Experience the Energy of Denmark’s Underground DJs on FRISKY Loves Denmark
As the birthplace of a variety of influential figures from famous astronomers to quantum physicists, fairy tale authors to philosophers, Denmark’s cultural influence on the rest of the world is far reaching and long lasting. Blending a rich heritage with a drive for the future, Denmark is always near the top of the World Happiness Report, where aspects like well-being, environment, health, and work are all taken into account. Of course what we also think should be taken into account is the quality of the underground electronic music scene, which is running strong thanks to a dedicated group of music lovers. Though not a large industry, it is steadily growing with new venues and many talented DJs on the rise. However what matters is not the size, but the spirit, which the local community has incredible amounts of. They are continuously putting their collective energy into making it a welcoming and wonderful place for all those who are passionate about underground electronic music. FRISKY Loves Denmark will be featuring six of the DJs who represent that community, their combination of Deep House, Progressive, and Techno creating a full day affair of positive energy, good vibes, and a deep love for the music.
Get an inside look on Denmark’s scene with FRISKY Loves Denmark’s DJs:
What is the best part about Denmark’s electronic music scene?
Nicolaj: For all its obscured nature, there is at least a decent amount of genres. Lulu Rouge blends atmospheric textures into dub and techno like nobody’s business, DJ Sports crosses between techno and drum ‘n bass as if they came straight out of the 90’s. There’s also still a good amount of experimentalism, such as Lars Lundehave (who does ambient music), as one example. If you know where to look, you’ll be rewarded with some good music.
Baime: There is a lot of new energy on the scene lately that means that a lot of off venue parties are popping up all over the country. They are a fresh breath to Denmark. New players get a chance to show what they are made off plus it attracts new people who might like the music.
Radeckt: That we now are a bigger part of the international club scene than we ever been before. And I only think its going to get better, so many talented producers and DJ’s on the rise, including myself haha.
Tim Andresen: Compared to other countries, it’s a small scene with a friendly vibe. That also means no one really are in it for the money but more for the love of music. Most of it is based in or around the Copenhagen area and despite the limited size of the scene, a lot of us still do quite well internationally while we’re also able to bring many talented internationally artists to play for us on a regular basis which is great.
Nandu: I would say the diversity. The scene is very small, we despite of that we are very well represented in the international scene in a lot of different electronic genres.
How has Denmark’s scene changed in the time since you have been a part of it?
Nicolaj: We’ve started to see more international artists coming to the country, such as Four Tet, Gas, Maceo Plex, Nick Warren, Oliver Huntemann, etc. Both Distortion and the Roskilde Festival have also begun bringing in more electronica acts, such as DJ Sports, Four Tet and many more. There is definitely a rising demand and market for electronica in Denmark, but so far it mostly seems to be coming from abroad. It’s not that there aren’t Danish electronica producers (DJ Sports and Lulu Rouge for instance), it’s just that there aren’t that many who are upfront about their craft.
At the same time, some venues, like Alice CPH (formerly Global and Jazzhouse) has small periods where they focus on electronic music, such as through their collaboration with Proton, so there has been some progress on the local scene as well.
Baime: Music wise it has changed a lot I think, from being really nerdy underground stuff to a sound that is more embracing also the parties has gotten a lot more professional and supportive of upcoming young talent. We are both in our thirties so we have been around long enough to see a few changes. Genres go in and out of style but it seems that some elements make revivals over time. Some of the older djs such as Bronxgaard, Buda and Ian Bang are still on the grind. It is nice to see that sort of dedication. We aspire to do the same.
Radeckt: Since I moved to Copenhagen for about 8 years ago, underground parties and the knowledge of electronic music has become a bigger part of the nightlife for sure. Often these days you can find three to four, maybe more, big headliners different places in Copenhagen the same night, five years ago it wasn’t that difficult to decide where to go if you wanted to go out and dance. A lot more people enjoy to go out and dance to some four to the floor beats, its enjoyable to witness.
Tim Andresen: There’s a constant change of the scene, the music and the people involved. I have seen people come and go over the years and everyone involved have done things their own way. There’s a great DIY-culture here and people have ideas and like to add a personal touch on the things they do. Those who don’t will not last long as an artist, promoter, label owner etc. However, the underground scene has certainly been growing over the last couple years with more clubs and one off parties to choose from. It’s very positive right now.
Nandu: The scene has changed a lot, not only here, but all over the world. Digitalization with its pro’s and cons. But soundwise I think the scene has evolved a lot, and in different ways. And with reference to my last answer we have a lot of different sounds here now that wasn’t as strongly represented 10 years ago.
Who are some of your favorite local DJs?
Nicolaj: Lulu Rouge is undoubtedly a personal favorite of mine. They seamlessly blend atmospheric tech house, techno and dub together into something wonderful. I do not think they have toured for a while though. Ena Cosovic also has quite a solid ear for techno. She played at the Culture Box last November, which is where Nick Warren played some years ago. I used to see Knuckle Walkers at Distortion some time ago as well. They are quite good, but given that one of its members is an old classmate of mine, I might be biased!
Baime: I think Kölsch, Noir and Denis Horvat must be some of the favorites and the ones that inspire us but there is a lot more local talent to take from. Only Ollie is one of the new kids on the block but he has a nice sound and shows very good promise. Ian Bang is also a local favorite. He has been playing for a very long time (+20 Years) but don’t do music production. It is a bit of a shame that more promoters abroad don’t book more talent over fame.
Radeckt: Compared to the size of Copenhagen its almost vulgar how many DJ’s we actually are. But if I must restrain myself, my good friends Denis Horvat and Nandu. Two guys I have a lot of respect for, love their producing style as well as when they are behind the booth.
Tim Andresen: All those we book to Culture Box which is the club I co-own here in Copenhagen. These are the ones that to me has shown equal parts of talent, passion, dedication, skills, creativity and consistency as artists.
Nandu: Would have to say Denis Horvat, Radeckt, third wife. Obviously there are a lot more, but these guys have a very strong connection between what they produce and how they perform.
Is there anything you would change about the local electronic music industry?
Nicolaj: I would encourage the scene to be more forthcoming. There’s a sense that the scene is afraid of expanding too much out of fear of becoming commercialized, so the scene is still relatively small and somewhat obscure. Likewise, the scene needs to be more accepted among the public. It’s still seen viewed in connection with partying and drugs, which also means it’s difficult to receive funding. The scene is also too fragmentary, with not a lot of support between the different artists.
Baime: It’s hard to say, at the moment it’s going really well here but maybe one or two new venues to get a even wider platform for electronic music here.
Radeckt: I think we could get better at helping each other. We are such a small community in copenhagen and everyone is aiming at the top in their own way of course. Nothing wrong in that, but its a danish mentality thing I think.
Tim Andresen: I have now been involved for decades and do what I can to make the scene and industry grow and develop in a positive direction, both as a DJ, producer, label owner, promoter and more recently as a club/venue-owner. But I would still love to make a big festival with club music only. Hopefully it will happen one day but I need the time to do it and the right crew to assist of course. I’m not there in my life at the moment but let’s see what happens in the years to come. Never say never. I would also like to see people in Denmark being more focused on music as a career and sacrifice what is sometimes needed to take the next steps and do this for a living. I see too many people come and go and not being prepared for the ups and down and all the hard work it also takes to make it in this industry. If it doesn’t work out, you can still look yourself in the mirror and say you did what you could. Never blame others and don’t expect others to do things for you.
Nandu: The scene is very small, but despite of that its a known tendency that people do not help each other, but instead they only care about them self.
How would you describe the “sound of Denmark”?
Nicolaj: Traditionally, Denmark’s always been viewed as being a rock band country. Even the pop acts retain an element of rock, while some balance it out with your traditional EDM fodder.
Baime: Tough question. There are a lot of genres going on at the moment and the scene here is really wide. It goes from the really hard fast techno stuff like Rune Bagge and Courtesy to the more melodic “slow” stuff that we like to play and then there is the whole oldschool crowd.
Radeckt: It’s a tough question, I don’t even know if I can answer properly. But im seeing melodic house & techno artists/djs representing the danish electronic music scene internationally. It’s the genre I manly work in, therefore most my attention goes in that direction, even though there’s more layers to the danish scene. Now concluding, my sound of Denmark is, a floor based melodic twist of non trivial techno with a lot imagination.
Tim Andresen: Diverse is probably the word that describes it best. There are numerous small scenes within various sub genres of house music, techno and related genres. A fair few here do well across the scene so it wouldn’t be fair just to talk about one sound only. It’s much more than that which is great.
Nandu: Haha, I don’t think there is a certain sound here. Within the techno scene I know they talk a lot about a certain “sound of Copenhagen”, but I don’t think it makes sense to talk about a fragmented part of a scene and state that it is the sound of a whole city, or country for that matter. What I would rather say is that from my perspective there are a lot of extremely talented people creating music of super high quality, and this is despite that we live in a country consisting of 5.5 million people, and fewer clubs all in all than you will find in Berlin.
FRISKY Loves Denmark premieres Saturday April 28th @ 10AM EST / 4PM Copenhagen [convert timezone]. Listen live or listen on-demand any time after with a FRISKY Premium Subscription & FRISKY Mobile Apps.