes,  Malmo, Sweden-based punk rock act Sista Bossen, Copenhagen, Denmark-based indie rock quartet ONBC, up-and-coming, Los Angeles-based post punk rock act Moaning and Stockholm, Sweden’s Les Big Byrd among a growing list of others.  

Tapetown Studios recently teamed up with Drowned in Sound and the folks at Spot Festival for another series of live sessions in which three internationally touring acts were invited to Tapetown to perform. One of the invited acts was the Oslo, Norway-based trio Dark Times. Comprised of Ann Kristen Traaen (guitar, vocals), Sebastian Rusten (baritone guitar) and Rikke Fjell Jørgensen (drums), the Norwegian act quickly amassed a profile within their hometown’s underground scene for crafting a unique blend of punk, noise rock and fuzzy guitar pop. Since their formation, the band has been praised by the likes of NME and BrooklynVegan for their live shows — and interestingly, they became the first Norwegian act to be profiled in Maximum Rocknroll. 

Building upon a growing profile the act’s 2014 full-length debut Give, which was released through Sheep Chase Records was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannprisen). They also played SXSW back in 2017 and released their sophomore full-length album in 2018. 

The members of the acclaimed Norwegian indie act played a 10 song, 30 minute set — but the recently released video for the sessions is the feral and blistering “Give.” Centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals, the song will remind some listeners of Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and classic 90s grunge. Play this one as loud as possible. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Danish Indie Act Aztek Releases a Trippy Visual for Anthemic “Darkest Hour”

Formed back in 2015, the Aalborg, Denmark-based prog rock act Aztek — Benjamin Vestergaard (vocals), Michael Buchardt (drums), Rasmus Lykke (bass), Minik Lundblad (guitar) and Jeppe Søndergaard (guitar) — can trace their origins to shared interest and love of experimental and prog rock. Since their formation, the Aalborg-based quintet have developed a reputation for an adventurous yet accessible sound, centered around traditional rock instrumentation paired with dreamy synths and Vestergaard’s plaintive vocals, which imbues the material with a distinct melancholy. 

Aztek’s full-length debut, 2016’s critically applauded Dream Dealer was a harmonically experimental and ambitious effort that led to the band playing some of the region’s biggest venues and festivals, including Way Up North, Nibe Festival and SPOT Festival. Building upon a growing national and regional profile, the up-and-coming Danish act released their sophomore album Perfect Imbalance last year. Aztek’s latest single, the expansive, Pablo Honey and The Bends-era Radiohead meets space rock-like “Darkest Hour” finds the act ambitiously expanding upon the sound that has won them attention across Denmark and Scandinavia — with fuzzy power chords and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with a heart-on-sleeve earnestness. However, despite its anthemic quality, the song is about observing a loved one’s during a life crisis and the complicated array  feelings that come along with it.

Interestingly, the song’s structure, alternating ethereal verses with heavy, power chord-driven hooks also manages to be influenced by the song’s message — that the darkest hour is typically just before dawn; and that most importantly, things do (and can) get better. Set in space, the recently released video by Anders Riber Nielsen features 80s influenced CGI: the viewer first moves among a large constellation of stars, before passing through a terrestrial-like planet with mountains. It’s trippy and expansive yet centered around scientific reality. 

With the release of her debut single in late 2015, which she promptly followed up with at the release of a critically EP and full-length debut, the Stockholm, Sweden-based singer/songwriter and pop artist Mira Aasma quickly received attention across both Scandinavia and elsewhere; in fact, as a result of a growing profile. Aasma played sets at some of Europe’s largest festivals, including Denmark’s Spot Festival, Scotland’s Xpo North and a residency at Berlin’s Red Bull Music Academy. Building upon a growing profile, Aasma’s forthcoming Nighttime Memos may arguably be one of her most deeply personal and haunting efforts to date, as the production throughout the album is sparse and meant to focus on Aasma’s vocals and lyrics — while backed with instrumentation full of unique angles and percussion made from materials outside the recording space.

Album single “Witches,” which was released earlier this year was a politically charged song that demanded gender equality; however, the album’s latest single “Sunday” is a much more introspective song featuring an arrangement of Hammond organ, mournful saxophone, twinkling keys paired with Aasma’s plaintive vocals. Sonically, the song evokes a few things simultaneously — the sensation of a vivid yet half-remembered dream, moonlit strolls with a lover on a chilly early autumn night while recalling Young Americans-era David Bowie and Quiet Storm soul.

 

 

 

 

Live Footage: Denmark’s ONBC Performs the Gorgeous and Ethereal “Copenhagen” at Tapetown Studios

ONBC is a Copenhagen, Denmark-based indie rock quartet, comprised of some of Denmark’s most acclaimed musicians — and the band can trace its origins to the formation and breakup of its earliest iteration Oliver North Boy Choir, an electro pop-leaning act, which featured founding members Camilla Florentz (vocals, bass) and Mikkel Max Jorn (guitar), who were both members of indie band epo-555. After releasing a number of EPs and singles, as well as covers of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Boo Radleys, the Oliver North Boy Choir split up. In 2014 the members of Oliver North Boy Choir reunited but with the recruitment of Tanja Forsberg Simonsen (vocals, synths), who was a member of influential Danish indie pop act superheroes and Private; Ivan Petersen (drums), the frontman of The Boombox Hearts, and a radical change in sonic direction, the band was renamed ONBC.

In their native Denmark, the quartet has received attention for a cinematic sound and songwriting approach that some have compared to Low, Chris Issak and Julee Cruise — although as soon as I heard the gorgeous, shoegazer-like “Copenhagen,” I immediately thought of Malmo, Sweden’s Fredrik, Coco Beware and Caveman-era Caveman and Beach House as the harmonies of Forsberg Simonsen and Florentz ethereally float over a delicate and sparse arrangement of shimmering guitar chords and dramatic drumming.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 15-18 months or so, you’d recall that Aarhus, Denmark-based recording studio Tapetown Studios and Sound of Aarhus have been inviting national. regional and even internationally recognized touring bands to come into their studios for a live session, which they film and release through the interwebs. During the live session’s run, a number of bands have participated and been featured including British indie rockers Ulrika Spacek, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based trio Pale Honey, the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstay Tim Cohen and his primary project The Fresh & Onlys, the renowned British psych rockers The Telescopes, and a growing list of others.

ONBC’s Tapetown Studio session, much like Sista Bossen’s session is presented by their label, Crunchy Frog Records and was filmed during Aarhus’ popular Danish and Scandinavian indie music festival, Spot Festival — and it may arguably be one of the most stunningly beautiful ones they’ve shot to date.

 

New Video: Denmark’s Shocking White Return with a Noise Rock-Leaning, New Single Paired with 120 Minute MTV-era Visuals

Late last month, I wrote about the Aarhus, Denmark-based indie rock/noise rock trio Shocking White. Currently comprised of founding member Jan Petersen (guitar, vocals), along with Rune Randlev (bass) and Marco Bøgehøj (drums), the Danish trio have released four albums in which they’ve experimented with their sound, writing energetic post punk, nihilistic No Wave and feral garage rock primarily rooted in noise rock. And although the band was initially founded back in 2009, the Danish trio has started to receive attention both across Denmark and elsewhere across Scandinavia as they’ve played at some of the region’s biggest festivals, including Recession Festival, Pop Revo, Mejlgade for Mangfoldighed and Spot Festival. Adding to a growing international presence, the band has toured Denmark with Norwegian space rock act Kal-El and Canadian avant-garde punk act Alpha Strategy, and 2016’s “Tweet Scientists” 7 inch, which Copenhagen-based label Tigermilk Records released. Along with that, the Danish trio will be included on a forthcoming compilation featuring internationally-based alt rock/indie rock bands.

Ghosting, Shocking White’s fourth studio album was released last month and the album continues their ongoing collaboration with producer Rasmus Bredvig, who along with the members of the band recorded the album in 3 days at Aarhus-based Tapetown Studio. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about the album’s first single, “Into The Sun,” a single that managed to sound as though it drew influence from 80s grunge rock — i.e., Pixies, Sonic Youth and Nirvana — as the Danish trio pairs power chords played through reverb and distortion pedals with a rousingly anthemic hook, a propulsive and chugging rhythm section and a playfully pop-leaning sense of melody while thematically focusing on a profound and palpable fear of death that gives the song an underlying sense of menace and unease. The album’s second and latest single “Far From Bloom,” continues in a similar vein; however, the single also manages to be reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain, A Place to Bury Strangers, but with an anthemic hook.

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the video for “Into The Sun,” the recently released video for the song features footage shot in color-treated film negatives which create an otherworldly, psychedelic feel to the proceedings while being reminiscent of the thousands of videos I’ve watched during 120 Minutes-era MTV.

New Video: The 120 Minutes-Era, Alt Rock Sounds and Visuals of Aarhus, Denmark’s Shocking White

Currently comprised of founding member Jan Petersen (guitars, vocals), along with Rune Randlev (bass) and Marco Bøgehøj (drums), the Aarhus, Denmark-based trio Shocking White have released three studio albums in which they’ve experimented with energetic post-punk, nihilistic No Wave and furious garage rock while the material’s backbone had always been decidedly noise rock. And although the act can trace its origins back to when Petersen founded the band in 2009, the band has started to receive attention across their native Denmark, the rest of Scandinavia and elsewhere over the past couple of years as the trio have played at Recession Festival, Pop Revo, Mejlgade for Mangfoldighed and Spot Festival. Adding to a growing profile, the band has toured across their native Denmark with Norwegian space rock act Kal-El and Canadian avant-garde punk act Alpha Strategy — and their “Tweet Scientists” 7 inch, which was released last may through Copenhagen-based label Tigermilk Records has received airplay on French and Canadian radio, and will be included on a compilation featuring internationally-based alternative rock/indie rock bands.

March 24, 2017 will mark the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Ghosting, an album that continues the band’s continuing collaboration with producer Rasmus Bredvig, who along with the members of the band, recorded the album in a frenzied 3 days at Arhus’ Tapetown Studio. And from Ghosting’s first single and album opening single “Into The Sun,” the band’s sound seems to draw from 90s grunge rock — i.e., Pixies, Sonic Youth and Nirvana — as the Danish trio pairs power chords played through reverb and distortion pedals with a rousingly anthemic hook, a propulsive and chugging rhythm section and a playfully pop-leaning sense of melody while thematically focusing on a profound and palpable fear of death that gives the song an underlying sense of menace and unease.

The recently released video for the song features footage shot in color-treated film negatives which create an otherworldly, psychedelic feel to the proceedings while being reminiscent of the thousands of videos I’ve watched during 120 Minutes-era MTV.