Photo above: Namo Oman AKA Lilla Namo and Kamohelo Khoaripe
«The Germans are coming!» Fintan, the friendly festival host from Ireland had barely hung up his phone before he announced that the delayed Berlin flight had just landed. He shot up from his chair in the strongly lit, crowded Starbucks and put his pink, white and blue flower crown back on his head. Then he slid the phone into the breast pocket on his off-white linen shirt and led the way out to the Copenhagen Airport arrival hall. Everybody around the table got up and collected their luggage. The Colombian guy next to me quickly dialed a number on his phone and said a few sentences in rapid Spanish before he grabbed his shiny black bag and strode out of the café. Across the table, some girls from Berlin in flower crowns similar to Fintan’s, were giggling of something that one of them was explaining in German with dramatic gestures. «Let´s go out to the bus». The Brazilian woman I had been talking with for the last hour smiled softly and nodded her head towards the exit while picking up the red leather purse that rested in her lap. She had travelled directly from Rio de Janeiro so I guessed she was quite eager to get comfortable in a bus seat sooner than later.
After crossing the border between Denmark and Sweden, we finally reached the deep green fields surrounding Ovesholm Castle. The air outside was wet. It nearly felt like breathing diluted water. As I was stumbling down the bus-stairs, a bit tipsy after drinking Malibu rum for the first time since my last teenage years, a familiar sight awaited at the bottom. «Welcome to Sweden!» Tod Louie’s eyes smiled at me behind his characteristic dark-framed glasses from under the hood of a big yellow raincoat.
Photo above: Tod Louie on the festival site
On behalf of his label Det Gode Selskab, Tod Louie had invited me to a festival called Midsommar Weekender. Growing up with Swedish friends who went to the Swedish countryside for every Midsummer, I had long been curious on the neighbor country’s core traditional celebration of Summer Solstice. I was excited to finally experience all the things that my childhood friends had described to me. All the pretty flowers, the Swedish songs, the delicious food and the legendary dance around the Maypole. Together with his partner Solaris, Tod Louie was going to represent their Oslo based DJ-collective in the festival line-up. After a quick tour around the festival site, we found the white canvas tent that was going to be my home for the weekend. Inside the canvas walls we also found Thomas Refvik, another member of Det Gode Selskab. He was sipping on a Moscow Mule while preparing his camera for the evening. We placed the luggage beside my bed and I put on a thick sweater for the cold summer night ahead of us. After a quick stop in the bar it was time for soundcheck at the main stage in a beautiful old barn. And then we danced all night.
Photo above: Solaris DJing + Karl Fraunhofer and I dancing
When Tod Louie first sent me the festival line-up, I happily recognized some of the artists that were booked. The airy electronic music of Australian alternative dance group Rüfus du Sol is a regular motivation in my Soundcloud playlist for cardio training. I was even more thrilled when I spotted musician and neuroscientist Floating Points in the program. The talent from Manchester, UK has established his own niche in highly advanced music with projects like «Reflections Mojave Desert». With such strong International names in the line-up I did feel a bit proud when I read the names of Norwegian electronic music legend Lindstrøm and Det Gode Selskab in the program. There also turned out to be a pleasant surprise hiding in the line-up. The performance of Zebra Katz really blew me away.
There was complete silence on the bus from the festival back to Copenhagen Airport. After saying goodbye to those with early flights, I went with my new festival friends Andres and Dann to have dinner in the city. All three of us were pleasantly exhausted. We laughed so much that day! Especially after Andres happened to get trapped on the subway train. He reminded of a helpless beetle on its back. It did actually feel quite scary. When we rushed off the crowded carriage, his big backpack got stuck between the sliding doors as they shut for departure. Those seconds went by very slowly. After Dann and I managed to pull him free, our laughter echoed all over the platform. Everybody were eyeballing us.
That kind of pleasant exhaustion makes me think of how I felt the day after summer camp in high school when we had stayed up all night. On the way home from summer camp I fell asleep on the ferry with an ice cream in my hand, and I really like ice cream.
Tonight I am going to dance with Det Gode Selskab again.
Documentation in the performing arts is important. When a performance is over, it has disappeared from current time and space. The following text is my second hand description of what was set in motion by HAiKw/ the 24th of August, 2017 in 1857, an artist-run exhibition space occupying a former lumberyard in downtown Oslo. The description is based on my memories that remain from the crossover fashion show and dance performance.
After an afternoon Yoga class, I took the subway across Oslo from the Westside to the Eastside. As I was taken through the underground I imagined how the physical, mental, and spiritual practice hopefully had prepared me well to be audience at a performance of Butoh – “the dance of utter darkness”. I had never before seen the primitive yet playful kind of Japanese dance theatre, but I knew that I might had a quite irrational and even frightening experience ahead of me. From the depth of my thoughts it suddenly occurred to me that the sign on the subway platform said Grønland, which was my stop. Before I got the chance to make a move, the doors closed and it was unfortunately too late to get off. On my way from the next station back to Grønland, I hoped that latecomers would be admitted by the HAiKw/ hosts.
When I finally arrived at the venue it eased my mind to find other latecomers in the entrance area. I was utterly relieved when I recognized a familiar face in the crowd. «Come in!» HAiKw/ designer Ida Falch Øien smiled at me in front of a garment rack where collection pieces were displayed. «Congratulations on the big opening night.» I smiled back to her and tried to catch a glimpse of the pieces over her shoulder, but got distracted by a slender silhouette strutting towards me.
With a charming smile, dressed in a one-shouldered powder-yellow outfit and balancing on transparent peep toe heels, Inti Wang gracefully announced that he was my host for the evening. He stopped right in front of me, pulled the dark curly hair back with his fingers , took my hands and kissed me on both cheeks. We giggled and I took a step back to have a look at the collection piece he was dressed in. I definitely wanted one too. Then he pulled me towards a dark door opening in the far end. On our way into the performance space I congratulated the other HAiKw/ designer, Harald Lunde Helgesen. He was greeting his guests on their way inside with highly contagious excitement. «It is about to begin.» Inti Wang whispered in my ear as the darkness wrapped around us. I got a spot in the middle and sat down on the concrete floor, just in time before the performers entered the stage and took the room.
Renowned Butoh dance performer Daisuke Yoshimoto and Oslo Butoh-lab had their faces covered with traditional white makeup typical for the dance style. All dancers were dressed in pieces from the HAiKw/ ss 18 collection that little by little were taken off and rearranged during the performance. I was captivated from the moment that the dancers started performing their slow, intensely controlled micro-movements to the explosive parts when they were running around the space and interacting with the audience.
HAiKw/ Butoh performance-fashion show was delicately balanced with beautiful contemporary electronic music where ambient sounds met club beats. The soundscape is produced and was performed live by musician, dj and composer Bendik Baksaas. He definitely applied strong energy and a modern vibe to the experience.
The fabric textures and colors of the collection items were complementary effects of the movements that the dancers communicated. In particular the beautiful pieces of tulle. The delicate fabrics dramatically changed the appearances of the dancers when they pulled the tulle over their faces. At times they were like unfamiliar creatures to me. There were moments when they controlled their bodies so intensely that they seemed almost supernatural, but then again there were moments of the most intense authentic human appearance I have ever seen. Their faces were constantly transforming, and their bodies communicated nuanced and powerful languages of movement. In one sequence Yoshimoto threw his 76 year old body on the hard, cold concrete floor, got up again and threw himself back down in so many repetitions that I almost had to look away. His physique was just unbelievable.
A red thread was a central stage prop. It came off to me as a quite obvious symbol for clothing design, but it also had a much deeper effect on my experience of the performance. Yoshimoto was at one point placing the thread in the hand of a guy in the audience and leaving it with him. That moment I got a feeling of connectedness, that by this contact we were all included in the performance together. Regardless of the red thread being a tactical symbol of the collection or not, clothing design is however the element making this experience completely different from dance performances I have seen before. The HAiKw/ SS18 collection are material objects that are left in a static state and with same appearance as it obtained functioning as dance costumes during the performance. More precisely this means that the collection is different from regular costumes. HAiKw/ ss18 is a unique remaining indication of what took place on the dance stage, and it is important to acknowledge that the collection was in fact the very reason for the extraordinary dance performance to ever exist at all.
When it comes to the collection, HAiKw/ ss18 is a remix of fashion industry-jargon inviting to a blend of floral patterns, copyright resembling watermarks and swatches. With this collection the designers aim to make trend forecast language to a trend in itself by using found fashion reports and HAiKw/ press releases to foresighted printed patterns on the collection pieces, like pinstripes consisting of text.
Feeling a bit numb and deeply moved, my memories of the performance were in in the end rooted in the honest, intense, dark, delicate, surreal and androgynous. Lastly I want to share something a bit bizarre to think about. To me it is a quite interesting detail that this text that now has come to an end is nothing else than a fashion report about a clothing collection that is reflecting that exact thing: the phenomenon of trend forecasts and fashion reports.
This is the second video visualizing a concept where we explore the phenomenons “behind the scenes” and “backstage” of the entertainment business. We were invited to come and check out the club concept Skippergata FTW that exhibits artworks by new artists combined with a line-up of local techno DJs. In the invitation we were promised VIP treatment.
This video is visualizing a concept exploring the phenomenons “behind the scenes” and “backstage” of the entertainment business with the museum as stage and the Internet as channel.
A while ago I was invited to the press-event “Behind the Scenes” in the Munch Museum’s latest exhibition “Towards the forest”. Visual artist Yoo Sun and his camera came along with me.
That the Munch Museum’s press event was called “Behind the Scenes” brought up good memories of an MTV show that I used to love watching as a kid. This TV show was formatted as documentary film shot on popular music video film sets. The style was cool, fun and with fast tempo.
I found the old videos on the Internet and got really fascinated by stars like Michael Jackson moving between the onstage and offstage roles of private and professional expression on the film set. It was so different to see it now than when I watched the shows on MTV as a kid. Back then I felt like having access to some kind of secret pop universe where nobody knew that I could see them. Now, on the other hand, the universes or so-called realities at the film sets came off just as surrreal and constructed as their products, the music videos.
Congratulations to the Munch Museum and Karl Ove Knausgård with “Towards the forest” and thanks for having us!
Photo: Kim Dürbeck
Hei, jeg skal dekke Red Bull Sound Select på Onsdag og har lyst til å legge ut en kort Q&A med deg. Har du mulighet til det? Tenkte bare å ta det her på chat isåfall
Hva vil du helst fokusere på?
Videoreleasen er jo spennende, hehe.
Ja fokuser gjerne på det
OK da begynner vi.
Is it OK if we do it in English?
So first of all, the aesthetics of your music videos span broadly in artistic expression and technical details. The way I see it there is however some kind of visual identity recognizable in your work. Is it possible to describe your aesthetics?
I’m afraid the short answer is no, I cannot. The aesthetic of each video, record cover and so on, is something that happens in the pursuit of expressing a certain feeling. Very little energy goes into aiming for a particular set of aesthetics. There is no visual “brand” I stick to really. I struggle describing my sound too, because a big part of my process in both fields is just intuition, luck, utilising limited resources, and rolling with the punches. But a cohesive factor is definitely the visual artists I work with, like Erik Treimann, Moe Chakiri, Hans Jørgen Wærner, Even Suseg of AKA to name a few. So I would give it up to them if my output feels consistent to people. (STORE SPØRSMÅL FÅR STORE SVAR hehe)
Haha yes, definitely a massive answer. Anyway, I see some key elements in the beautiful film still-friendly sequences, from you surrounded by plants and in amazing nature shots to being filmed on your bike in the streets and in backyards captured in surveillance camera format. Good productions created through good collaborations. And speaking of collaborations, can you tell me about the one that you did together with Kaytranada?
Kaytranada is a good dude, who before he became Montreal’s chosen one, and a lot of other camp’s champion, was just a beat geek. Before I linked with him I knew he had re-posted my music. Plus the folks at my label Jakarta Records know him through working with him on a Jakarta release some years ago. So it was just a matter of reaching out to a fellow geek. I recently saw him in Montreal. There could be some more music in the works, but we’ll see.
Yay! I hope there will be more music from you geeks. Some years back when I discovered Kaytranada’s fresh kind of sound in remixes like Janet Jackson’s “If” and Missy Elliot’s “Sock it to me” it was so new to me, but still with very familiar vocals and melodic stems, so that it felt nearly unreal to listen to. The EP “Kaytra Todo” has also been on repeat. Do you have any personal favorites by him that you would like to share? Except from your own track off course.
Or besides I mean 🙂
Sorry, må ete opp burritoen min. Snakkas om litt!
Hehe ja in your time. Jeg lager curry her.
Jannis at Jakarta gave me Kaytra’s Remix EP when I first signed with them. So I love that record for a few reasons, and play it out all the time, even though discogs prices tell me I shouldn’t. I also love his work with Karriem Riggins.
Sorry, kom akkurat hjem, vært på Yoga og besøk!
So you actually got the Remix EP as a sort of a welcome present? When did you sign with Jakarta Records? I see they have other great artists too, like Sango, IAMNOBODI, Anderson Paak and Ta-ku! Great company for you. And for them. I have to ask tho : what is discogs?
Yes, a signing gift of sorts. I signed with them for the release of my Low Jams EP in 2014. Jakarta is a good home for me for sure. Discogs is like eBay for records.
Cool! So finally, what can we expect tomorrow from the premiere of your new track and video “Young Eye”? What kind of mood is reflected in the beats and music? And what will we see in the video?
“Young Eye” is a conversation I have with my younger self or my future first born. These times of smoke and mirrors are worrying and confusing, so I wanted to clear up some shit for my self through an imaginary dialog. The music came together beautifully, through the help of Mndsgn, Arthur Kay Piene and Kristoffer Eikrem, with all the soul and jazz those three possess. The video depicts a child’s inner journey towards enlightenment. Nothing less. The video was shot in my friend Mohamed Chakiri’s mother land Morocco. He and fellow Mutual Intentions members Erik Treimann and Hans Jørgen Wærner really killed it, with help from Terje Vestervik.
How exciting! First of all I admire that you focus on communicating such a serious and relevant topic. I really like your track “Once Again” produced by Mndsgn and hope for the dreamy, funky rhythms of his productions. It will definately be exciting to hear the collaboration between the two of you, Piene and Eikrem. Piene I am not familiar with yet, but I was at Eikrem’s performance at the opening of Uncontaminated Fashion Art Festival last year, and that was really awesome! So, a child’s inner journey towards enlightenment in beautiful Morocco. Wow. That makes me think of Paulo Coelho, Yves Saint Laurent and 1001 nights. But maybe it will be a bit more down to earth, street and tasteful than a mix of those three. Anyway, I can’t wait to see your performance and the new video tomorrow evening! Thanks for the chat and take care 🙂
Thank you! Safe travels.
Photo: Astrup Fearnley Museet
Above is the Japanese big breast sculpture that obsessed a world-famous American superstar enough to get in touch with its creator and come see the piece of art its natural habitat. In an interview, TAKASHI MURAKAMI describes how Kanye West, AKA Yeezy, AKA Yeezus came to his Tokyo studio and quietly snapped an amount of 100-200 photographs of HIROPON. The sculpture has a pornographic anime aesthetic and is named after the strong nervous central system stimulant Methamphetamine. According to MURAKAMI, the only thing the double Grammy Award-winning rapper, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer and entrepeneur managed to express during the intense photoshoot was “Fresh, this is fresh”. The piece HIROPON is now in Astrup Fearnley Museet as part of the exhibition MURAKAMI BY MURAKAMI.
FLAME OF DESIRE – GOLD, 2013-15
Photo: Astrup Fearnley Museet
Mid-February, art teacher Kirsten and artist Eirik came with me to the first MURAKAMI x ART NIGHT at Astrup Fearnley Museet. When we crossed the bridge over to the small island where the museum lays by the water, a massive line of people flooded out the entrance doors. After the successful arrangement, press officer at the museum, Ida Moen, could proudly inform that an amount of 1200 cocktail-sipping visitors had been there between 7 and 11 PM to enjoy art supplemented by a trendy DJ set.
My friends and I had a great time. Kirsten liked the piece That I may time transcend, that a universe my heart may unfold, 2007 that is quite discretely placed on the bottom floor. My attention was also drawn a bit extra towards that one, but I randomly meet a stylist friend of mine in front of it, and he wore a piquet matching perfectly with the style of the art piece. Anyhow, Eirik preferred a piece in the exhibition inside the exhibition consisting of art pieces by thirteen artists handpicked and curated by MURAKAMI. Actually, he chose the beautiful golden sculpture Flame of Desire, that is placed in the main space first, but I protested strongly that this was an object too perfect to hold as a favourite.
Still Frame: Youtube
According to press officer Ida Moen, MURAKAMI is an artist that appreciates contact with his audience. His friendly openness visible in his public appearances truly supports this statement. The numerous collaborations that he has done with name-drop worthy commercial icons like Vans, Louis Vuitton and Pharrell Williams proves how far and wide MURAKAMI’s figurative principle SUPERFLAT has spread. The SUPERFLAT concept is combining a formal flatness with a complete comparison of elements in art and subculture. In the Murakami Film room, a little cinema inside the exhibition, MURAKAMI as filmmaker is represented. The music video “Kanye West-Good Morning” stands out as symbol both the SUPERFLAT concept. The collaboration is also the result of the meeting between the two artists.
Next ART NIGHT X MURAKAMI is tomorrow.
Same time and place.
Serine is a new column in monDieu. The first story is coming soon!