Photo: Bjørn Giesenbauer
An annual music festival held at Studenterhuset, located in the heart of Aarhus University’s campus. As the name suggests the festival presents upcoming bands from all over the country that often make it into the mainstream afterwards. Amongst those artists you can find Wafande, Linkoban, Ulige Numre and Quadron. This year’s performers mostly represented rock and electronic music, ranging from dreamy pop filled with escapism to deafening post punk rock clad in all black and lonerism. With all the great artists the festival had lined up, it was awfully clear and disappointing that there really wasn’t a great crowd to experience it. This resulted in a lot of musicians really struggling to persuade the crowd and bring the along on a ride. Which was very disappointing, for unlike most other cases, the musicians delivered a party that the festival couldn’t quite live up to.
De Dødelige (The Deadly/ The Mortal) [3/5]
De Dødelige served creamy and heartfelt pop with hints of electronica and R’n’B references. A set consisting exclusively of ballads and songs of lost love and heartbreaks. Their first single “Sig det” (Say it) is a prime example, and the rest of the bands catalogue seems very similar to this melancholic would-be heartwrenching track.
Out of all the bands at Newbees, De Dødelige were one of the few that delivered really commercial music that you would be able to play at almost any radio station in the country. And with a newly signed deal with Sony Music and a record on the way it really shouldn’t be impossible
Vocalist Anders Ringblom has that smooth and not so aggressive vocal that is so characteristic of commercial pop. Think in the lines of Medina and Burhan G. If the bands chose to do so, they could quite easily write a couple of hits for the formerly mentioned musicians. De Dødelige know their way with words even though their lyrics seem to revolve around the same topic. Unfortunately the soothing, but also aching vocals were drowned out by deafening drums pads and an avalanche of unnecessary auto tune. These special effects ended up causing some problems for the band, but it was handled gracefully and with a smile.
Karl William [4/5]
The rising young talent Karl William performed the smoothest rap/r’n’b and seemed to convince all doubters of why he has been hyped the way he has. Unlike a lot of the other performers Karl William had the crowd mesmerized by the first deal and everyone seemed to be swept a long unknowingly
With a very characteristic, crisp and almost raspy vocals his music is very recognizable with a dreamy sense to it despite the typical electro and hip hop beats spread across his tracks. Karl William was helped a long by Patrick Møller also known as the artist Baba Ganoush
The rapping was tight and on point with each and every track with a flawless switch over to singing that was equally impressive ease. This was especially clear on the track “Kostumeramt” where the borders between rap and singing were blurred out into a wonderful mix. This can be experienced on his EP “1. Sal“ which has earned him recognition and press on the blogosphere at the established record company Cheff Records.
A thing that would elevate the quality of his overall performance would probably be to bring in some ‘real’ sound. Excluding some of the vocal distorters or actually using some real instruments in his live set
So-So Echo [3/5]
Using ballerina dance move a waving arms Jenny Rosander and company performed dreamy pop synthesizer for you hearts desire. A relatively new band but with such a solid sound that it’s hard to believe that they haven’t been around for more than 8 months.
Lead singer Jenny Rosander , also known as her solo act Lydmor, gave a praise worthy performance, though she at times seemed a bit shaky and nervous when going for the higher notes. But when she really pulled through she did it with such excellence, with intense soaring vocals not unlike Kate Bush on”Wuthering Heights”. This indeed fitting for the music, where each piece equally demanded attention and every track could be used for a movie soundtrack.
Rossander might be the lead vocalist but when guitarist Thorben Seierø Jensen took the lead with his soft but demanding voice on one particular track, it helped So-So Echo in moving out of the predictable.
Enigmatic electronic pop rock was delivered which included a new track in Danish as well. Rossander described this as the bands ‘lovechild’ seeing as all their other songs are in English. This added some extra diversity but in the end it strayed too much from the clear line that can be found in all their other tracks
A post-punk apocalyptic rock band with haunting vocals and terrifying beats
Consisting of Simon Littauer and Mads Bergland + drummer, Broke is rock with distortions, synth and good old drums and a deafening guitar. Having toured with the with the electronic punk rock group Reptile Youth, one would expect the crowd to have been waiting for these guys. But when Broke finally took the stage (an hour later than planned) the crowd seemed curious but not that interested. With this sort of chemistry and a performance that was at times very introverted and trance inducing, the connection between the Broke and the crowd at times seemed totally lost.
The quality of the music was without a doubt very impressive. Broke never seemed to really miss a beat or catch a sweat. Simon Littauer created a burning, dark and haunting soundscape with his buffet of drum pads and other gadgets, and Mads Bergland went into another world when given his guitar solo. In the end it seemed like Broke finally realised that they had lost their crowd a long the way and had to get them back on track somehow. This included Bergland jumping down to the crowd, giving hugs and even big kiss for this reporter (yikes!).
Though it is highly unbelievable that they tried to save themselves from a bad review through kisses (cough cough) it worked in getting the spectators more involved.
Too bad that it took so long for them to reach out and get the people going, cause it resulted in Broke delivering a grand party with so few participants.
Taragana Pyjarama [2.5/5]
Quality electronic live Dj-ish performance
Taragana Pyjarama came around and displayed a collage of sounds, both very clear and distorted, bringing in bits of Super Mario going down a drain and a hard hitting strumming bass.
This was one of the few performances at the festival that seemed a bit off. T.P. Didn’t really make an effort to introduce themselves or their tracks to the listeners, so it ended up being a little too much like any other DJ performance that you could see in any other club. Obviously the guys had brought a long their own tracks which were without a doubt nurtured through caring hands (hence the high quality) and sense for detail but there was such a lack in elements that would differ the tracks from each other, that you could easily see that the spectators slowly forgot to listen and were more focused on who was going to buy the next beer or dragging friends along for a smoke outside.
Bits of vocals would make a tremendous difference, fabricated or real, as this would help people notice and recognize each track, instead of just hearing a thundering bass line, and thus Taragana Pyjarama was ‘unfairly’ overlooked