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Masterful Finnish DJ Kristiina Männikkö conceals her sets with dark mysticism, but never at the expense of danceability. Her trademark whipping snare drum is ever-present, while genres and eras of music around it change from techno to new wave and from EBM to electro. Männikkö has been one of the most beloved DJ’s at the Helsinki clubs Kaiku and Ääniwalli for the last couple of years. She is also hosting a weekly radio show concentrating on mystic electronic vibes at Radio Helsinki.
AIRPLANE & SPACESHIP
Airplane & Spaceship (fka dj. flugvel og geimskip) is the one-person orchestra of Steinunn Hardardottir that draws influences from a thousand worlds. Defined as electronic horror-music with a space twist, the music is a mix of playful beats, cool bass, catchy melodies and high-pitched vocals. Her live performances are colourful and poetic and her music deals with alien worlds, mysteries, dreams and dangers of the night.
Rich collages of ambient, dreams and electronic hardware. The Copenhagen-based composer Sofie Birch recalls blissful melodies and synth tones within swirling harmonies that subtle softens the ear.
Ever since she released her first cassette EP Sketchy Commodity in 2017 on the Danish imprint Infinite Waves, she has sounded like an artist of dreams. Her debut album Doldreams continues her style of sensibilities with her experimental streak. With a soundscape of flourishing strings, soft vocal, chimes, birds, creaks and a lingering synth line paving her way through organic symphonies.
Educated with a bachelor degree in sound design, she has studied the structure of sounds despite this her live performances are just as much improvised as they are structured. Often in simple constellations where one improvised melody sequence evolves into new sequences creating dynamic waves of ambiances. Through this, she reacts with the impulses from her listeners and this is expressed with orchestral grandeur in order to create a peaceful space between spiritual and secular realms.
Sofie Birch’s work can be compared to that of a collagist, dutifully assembling her influences and inspirations into dreamy yet coherent compositions. It places Sofie Birch somewhere between ambient and experimental terrain which her musicianship leaves her well equipped to handle.
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JESSE was born in 2007 from the minds of two frustrated teenager musicians that were looking for a new appearance and musical output, to satisfy their hedonistic needs. Alter egos Kalifornia-Keke and Stiletti-Ana were created to perform fast and arrogant synthesizer music and to have fun wearing unfashionable outfits. This ingenious concept led into unintended success and JESSE became the first real band for the boys to release records and play hundreds of shows. The hype and success came easily, however Kalifornia-Keke and Stiletti-Ana never cared too much about it and just kept making music and developing themselves. The fast synthesizer music and enthusiastic experimentations with electronic instruments wasn’t anymore challenging the creative minds enough. That is why Keke and Ana started to use wider instrumentation and invite other musicians to studio to create more complex and ambitious music. After releasing their second album Tum Tum Tum they took a broad step towards such genres as world music, afrobeat, funk, ambient and cosmic disco. They have continued on this path and grown into a four member band. Their fourth album Twotinos (2017) included many psyched out slow and cosmic jams and was produced by the legendary DJ Sotofett. The fifth album Fluids (Höga Nord Records 2018) is again more electronic and esoteric and shows JESSE’s endless quest for lush, smooth and soft tapey new age vibes that has become their signature sound.
The electronic adventurer and viola player Astrid Sonne thrives on the glorious dissonance that comes from using live viola and a chamber choir in the same breath as brain-scrambling noise and glitchy abstraction.
Astrid Sonne is a Copenhagen-based composer and musician. With a background in classical music, Astrid Sonne opens up an electronic space to study the balance between mechanical and organic elements in her music. The compositions consist of everything from synthesizers to viola sequences and choir samples, but are all characterized by the presence of highly personal, human emotions. Furthermore, Astrid Sonne has engaged in creating conceptual, site-specific compositions for places like the old ruins under the Danish Parliament and a stretch of the Copenhagen Metro as a part of Trans Metro Express for Strøm Festival.
Astrid Sonne’s debut album Human Lines was released via Escho on February 16th 2018. Astrid Sonne says, “with Human Lines I wanted to explore the balance between repetition and renewal in various universes which respond to different emotional stages. It has been important for me to work with the idea of what happens when computer-generated sound meets organic sound, such as vocal and viola, but always bearing in mind that it should not overshadow the emotional relatedness that I wish for people to have when they listen to this album.”
Special-K is an Icelandic avant-garde musician and artist. Her debut album I Thought I’d Be More Famous by Now is a visual album where every song has its own music video. A “No budget Lemonade”. She combines different elements like pop culture, fashion, poetry and whimsical music to create a universe of her own. A Universe made out of post-internet aesthetics, cheekily honest lyrics and all kinds of quirky sounds and instruments. The music (which is all written, recorded and produced by her) is a mixture of rawness and sophistication, combining complex synth arrangements with playful recorder flute solos etc. When playing live she has the videos playing on a big screen behind her with karaoke lyrics. The album is a tribute to the bittersweet melancholy of the everyday life of a millennial. Unfulfilled dreams of fame and glory, impostor syndrome and love and boredom in the age of tinder are amongst her themes. Her lyrics and style are at the same time a 100% sincere and 100% ironic.
Ragnhild May is an artist from Denmark living and working in Copenhagen and New York.
Working in the field between visual arts and music, she works with installation, performance and sculpture. Her works has been shown internationally, recent performances and exhibitions include Issue Project Room (USA), Konsthall Varberg (SE), SuperDeluxe (JP), The Danish National Gallery (DK).
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One of our hometown favourites, acclaimed drummer and latin percussionist Boska (AKA Jon-Eirik Boska) started his electronic music career right here in Tromsø working with Mental Overdrive (AKA Per Martinsen) and Charlotte Bendiks. Scoped by UK electronica, Boska’s production and DJ-ing balances inventiveness and intuition, channeling grime, ballroom, dubstep and ghetto house. Now based in Berlin, we look forward to welcoming back Boska for a fresh, bass-driven live-set sure to haunt and taunt your ears just as well as your urge to move your body.
Boska performs at Turku Modern in Nuuk, Greenland as part of the exchange programme of the Up Node network, invited by Insomania Festival in Tromsoe, Norway. Made possible with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.
The Intonal crew has a special moist spot for DJs and artists that are genre-fluid and hard to categorize. This often makes for great experiences on the dance floor but, as ever, no-one thinks about the poor programme writer. In this instance, Charlotte Bendiks is notorious. Cool and flowing like a Norwegian fjord, hot and musky like a private fetish club, Bendiks’ style is as hard to pin down as an epileptic wasp caught in strobe light. Having actively shaped the Insomnia Festival in her hometown Tromsø, Bendiks have been touring ever since, from Buenos Aires to Hanoi, with her special brand of addictive body music. Intonal is now proud to bring this “Northern ambassador of distant intimacy” to Malmö, via the Up Node festival network.
Charlotte Bendiks performs at Intonal Festival as part of the exchange programme of the Up Node network, invited by Insomnia Festival. Made possible with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.
Courtesy is a DJ, label owner and journalist. As her uncommon legal name Najaaraq Vestbirk indicates, she was born in Greenland but grew up mostly in Denmark. During her 2016 banner year, Courtesy established herself as a powerful solo artist and launched the label Ectotherm with her former Apeiron cohort Mama Snake. Her lauded Crack Magazine and FACT mixes in 2016 attest to her penchant for blending styles that push the boundaries of dance music: fuzzier textures meet polished productions, silky electro and rave-influenced breaks. She took on slots at major clubs around the world, from Concrete in Paris to Oslo’s Jaeger, Amsterdam’s De School and both Berghain and Panorama Bar in Berlin.
Stockholm-based composer Ellen Arkbro is known for her work as a minimalistic explorer of experimental and ambient territories both as a guitarist and lately for her debut solo album, For Organ and Brass, performed on an eponymous 393-year-old church organ in Tangermünd, Germany alongside accompanying horn, trombone, and tuba. Ellen Arkbro is a composer and sound-artist primarily working with intervallic harmony in just intonation.
Her work includes long-duration compositions for ensembles as well as electronic sound environments in the form of installations and live-performances, employing both traditional acoustic instruments as well as digital algorithmic sound synthesis.
Most recently, Arkbro released for organ and brass on Subtext Recordings, a set of recordings of her compositions in just intonation for renaissance organ, horn, trombone and microtonal tuba. In all of her work, Arkbro focuses on the qualities of harmonic sound that reveals the act of listening as an active process of participatory construction rather than mere observation, inviting the listener to gradually transform into the sound itself.
Ellen Arkbro performs as part of the exchange programme of the Up Node network, invited by Intonal Festival in Malmö, Sweden. Made possible with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.
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Copenhagen-based producer and DJ, Henrik Koefod gained international recognition with his self-titled Erosion Flow EP on George FitzGerald’s ManMakeMusic imprint in 2014 and since then has released the two-part project, Spectrums Vol. 1 & 2, on Martyn’s critically acclaimed 3024 label. He has also contributed to renowned mix-series such as Truants, Solid Steel and Hyponik, as well as having made guest mixes on NTS Radio and RinseFM.
His latest release explores the borders of melodic, pulsating electronica with a sheer sense of melancholy. Now moving into live-terrain, the 23-year-old artist is set to unravel his unique sound and versatile production style in a much more comprehensive and holistic experience. Erosion Flow performs at Norberg Festival as part of the exchange programme of the Up Node nordic festival network, invited by Phono Festival in Odense, Denmark. Made possible with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.
Sigrún released her debut EP Hringsjá in August 2016, closely followed by a second release Tog in December. Her work is based around shaded experimental compositions, urgent and compelling. Complex harmonies carried by heavy electronic beats.
She finds herself currently working on her next release based in Reykjavik. Sigrún is a composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist who has been noted for her work touring with artists such as Björk, Florence and the Machine, and Sigur Rós.
Sigrún performs at Insomnia Festival, Norway as part of the exchange programme of the Up Node nordic festival network, invited by Extreme Chill festival, Iceland.
From the depths of the techno underground of Malmö, Swedish Frankie Twilight packs the punch right between Drexciyan depths and Legowelt’s mysterious moves and delivers raw and pure drum machine anthems for the floor.
Not your usual techno producer, the woman behind this Alan Vega-esque alias does not subscribe to any genre definitions. Having played in a Berlin-based punk band as well as acting as the resident DJ at a members only 78 rpm jazz club, to say that her musical taste is diverse is quite an understatement.
The DIY spirit is however a red thread throughout her musical career and on her debut EP for the Fasaan label.
Her feverish live jams are usually raw and undiluted. Sometimes they are weighed down with the moody blues of numbing synth chords, and sometimes they’re frying in the squelch of a classic acid (house) bath.
The deranged funk of her playful rhythm patterns will surely see you crawling and contorting your body to fit your limbs into the grooves, or sulking in a corner breathing in all of its gothic glory.
Peckerhead is Denmark’s own Hardcore Techno enfant terrible. Although he probably is the youngest of the Danish Gabber front, he has already shared stage with great influencers of hardcore culture. On the dance floor he spans wide, from the early nineties hardcore genres, to a more extreme concept: “fast and hard”.
Peckerhead performs at Norberg Festival as part of the exchange programme of the Up Node nordic festival network, invited by Phono Festival in Odense, Denmark. Made possible with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.