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Archive for the 'Music' Category

A Laboratory of Sound

LAK is an annual four-day festival in Copenhagen presenting Nordic experimental sound art. This year an old varnish factory in the area ‘Amager’ provided an authentic, urban and industrial exhibition space for multiple sound installations, performances and experimenting concerts. Experienced with music yet fairly unfamiliar with experimental sound art, our new contributor Nadja Loran visited LAK – Festival of Nordic Sound Art. Nadja has a BA in Communication and is currently doing a masters degree in visual culture with a focus on contemporary visual phenomena and imaging in a social, cultural and historical context. Here is a selection of artworks and artists that caught her attention.

‘Vibrant Disturbance II’ – installation by Christian Skjødt (DK)

‘Vibrant Disturbance II’. Photo by Nadja Loran

Christian Skjødt is an improviser and sound artist from Denmark. His installatory work often deals with the enlargement of unheard and hidden sounds, and creating responsive environments exploring translations of other physical phenomenons into sound. (words by LAK)

Vibrant Disturbance II uses light to produce sound. The sounds coming from the disassembled car speakers hanging from the ceiling in the industrial space, change due to the outside light and is even affected by the human shadows in the room. The installation produced an interesting contrast by juxtaposing a minimalistic aesthetic with repetitive electronic sounds connoting busy factories, flocks and swarms of animals, tin drums and standing ovations.

‘Magia universalis naturæ et artis’ – Installation by Ragnhild May (DK)

‘Magia Universalis Naturæ Et Artis’. Photo by Nadja Loran

Ragnhild May is a Danish sound artist who works with installation and performance. May’s artworks are based on materials she finds and the process of examining and reorganising them. Recognisable and everyday things like air mattress pumps, recorders and vacuum cleaner hoses are reconstructed in new compositions and their common sound aesthetic potentials explored. (words by LAK)

In LAK’s own words: “disassembled recorders, air pumps, bike tubes and bowls create something resembling traditional water whistles where the tone is affected by the water in the resonance chamber and vice versa” in this installation. From a distance the deep rusty container nicely framed the glass bowls, resembling large soap bubbles. Moving closer this was contradicted by a sudden loud ringing, which became unbearably and enervating if entering the container. Disregarding the state of my eardrums I found it alluring, though writing this my ears recall the discomfort.

Band Ane (DK)

Band Ane. Photo by Nadja Loran

The Danish electronica/laptop-producer Band Ane (Ane Østergaard) became, together with her “Mr. Laptop”, a fresh and long awaited feminine touch to the electronic music scene, when her debut ‘Anish Music’ came out in 2006. (words by LAK)

Finding inspiration in the sounds and hidden stories of her surroundings, Band Ane (Aka. Ane Østergaard) mixes electronica with drum’n’bass, quirky sounds and minimalistic vocal elements. This was my first live experience with the electronica/laptop-producer and her guitarist – I liked their soothing though nuanced and playful soundscape.

LAK also featured an outdoor sauna, storytelling ghettoblasters in the dark corners of the factory garden, and live radio production from a rolling wooden trolley.

Outdoor sauna. Photo by Nadja Loran

Storytelling ghettoblasters. Photo by Nadja Loran

Live radio production from a rolling wooden trolley. Photo by Nadja Loran

Check out LAK and the artists who were represented here.

Making New Waves

Music in a decade of flourishing female activity…

New thinking paved the way for women in a new decade. Music, art and literature flourished in the wake of the shifting grounds of the 1970s and women were finally at the front of it. This was the decade that Radio 1 saw its first female Dj, Germaine Greer and Kate Millet published their seminal works on feminism, London’s Stock Exchange opened it’s doors to women for the first time and Britain saw it’s first female Prime Minister. Defined by the female faces that shaped it new music sprung out of this decade in an explosion of experimentation and creativity.

Here are just a few of our favourite women from the eclectic styles this decade bore, with attitudes to match their wild locks these women were catalysts who have continued to inspire women in music ever since.
 
Track #1 These Days | Nico | Chelsea Girl
The Velvet Underground, somewhat reluctantly, gained their iconic female counterpart at the whim of Andy Warhol. Her distinctive voice, fusing folk and 60s pop sits somewhat at odds with the string and wind instrumentals behind, but such has become the distinctive style of Nico on both The Velvet Underground & Nico album and her solo album, Chelsea Girl. She is an icon of many facets, befriended by Brian Jones, Jimmy Page and Bob Dylan her extensive career included film, music and modeling projects before her life was cut short in 1988.

Nico performed “The Falconer” for then boyfriend Phillipe Garrel in his film La Lit de la Vierge. See how the melodic and poetic poise turns this epic panning shot across the Arizonian desert into a three-minute hallucinistic mirage: ‘The Falconer’ by Nico from La Lit de la Vierge
 
 
Track #2 Psycho Killer | Talking Heads | Talking Heads: 77
Her fusion of French-Californian origins may be to thank for the minimalist riffs of Tina Weymouth’s bass-lines. Tina Weymouth carries ‘Psycho Killer’ staccato paced into its infamous success for Talking Heads, who earned recognition as one of the defining avant-garde bands of the new wave genre.
 
 
 
Track #3 Heart of Glass | Blondie | Parallel Lines
Debbie Harry is no less a music-legend than her male contemporaries, Lou Reed, Jarvis Cocker or Morrissey. Blondie’s synthesis of disco and punk in Parallel Lines cascaded into musical success, fronted by Debbie Harry, with two-tone bleach hair and her fiery punk attitude, she quickly became an icon of punk-rock style.
 
 
 
 
 
Track #4 Wuthering Heights | Kate Bush | The Kick Inside
In all her Pre-Raphaelite beauty, Kate Bush stormed the charts age nineteen with ‘Wuthering Heights’. As the first female singer-songwriter to gain a number one hit, her idiosyncratic style and distinctive voice have made her one of the greatest female successes of all time. Another timeless icon rising to fame in the decade of women’s success Kate Bush inspired a generation of female singer-songwriters from Björk to Florence Welch.
 
 
Track #5 Hong Kong Garden | Siouxsie and the Banshees | The Scream
Words almost fail me when faced with the enigmatic Siouxsie Sioux; utterly aloof, effortlessly cool she is attitude and style with the face of an angel… maybe we are just a bit in awe, but this 70s pop-queen carved a path through music, fashion and style that paved the way for others to follow. Lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees their hits included “Happy House” and “Hong Kong Garden”, but with her own prolific solo career, Siouxsie Sioux recorded songs with artists John Cale and Morrissey and her songs have been covered by everyone from Jeff Buckley to LCD Soundsystem.
 
 
Track #6 Love Is A Battlefield | Pat Benatar | Crimes of Passion
Rising to fame at the end of the 1970s Pat Benatar’s unprecedented musical success was as infamous as her spandex-clad legs. An archetypal figure of the women’s era in music her power-chord ballads became pillars of mainstream music success and made Pat Benatar - philanthropist, activist and mother – a pop-icon and international legend.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Track #7 So Good To Be Back Home Again | The Tourists | The Tourists
Better known as the fiery red head singing ‘Sweet Dreams’ Annie Lennox‘s music career began with the new wave band The Tourists. Abandoning her prestigious music college to pursue a career in pop music she embarked on a relatively fruitless career with The Tourists before joining forces with David Stewart to go on and become Eurythmics.
 
 
 
 
For more songs by these and other wonderful women of this musical era check out our Spotify playlist: Wunderbuzz | A New Wave of Women

Wundermix #8

I have decided to, from now on, make the Wunderbuzz mixtapes in Spotify, so I hope all the songs are available to you wherever you are.

Here it is: Wundermix #8, enjoy!

The Staves

I just discovered these lovely three sisters and their band “The Staves”. Here’s two songs by them live at Cecil Sharp House.

Gone Tomorrow

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Silver Dagger

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You can download them for free here.

Wundermix #7

After being encouraged by Fran and Marie to create a new Wundermix, I finally did. Click on the tape and enjoy!

Wundermix #6

I’ve made another mixtape. This one is special, can you guess the theme? Click on the tape and listen.

Wundermix #5

I guess it was about time to make a new Wundermixtape. So click on the tape. Sit down or dance. Listen. Enjoy.

Wundermix #4

Once again the Wundermix is here. I hope you like it.

Click on the tape, listen and be happy.

Wundermix #3

It’s becoming a habit to make a mixtape on a Friday. I can’t believe how time flies and this is my THIRD mixtape to you!

cassette-mixtape-3

Click on the tape and listen to the music.

Wundermix #2

Yes it’s Friday and yes I’ve made another mixtape for you!

cassette-mixtape-2

Click on the tape to listen and have a great Friday!