Thursday, 13 March 2008
INTERVIEW with POWERBLYTT RECORDS
They kindly answered our questions and gave us a minimix to go with this extended interview.
The minimix is a teaser of the tracks on 'Powerblytt Myths Volume 1' 12" which is in the shops the 26th of march! no need for a longer intro here, the interview tells it all!
'Powerblytt Myths Volume 1. cover art by Grandpeople'
(i would love it if some art-critic or art something would annalyze this cover for Untz Untz.please contact me if you know what this means!)
You have to listen to the minimix while you read this!
Powerblytt Myths Volume 1 Teaser
1.Frost - One Hundred Years (Skatebård Remix)
2.The Work - Givin' It Up (Njaal Remix),
3.Juvelen - Watch Your Step (Krazyfiesta Remix)
4.Njaal - Crush
Q & A:
who are you?
We are Kjersti and Lars Jacob. That being said, we are also the electronic pop duo The Work, and we release our tracks on the Powerblytt label. The label is in fact our own, which also means that we are Powerblytt. Is Powerblytt only a record label? No, it is also a monthly club night (previously at the Landmark venue in Bergen, now at the Strædet venue in the same town). So we are also the Powerblytt club night. When we are DJing at the Powerblytt club night we are usually referred to as Frøken Blytt and Powerlars, whereas we usually DJ under the "The Work" moniker when we play in other cities and abroad.
where are you from?
We live in Bergen. Kjersti was born and raised here, while Lars Jacob comes from a small place called Langevåg farther north on the Norwegian west coast. He has lived in Bergen for almost 10 years, which practically makes him a Bergensian (is that even a word?). They say it takes 10 years to become a New Yorker, so we reckon it should take approximately the same time to become a proper citizen of Bergen.
when did you start making music?
We've made music separately for a long time, but in 2002 we formed The Work and started making tracks. Our first three projects were (1) a now-deleted cover version of J.D. Jaber's italo hit Don't Wake Me Up, (2) a scruffy, early-Madonna-influenced remix of Datarock's I Used To Dance With My Daddy and (3) the track Givin' It Up, which became the A-side on our first 12" in 2006.
how would you catagorize your music?
Fancy electronic pop music for people who love pop music and who love to be on the dance floor
whats your influences?who is your heroes?
What are we not influenced by? Usually, in the media and such, we get the 80s label slapped on us, which strikes us as a bit odd. Alright, so the 80s was a period full of great electronic pop music, so you naturally become influenced by stuff like the Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Madonna, New Romantic, Italo and whatnot. However, we are equally inspired by 1996, 2001 and 2007 as by 1982, 1985 and 1987. Well, anyway, moving beyond specific points in time, we're obviously influenced by big cities, dark night clubs, street glamour, cars driving along the coast, horses (more on that later), broken hearts, fixed hearts and empty beaches. In terms of music, we are influenced by classic house tracks with big vocals (think Chip E's If You Only Knew), the big entertainers (think Morrissey), timeless pop songs (think God Only Knows) and generally any song that is based on the "cliché? no, it's a classic trick!"-logic. Heroes? Our friends.
whats your dayjobs(if you have one), when your not recording, djing, touring etc.?
Kjersti is a nursing student while Lars Jacob is doing a PhD at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration.
'The Work @ Ekko Festival 07'
what do you do for fun when you have time off?
Quite frankly, we don't have much time off, between our dayjobs, making music, DJing, running the label and such. However, we love to drive around in our kick-ass Volvo 240. The farther, the better. We also like to have/attend big dinner parties. Who doesn't?
what music are you listening to this month other then your own?
We're always listening to a whole lot of new stuff from blogs, DJ-sets, etc etc - and of course a lot of it is good, while some of it isn't. However, when it comes to things that have given us a kick lately, the Shinichi Osawa-remix of Rubies' new track Stand In A Line (out on Tellé in April!) is absolutely astonishing! No disrespect to Rubies, but the way Mr Osawa has transformed a nice-but-no-more-than-nice track to This Year's Big ThingTM is really amazing. Huge track! Heart attack alert! Also, we're listening to a lot of French Touch v1.0 tracks these days, like We In Music and old Roulé stuff. Timeless! And as always, we're immersed into beautiful pop tracks (cf. above).
the focus on you guys beeing a couple, is that annoying and taking some focus away from the music you think?
We wouldn't say annoying, since we are indeed a couple - and we have to relate to it similarly as two brothers in the same band or whatever. It does however create some conflict of interest when we're being interviewed, since journalists always want to make it a cute angle ("sit really really close and look at each other while smiling!"). In our opinion, it isn't very relevant for our music, though. Apart from the fact that we get to work more efficiently since we live together.
its good then that this interview is not in an cute angle!this i serious!SERIOUS I TELL YOU! but this is the cutest couple in Bergen!:)
is there any other releases than 'Powerblytt Myths Volume 1' planned this year?is The Work's debut album coming out this year?
Yeah, but we never think more than two steps ahead. So after the Powerblytt Myths Volume 1 12-inch, we have two The Work-releases coming out. First a 12-inch sometime during the summer (the third in the series), and then the album, which hopefully will be out in September. We've been contacted by a few labels regarding the album, though, so if we end up releasing it somewhere else then it's really not our call when it'll be released. Time will tell. Time after time.
swedish artists Juvelen and Krazy Fiesta what can you tell us about them?
Well, Juvelen has been in the limelight in Sweden for a while, and he was nominated for a Grammis award last year. His album isn’t coming out until April, though, so we’re guessing he’ll become a much bigger name throughout Scandinavia this summer. We heard his debut EP when it came out and totally fell in love. He’s kind of a Scandinavian Prince (or TAFKAP) with indie sensibility. Avant-soul! After having listened to his EP for a while, we suddenly heard the Krazy Fiesta remix of his track Watch Your Step on Milano’s Pig Radio, and were instantly sold. We found out it was (incredibly enough) unreleased, so we contacted Juvelen’s label, the brilliant Hybris, and they were glad to let us release it on our 12”. Regarding Krazy Fiesta, they’re a marvelous DJ/remix trio from Gothenburg, and they’ve done a number of spectacular remixes of people like Familjen, Mapei, Fagget Fairys etc etc. Check www.myspace.com/kkkrazyfiesta for a taste of their partyness. Jo-han, who will be representing KF at the release party, also DJs across Europe. There’s a brilliant Krazy Fiesta mixtape on Discobelle that everyone should check out before coming to the party on Friday night. Get warm! We’re expecting Krazy Fiesta to go big in 2008, so Friday night will be a real gem.
is there any remixers you would love to have remix one or more of your tracks? in case they read this!:)
Well, if you're reading this, Thomas Bangalter, meet us at Le Gai Moulin in rue st Merri (4th arrondissement) on Thursday night, and you'll get the remix kit for our new track Don't Stop Me. We have a feeling you'd make a good remix out of it! Seriously, though, there are loads of artists we'd love to be remixed by. The remix is one of our favorite institutions in music. So far, we've been remixed by good folks like Skatebård (Digitalo/Kompakt), Njaal (Powerblytt), Nightmoves (Kitsuné) and Pehrson, and we're always glad when people want to remix our tracks. Of the many people we would love remixes from, Kris Menace, Surkin, Trentemøller and Van She spring to mind. But those were all big and obvious names! How about Bart B More? Or Breakbot?
whats your future plans with the label?
Well, like we said, we tend not to think too far ahead, but we're always looking for ways to develop the whole Powerblytt concept. The new 12" is the most recent attempt at doing so, in terms of moving from only releasing The Work to also releasing other Scandinavian artists who fit under the Powerblytt umbrella and who make electronic popular music that make our knees tremble. We're hoping to build on the Powerblytt Myths series by also including tracks from artists outside Scandinavia (one step at the time) on subsequent volumes, and hopefully to release a Powerblytt Myths compilation CD somewhere down the line. We 're going where the road takes us.
the look on all your covers and poster are always so classy and good looking (i myself have some of the posters on my wall at home) who designs them, and whats with the unicorn horses shooting lasers out their eyes?
Yeah, we're blessed with having a lot of absolutely fantastic people work for us on visuals. Our first two 12-inches are designed by Petri Henriksson (Blank Blank), and he's doing the whole The Work-series (singles and album) based on photography by Kristine Jakobsen. The brilliant Grandpeople did the design for the new Powerblytt Myths Volume 1 12-inch, which features photography by Magne Sandnes of figures created by Magnus Voll Mathiassen. Our beautiful posters are designed by the wonderful Rannveig Lohne, who has really made a great and distinct profile for the Powerblytt club night series. She has also made our new music video for the Don't You Know single together with the handsome Gaute Tenold Aase. Regarding the laser-equipped unicorn horses, they've really become quite a signature. We actually had horses on the very first Powerblytt flyer in October 2005, but back then they hadn't become aware of their laser-based super powers yet. When we start making millions from our 12-inch releases (yeah, right!), we'll invest them in a full scale unicorn horse with actual lasers and bring it on stage. Jean-Michel Jarré style!
sound like a great idea to me! so you like horsing around then?;)
Indeed we do. We have some very nice pictures that were taken of us while we went horseback riding with Asle from the Ekko Festival and his girlfriend. Horse-o-rama!
i bet Asle would love for those pictures to hit the internet:=)
how is the electronic music scene in Bergen theese days? is there any artists we should watch out for?
The scene in Bergen is great, and it has been for a long time. It's great when you're making music/DJing/hosting club nights etc to be part of such a vibrant scene because there are so many people into the same stuff who are constantly pushing the frontiers. Also, Bergen has an awesome club audience, which naturally is a big part of keeping such a scene alive. Obviously, our pick for the artist to look out for is Njaal, who graduated from Powerblytt Junior High a few years ago, and who is now coming out on Powerblytt vinyl for the first time (and indeed on vinyl for the first time altogether), with his remix of our track Givin' It Up, as well as his own track Crush with complementary over-the-top guitar solo. Njaal is of course well known to the Bergen audience, but hopefully 2008 will be the year when he also tours the world/goes to rehab/produces the next Rihanna single. He is also involved in other exciting projects worth looking out for.
congrats with the 'Natt&Dag Bergensprisen' award for Best Club Night.did you expect that?
Thanks! We didn't expect it, and we were in fact doing a live show at the venue next door, but finished just in time to pick up the award. We were very glad to receive it, as it is always nice to get acclaim for what you're doing. This was our third consecutive nomination, and we've been up against some great club nights, so we were pleased to get the award this year. UntzUntz for 2008!
tell me a secret?
We were contacted by Warner Music to do a remix of The Wombats' Moving to New York, but they politely turned down our version. Too many big synths and edgy cymbals, too much take-off, too trancey, too little respect for the artist's original contribution. Paul van Dyk ended up remixing the track instead!
hahah.thats really ironic.they thought your remix was to trancey,and then they go for TRANCEKINGPIN Paul van Dyk instead.funny!
i read in your myspace blog that there are some The Work remixes coming soon?who have you remixed of late?
We’re always in progress with working on different things, but our most recent remixes are Rubies I Feel Electric and the Njaal-produced Fitts For Fight track Ca$h. More to come, though!
whats your favourite trance song of all time, since we are touching that sketchy subject?
No contest! Metal Masters’ Spectrum. That’s what the Autobahn would sound like if Sven Väth was emperor of Germany. Played from big-ass speakers hanging in lamp posts.
and finally: whats your favourite end of the night song?
Chicago’s If You Leave Me Now, perhaps? Or Roxy Music’s More Than This. Maybe even Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. If you’re talking in the non-ballad end of things, though, Grandlife by We In Music. Hoooouuuuse muuuuuusiiiiiiic!
great talking to you Powerblytt People! looking forward to the release-party and all the Myhts and 12" to come!
THE PARTY: to celebrate the release of 'Powerblytt Myths Volume 1' they are throwing a big big big party at Strædet this friday the 14th march. SEE YOU THERE!
(you can buy the 12" at the release party this friday, and it is soon in all the usual shops here in Bergen, Apollon, House of Tellè, Robot etc.)
BONUS:(tack til Jo-Han / KF)
Juvelen - Dont Mess (Krazy Fiesta remix)