Af Snævar Albertsson & Henrik Friis. Foto: Jonas Kjærsgaard og Henrik Friis
Dette års SPOT Festival var bl.a. bemærkelsesværdig ved at have tiltrukket en lang række af de ledende engelske pladeselskaber. Det arbejde er blevet udført af MXD og især MXD’s London-baserede medarbejder Lisa Marxen, og lørdag eftermiddag inviterede MXD til networking-event på Råbar netop med fokus på de engelske labels. Med massivt fremmøde til følge.
- Det handler om at få så mange indkøbere af dansk musik til landet som overhovedet muligt. Pladeselskaberne er generatorerne for at dansk musik bliver spredt i udlandet, fortæller Lisa Marxen
– Nu har vi i rigtig mange år fokuseret meget på Tyskland, fordi det er så meget billigere at rejse dertil for danske bands Og fordi de ikke selv har så stort et udbud af god musik som englænderne har. Men i løbet af de senere år er der bare sket så meget med kunstnere som for eksempel MØ, der buldrer frem og er signet til et engelsk label. Der er en del danske bands efterhånden, som er signet til engelske labels, eller amerikanske labels som så har engelske afdelinger.
- Så kan I ligefrem mærke, at der er en stigende interesse fra de engelske labels?
– Man kan mærke en generel stigende interesse for skandinavisk musik. Nu har jeg arbejdet for MXD siden det blev grundlagt i 2005, og i øvrigt i 10 år for SPOT Festival, og jeg synes at interessen for dansk musik bliver ved med at vokse. Og det er netop også succeshistorier som MØ, der gør, at folk er meget interesseret, siger Lisa Marxen.
Men hvad mener de engelske labels så om SPOT og dansk musik? Det talte vi med en række af dem om ved ved networking-eventen.
Natalie Judge – Matador Records:
“Amazing festival. It’s my first time here. People are beautiful and the weather is beautiful. There’s a very relaxed atmosphere compared to other festival like this, and that’s really great. The music? Broken Twin was really great, and so was Communions. It’s been great to be able to wander around and see different bands. Tonight I want to see Less Win”.
- How does SPOT benefit you?
“We’re working with two different Danish bands (Iceage and Lower, ed.), and every territory is different. It’s important for me to visit the country and to get to know the territory. Here I can meet the people behind our bands – the managers, the agents and so on – and Scandinavia is a very important territory to us. I like to be able to learn how it works for the bands in the country they’re situated it. In terms of adding to our roster there’s no real agenda with our visit but we’re open minded. I’ll definitely be coming back if we’re invited. It’s such a beautiful town and great people. You can talk to people here, and it’s much more relaxed than SXSW for example, because you actually have time to talk to people”.
- Which bands have impressed you so far?
”Broken Twin was beautiful. I really liked the four-piece. Something just really clicked with the band she had with her. And the setting was really special, and there was a real connection. Incredibly moving. Reptile Youth really connected as well. They totally clicked with the crowd. Tonight I’ll go for Schultz & Forever. I’m looking forward to seeing where they are headed. Sleep Party People too. I really like them. I wish I could get one of their bunny masks.”
- What are you looking for here? Network or do you want to expand the roster?
”It’s really both. I’m a believer in coming to the actual different territories. It’s very easy to be arrogant, but I really believe respect for the individual territories. I try to visit people in their own territory, and for me it’s really important to build a relationship, and if I do it here for example, I can build trust which is very beneficial. If someone trusts me they’ll be there. It’s really all about respect”.
Dominic Squire – Full Time Hobby
”SPOT’s a lovely festival. Got to do a little walk around town. Get some culture. It’s nice to get out of London. The bands have been good. I enjoyed Kill J who was very good. Chorus Grant. I missed Communions, which people told me was really good. Tonight I’ll go for Schultz & Forever especially. And Jaakko Eino Kalevi. I love his EP”.
- How does SPOT Festival benefit you?
“Well, we have a good Danish band, Pinkunoizu. So we connect with the band’s other partners. It’s also great to come and meet people. I’ve met a lot of UK people too, some of them I don’t see too often. But who knows, maybe we’ll sign a band. It’s both about our roster and about networking. Equal measures.”
-Are you coming back?
“I would like to if I was invited, or if we have a band playing. I find this festival very organized, in terms of meeting each other as well. UK festivals are more packed, and here you have more bars than people, so there aren’t any lines to get to the beer.”
Ollie Jacob – Memphis Industries
”It’s been really great. Lovely. Met a lot of bands and many people. It hasn’t been too overwhelming like some other festivals can be. It’s focused on Denmark, which is the whole point of course. It’s really good”.
“I didn’t really come out here and say I have to see this and that band. But there are some things I’ve seen that I’m definitely going to follow more. I very much enjoyed Dísa, which was probably my favorite. She has a really strong voice. I want to see a proper, good guitar band though. Emilie Nicolas was really great too. Broken Twin was very good. The ladies are really doing it. Seems like you do that really well here.
- How does SPOT Festival benefit you?
“It’s great to find out more about Denmark and how we can work here. We’ve talked to the various labels and managers, and we find out how they work here, and how they bring their bands outside of Denmark. You find out a lot about this by simply talking to people.”
Will Street – Chess Club
”We’ve signed both MØ and Kill J to our label – because they both have a strong esthetics, they kick ass, the production is great with big beats and big hooks. They know what they want.
-Isn’t it hard to break through as a Danish act on the English market?
“Yeah, but it’s for English acts as well. But we like working with MØ and Kill J, which is why it’s good to come over and say hi – we’ve met a lot of new people.
The music? Sekuoia was really good. I’ve wanted to experience Emily Nicolas for a long time, and Reptile Youth was fun. And then Kill J of course. I’ve seen Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Naomi Pilgrim and Broke on blogs, so tonight I’ll see them live. All in all, it’s nice to see a lot of acts you wouldn’t get near otherwise. “
Mike Harounoff – Transgressive Records
”I watched Broken Twin yesterday – amazing. And I watched Communions and Lower in the show with Iceage. And it made me think: You guys have really some special going on here. It is kids that make great music. And SPOT presents a broad range of good music”
-Why have you come to SPOT?
“I want to work with Scandinavian bands. Nordic music is really good – and it might get even better. You might be in your golden years right now. There’s so much thought put into the music you make – one can only think “these are really good musicians
Networking opportunities? You know what? I actually don’t like to network, but everyone here is so friendly. I’ve met a broad range of industry people, and I’m getting approached a lot – but in a friendly way. It’s that feeling of a brotherhood/sisterhood. So I’d love to come back – but I want to get into this music more overall.”
Stephen Pietrzykowski – Fat Possum
”I was here last year, but I like what I see this year more. Yesterday I watched Iceage, Lowly and Communions which was really a surprise for me. I’ve always liked Iceage – and I’ve seen them before. Back then, their ideas were probably ahead of their technical abilities, but yesterday it all worked and everything balanced. They’re not just technically good, there’s also personality and passion in the music.”
-What are you going for – can you reveal anything?
“I can’t say yet, but generally we are more into punk and such than the electronic music. Tonight we want to see Les Win – and then just try to sniff out subjects…”