And it’s about darn time too. Over the past year since Flux has had their first 3 day festival in multiple venues in Godsbanen, the organization have been putting on more and more great shows with some of the most compelling and interesting line-ups of underground music from Aarhus and beyond. Their focus and passion has always been directed towards finding a home for just about any type of subgenre way left-of-center and putting it in a setting where just about any of us normal plebs can come and experience it. Lately, some of the members have been getting into even pushing some releases out on cassette, a format that has seen a revival in the punk/noise/hardcore scene especially, as apparently it’s the ultimate form of freedom and expression. On the eve of a flux curated event this Saturday in Abassaden theatre to showcase cassette store day and the launch of Brystet (the new cassette production branch) I had a wee chat with a couple of the guys we should have talked to ages ago – but better late than never right?
Tell us about Flux – the idea and ethos behind starting a new “Klub” booking group this day in age in Aarhus – who are you, when did you get going and what keeps you growing?
Jeppe Berg: First of all, I don’t really consider us a “klub” booking group. I would say we are a music festival re-thinking the concept of a festival and it’s propose or range. In that sense, we are a festival that arranges concerts during the year to maintain Flux in the minds of people. Furthermore, we are rather bored with the general concept of a festival and felt that the city and it’s music venues lack a focus on the more alternative andexperimental rising music scene in Aarhus as well as nationally and internationally – so that was more kind of the idea behind Flux. The shows during the year are to present music across borders that we felt are relevant to the present. On the other hand, the festival (held in August) is a celebration of the inspiring and interesting local music scene in Aarhus as well as nationally, but has a national focus – so no international acts. Whereas – the club shows play on an interaction effect.
We started Flux back in january 2013, because we felt that there was a lack of focus on the growing alternative, un-compromising and experimental music scene in Aarhus. Now there’s five people involved and we have just kept growing because of our general interest in inspiring music and a need for presenting good music to the city of Aarhus (I guess!). As we have become more and more known and cohesive, more opportunities arise and we just grab the those.
Bands have influences, artists have influences etc…does a booking group have influences – are there any current arrangers/organizations that you guys have particularly looked up to in the past or currently?
Jeppe Berg: It’s pretty obvious that the music scene in Aarhus inspired us to start Flux. Furthermore, nationally we are admiring the great job that Phono Festival is doing in Odense. As far as local history – we look up to the legendary work of Pop Revo, Ljud and Klub Arrogant (unfortunately both Ljud and Arrogant are not here anymore). Internationally, festivals such as Unsound in Krakow have an aesthetic consistent to what we’re doing and a congruent bookingstrategy.
The “big question” -what’s the deal with tapes coming back? Some of you have started your own cassette label and are participating in cassette store day – with all the ways you can hear/buy music in the world, why tape?
Rud Kjerstein: I relation to “why tapes”, it isn’t really a deselection of other formats, but I think we have some sort of love for tapes as a medium because it gives more opportunities for smaller bands to get their music physically released. Firstly, there are the economic andfinancial benefits of releasing on tape because it doesn’t require a large amount of capital to get the tape out there. It’s simply so cheap, that everyone can afford to get something released. That way, its possible to get the music documented, which is an important element of music in order for the music to be presented from the beginning. Furthermore, theres the aesthetic aspect, which is both about the sense of feeling of tape, its particular sound and the fact that you are able to do everything yourself: dubbing, artwork, print on the tape and inserts. In that sense, tape as a format gives you 100 percent freedom to create the expression you want through your own making and not for instance a printing house’s. The distribution becomes more private and charming, because you often buy the tapes of the people who are behind the release and not some middle-man. The price is often only 30-40 Kroner as well, which is nice for people with less financial possibilities – they can buy 2-3 tapes instead of a single vinyl.
If you look at tape as a medium, there are also some genres that suit the format well – like synth-oriented music, ambient and punk. It is not a coincidence that Denmark’s leading tape labels – that we want to celebrate on cassette store day – to a large extent, operate within these genres.
How would a tape label actually go about physically producing the tapes? Are you buying blanks and dubbing one by one? How many copies of a release are you putting out?
Rud Kjerstein: it’s important for me to state that Brystet is not a Flux label, but related to it solely due to the fact that Alexander Julin and I who started it, are part of the team behind Flux. Alexander and I had long since talked about starting our own tape label, most of all because we could see a few holes in relation to things that were not released and the way that it is done – and surely, because we want something that we could socialize about together. The love of music should always weigh more than in such a situation and here is something that we both are hopelessly in love with.
In relation to the actual release; its really simple – you just buy some blank tapes, get a master-tape and dub that. I didn’t know anything about the process when we started, which only made it more interesting for me. We got some start-up help from the people behind Janushoved and Infinite Waves to get everything sorted for the first release, which is Drageskib (the tape is released on saturday). The Drageskib tape is limited to 35 copies.
We have a lot of releases in the near future which we look forward to. This is the benefit of tape, goddammit, its super fast to get out there!
It seems like there is a growing underground scene in Aarhus for punk/hardcore/noise – why do you think that is, and how do you think the current movement differs from say…Copenhagen?
Jeppe Berg: I do not want to make these sort of comparisons between Copenhagen and Aarhus, that’s for people to figure out themselves I guess. what I can say is that Aarhus is characterized by a large degree of DIY – I mean people just do stuff. Morten Ettrup started Raum Eins 4.5 years ago because he felt a lack of focus on specific genres. We started flux out of the same feeling. Mikkel and Casper (Shordword and Bryggerfest) started their label and festival because they wanted to have great time and wanted to document their take on the Aarhus punk scene as of 2014. Jeppe and Mathias (Vulgar Deformity) started their label out of the same notice. And one could continue like that.
At the moment in Aarhus you just have a lot of guys focusing on these types of genres and they just release great music, thats what we in flux want to celebrate, manifest and document.
this activity is entirely out of love for the music and not to become famous and rich –rather – music becomes less inauthentic and pompous and focuses on presence, authenticity and love to a certain genres and then feeling that particular genre creates. In general, we, in flux, feel that to much of the music industry, both here in Aarhus and in the world, is focused on money and capitalism, where we felt music should focus on expressions and feelings. So, to keep it brief I see the underground scene in Aarhus is love of music and a large degree of DIY and desire to create and document. Other words coming to my mind are: reliability, brotherhood, solidarity and cohesiveness.
Finally – what’s in store for the future for Flux and blodrøde floder? what can we expect/look out for?
Jeppe: When the Blodrøde floder shows we pay tribute to a tape label that has an exciting focus on experimental genres everything from field-recordings over ambient to noise. As well as celebrating tapes as a format. Before the concerts 8 lables will be present selling their tapes, of which some is specially released for this particular day.
Otherwise, we are doing two shows at Radar in november and december. The one in november is with two of Denmark’s best rock bands, namely: Snaredrum and Total Heels. The other is with Swedish Les Big Byrd, who are a cosmic krautrock orchestra.
There you have it folks, reason enough to dig out that old walkman eh? Cassette store day takes place this saturday, you can pick up some Flux approved releases at Badstue Rock and check out the show at Ambassaden. Doors are at 19.00 and only 40 DKK to get in. Beer is cheap down there too – so you’ve no reason not to get down there. Give the Flux festival a like on facebook and keep abreast on all their shows and news.