Last night, SPOT Festival highlighted the revolutionary electronic scene’s future talents at a showcase hosted by Few of Us – an independent record label based in Vejle, Denmark.
words and photos by Uday Kapur
The Scandinavian region has always had a knack for producing left-field, avant-garde electronic music. Artists such as Bjork, Little Dragon, Kill J, Silvana Imam, Alo Wala & Copia Doble Systema have constantly pushed against the grain – developing futuristic (and often challenging) soundscapes that, instead of alienating their listeners, coaxed them into believing that their sound was the only way forward – thus helping Scandinavian electronic music to shine on a global stage.
Founded by Gabriel Johnson in November 2014, Few of Us has steadily built its reputation as one of Denmark’s most exciting new record labels. It’s aim is to showcase artists that have a strong live and visual component – a side of electronic music that often gets sidelined by the brash, ostentatious EDM industry. This was the label’s second outing at SPOT, having made their debut at the 2015 edition of the festival.
Binrose kicked-off proceedings with his brand of expansive, synth-laden trap. Borrowing heavily from the off-kilter, beat-driven soundscapes made popular by Australian electronic sensation Flume, Binrose – aka Jeppe Appel – successfully managed to engage with the crowd – a tough task to accomplish for any opening act.
Appel’s production was let down by the sound at the venue – often, the system failed to capture the full-range of his productions – softening the impact of his song’s most pivotal moments. Still, it was easy to make out Appel’s obvious talent – his productions would be at home in a club with a richer sound system.
Second on the bill was Esbjerg’s Frederik Meyer. Meyer was the night’s standout performer – effortlessly swaying between atmospheric, reverb-laden pads and distorted, bass-heavy beats. His set thrived in its contradictions – oscillating between downtempo Garage-influenced beats and chaotic drum and bass / glitch. Meyer’s set was like watching Bonobo, Modeselktor and Noisia come together for an anarchic, once in a lifetime performance. He’s definitely one producer to watch out for.
thirdcurl – Johnson’s own three-piece live-electronic band – closed out the night with their brand of melancholic synth-pop. thirdcurl are what I imagine would happen if Morrissey – the enigmatic and controversial frontman of The Smith’s – collaborated with indie electro-pop darlings The Postal Service. Although they were thoroughly fun to watch, thirdcurl were perhaps let down by the fact that they were following two bass-heavy producers – with the sudden shift in tempo and sonic aesthetic killing the vibe a little bit and making the crowd shift towards the smoking area.
Overall, the team behind the Few of Us label showcased why they are the future of Scandinavian electronic music. With the right direction and investment, all three artists can grow beyond Danish shores and make their mark on the music industry at large. If last night’s performance was anything to go by, it won’t be long before they do.