CTM 2017’s exploration of Norwegian artists will kick off with clips from the film "Northern Disco Lights" and a discussion with director Ben Davis and veteran producer Bjørn Torske.
The film documents the musical undertakings of a group of curious teenagers from a northern Norwegian town called Tromsø and traces the development of a vibrant dance music scene in the Scandinavian territory close to the Arctic Circle. The tightly knit group of artists and friends started radio stations, built synthesizers and organized parties as a hedonistic, creative call to arms in a life-affirming battle against odds. The story presented in the screening will be brought to life in a series of appearances throughout the festival by up-and-coming Norwegian producers associated with the Norwegian Space Disco scene.
The scene’s style is a sparkling cocktail of spacious, blissful sounds – the unlikely fruit of isolating, harsh conditions. The music’s warmth seems to be a direct compensation – or a melting confrontation – for the frigid Arctic temperatures, and its gregarious, festive, euphoric pull directly combats the alienation induced by geographical remoteness and the introverted gloom induced by long winter nights. Diskjokke and Bjørn Torske, two of the artists featured in the film, will appear at the festival’s opening club night at Panorama Bar. On the same programme are representatives from the next generation of Norwegian producers: SHAPE-supported Boska and Charlotte Bendiks will both premiere live sets (Boska will perform on his own and then add percussion for Bendiks’s act). Later in the week, Karima, a former resident of the Oslo club Jaeger, will play in a different programme at Panorama Bar.
The focus on Norwegian artists extends outside the bounds of the conventional dancefloor thanks to further talents Jenny Hval featuring Skrap, Stine Janvin Motland, and Morten Olsen, the human drummer of fluxus techno outfit N.M.O.
Outspoken feminist artist Hval will make an appearance in the wake of a sobering experience of touring in the USA during the election. Her CTM performance created together with experimental duo Skrap will expand from her recent album, Blood Bitch, to respond to the prevalence of impulsive, hype-fed and emotion-driven politics in the USA and elsewhere. Blood Bitch was produced together with noise artist Lasse Marhaug and is the first, according to Hval to revisit her roots in Norwegian Black Metal. It investigates the subject of menstrual blood, "the white and red toilet roll chain which ties together the virgins, the whores, the mothers, the witches, the dreamers, and the lovers." It also entertains stories of vampires and jet-lagged, black-haired artists, and channels "the smell of warm leaves and winter."
Stavanger-born, Berlin-based vocalist Stine Janvin Motland’s work is dedicated to exploring the ambiguous and unrecognisable qualities of the voice via imitation and abstract storytelling. In her latest project, "Fake Synthetic Music," she imitates multilayered synthetic sequences with uncanny precision. The result is an ambitious testament to technique, discipline, and acute talent in both listening and mimicry. It is a deconstructed, organicised rave; a fierce, dry, cerebral, exploration; and a tribute to pioneers of electronic music past and present.
Supported by Music Export Norway. Charlotte Bendiks, Boska, Stine Janvin Motland and N.M.O. are further supported by the SHAPE Platform that is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.