The more beardy half of De Fantastiske To is back with more of his floor filling tech-disco bombs straight from the heart of Oslo.
Full Fres leads the charge with a nagging riff, filtered pad and swinging drums. An acid arp brings the top end as the music works its hypnotic magic in to peaktime madness.
Regnværsdag keeps the analogue synth feel but takes a deeper route at the breaks with minor key pads and keyboard stylings for wonderful results.
Finally Teppefall takes a tribal drum loop and puts it through the Rave-enka disco machine. A driving bass pushes the dancers before a gorgeous chord change and arp bring the happy vibes.
Justin Robertson – “Massive…will hammer to bits”
Harri (Sub Club) – “Liking all of these….will play and support”
Fingerman – “Lovely warm vibes. Cheers!”
James Rod – 10/10
Anthony Mansfield – “Chunky jams for proper ravelording.”
Nutritious – “Deep, fuzzmatic, tropical. Tiki Disco!”
Olle Abstract – “Good stuff. Teppefall is the main track for me!”
Robot 84 – “All three tracks sounding great, Full Fres & Regnvaersdag doing it for me…”
Francisco Azpiri (Soundersons) – “Like it very much, for sure on my set ¡¡¡ thanks ¡¡¡”
Found Sounds – “Liking this”
After three years in the making, our film Northern Disco Lights covering the birth and rise of Norwegian dance music has been released, well received, competed at film festivals, won an award, been shown on TV and is now streaming on Red Bull TV. We have just had a big show at London’s Village Underground and the promo cycle is pretty much over, except for one final road trip.
Team NDL are headed to the place that is the most northern bit of Northern Norway…with Viking horns on. In fact, it’s the northern most settlement in the world –Svalbård.
Since seeing Carl Christian Lein Størmer, Per and Aggie Martinsen’s brilliant film Ghost Radio Hunter (go seek) it’s been caught in our imaginations and we’ve been trying to get there ever since. There are more polar bears than people (approx. 3000 / 2400), it’s pitch black for 6 months of the year and has a deserted Soviet mining town. It’s as far North from Tromsø as Tromsø is from Oslo and it’s next stop, the North Pole.
After much manoeuvring, Per (Mental Overdrive) managed to arrange a trip to the island for a screening and party with Mental Overdrive live, myself (Flash Atkins) and the mighty Bjørn Torske. Pete Jenkinson (producer) is along for the trip but unfortunately, the third cog in the production team, camera wizz Terje Rafaelsen won’t be as he’s working. He’ll be missed.
It’s hard to know what to expect from the party but the first thing that comes to mind is Gruff Rhys wearing a robot head in the Patagonian outback and playing to a room full of bemused locals in in his excellent film, Separado! We shall see.
So it’s time to practise my gun skills (everybody carries them in case of bear attacks) and stock up on vitamin D.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9
An over night stay in Tromsø where we catch up with Terje and nail the duty free. The city used to feel a long way North, not any more. Forecast for Longyearbyen, -1 and 6 metres per second wind that will make it feel like -10. Coats and snow boots are borrowed.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10
We get on the once daily flight and take off for the Arctic with additional decks, CDJs and flight cases in tow. It’s an hour and forty minutes and a very strange sensation as it gets steadily darker outside. It really does feel like we are flying into the abyss, especially when the wind picks up and things get pretty choppy. As we start to descend, the aircraft is pushed and pulled around and there is still nothing to see outside. Suddenly landing lights appear at eye height and it’s white-knuckle time. Everybody seems to be holding their breath and there’s a collective exhale as we touch the ground.
So here we are in Longyearbyen, the world’s most Northernmost settlement. We are greeted by Jan Martin Berg (our host for the weekend and the man who put it all together) and Per, and we hook up with Bjørn Torske and Nicolas Horne who’s doing the visuals. Then it’s out in to the wilderness. Town is a few kilometres away but we take a diversion to the “Doomsday” Svalbård Global Seed Vault that stores over a million packets of seeds. It is backup for the world’s other 1,750 banks in case of regional or global crises and it certainly seems like we may need it at the moment.
The rough track climbs up in to the mountain and it seems like we are on another planet, dark, barren and cold. The entrance is just a door with some kind of light installation over the top that makes it feel even more sci-fi. You know when they first get to the cave in Prometheus, like that.
Back in the car we bombard Jan-Martin with questions; how cold does it get (-25 degrees), do you really need a gun for polar bears (yes), do they come in to town (occasionally), how long between the 24 hour dark nights and sun (5 weeks, it changes 20 minutes a day), what’s the most difficult season (it depends on who you ask, but the 24 hour daylight sends people crackers). We find out that all the power comes from the last remaining coal-fired power station in Norway and the irony of it being next door to the seed bank is not lost on us.
The majority of the town is heated by water pipes still hot from cooling down the coal furnaces. It seems to be the only power solution as it’s too gusty for turbines, there is no electricity from the mainland and you can’t dig cables in to the permafrost. Everybody has to have a job and if you are ill or too old to care for yourself, you are shipped out. The main industry was mining, most of which have been shut down and the average stay for Norwegians is 6.3 years, but for foreigners (of which there are over 50 nationalities), 4.3. Everything is shipped in and nothing can grow.
But none of these statistics get over how weird it is. It really does feel like we are at the end of the world and that humans shouldn’t be here. If the power went down, things would go south very quickly.
At the hotel we dump our bags and head straight into town, which is basically one main street with a few shops, bars, diners and a small supermarket. Longyearbyen runs up the middle of a massive valley with mountains on either side. It’s cold and we’re hungry and the café we go to ticks all the stereotypical boxes; wall to wall pine, arctic photos and dead animals everywhere. We then have a look around the shops, most notably one that specialises in every hide imaginable including seal, badger, wolf, reindeer (which now looks great on my bed), brown and polar bears, which come from the Canadian Inuits who are allowed to hunt the bears. But it still seems pretty wrong. I ask if they have any under the counter dodos, they don’t…. or so they say. The polar bears could well be on the endangered list because they have all been killed and stuffed, virtually every building we go in has one, some wearing boxing gloves.
We pop in for a brew with Per’s mother-in-law, Eva Grøndal who is one of the few people to have been born here as her mother hid the pregnancy until it was too late to leave for the mainland (you’re not allowed to give birth on Svalbård). She and Per told us about how her house was destroyed in an avalanche the previous year as a result of global warming in the Arctic, due to above average snowfall.
Once evening came it felt a bit more normal to be in the dark, so we go for a dinner of reindeer (what else?) with the Tromsø KOFOR / RYK crowd and talk about how we can promote Norway in the UK on the back of the film. Then it’s on to the Svalbård Brewery bar on an industrial estate that is jumping with plenty of young beardy, outdoorsy types. When that shuts down we’re off to the Karlsberger Pub which is the local’s drinking hole. It’s going full bore and no surprises considering there are at least 350 bottle of spirits on display and a ceiling that touches your head. We promise ourselves we will go home early to save our energy for tomorrow when suddenly its 2am and last orders are called….whoops.
SATURDAY, 11 NOVEMBER
We wake late in the dark and go for breakfast in the dark, ready for a day in the dark. It constantly feels like 6pm and I can only equate it to having jetlag. There’s a trip out of town to see some huskies and with the horizontal wind rocking the car, you realize just how hostile the environment is.
Off to the sound check at the Kulturhuset and the room is a big hall with brilliant facilities. Its a bit ‘dry’ which will be great for the film, less so for the party. After all the excitement there’s time for a disco nap then over to Eva Grøndal’s gallery, just out of town. I ask Aggie if it’s safe to walk and she isn’t 100% sure as there’s a stretch of road where there are no houses to run in to if there’s a bear. Crikey. The other danger is getting knocked over by vehicles in the dark so everybody is high-vized up to the max. We cadge a lift.
Eva’s mother and father took over 14,000 photos, mainly on Svalbård. She is curating them and they are amazing, like a lost treasure trove from a by-gone era. I look forward to them get the appreciation and audience they deserve.
At dinner (seal carpaccio is on the menu…Pete steps up) we find out that something has gone wrong with the bar in the venue so we’ll have to find somewhere else. It all gets exciting for everybody except Jan-Martin who has his head in his hands as we talk cafés, rooms and sound systems. Truth be known, we are slightly disappointed when the issue gets resolved after 40 minutes and we are back in the Kulturhuset.
At the screening, it’s pretty quiet as it seems word hasn’t really got out. The film kicks off and those that are there, enjoy it. Afterwards Mental Overdrive starts things cooking with a live modular setup that drifts from ambient noodlings in to sublime techno with plenty of cuts from his new album, “Epilogue” on Prins Thomas’ Rett I Fletta label. More people have turned up and we’ve got a party on our hands as Per proceeds to rock it. He is without question one of the great un-sung heroes of Norwegian dance music.
Next, I am going B2B with Bjørn Torske, in my opinion one of the world’s best DJs and most original producers, so I’m super chuffed. The system is immense and those records that sound like they’ve got a bit of grunt at home are suddenly bloody massive. We soon get in to a groove as house gets mixed in to disco and back again: Ulfus’ Guts! – (Funky Gibbons Dub), Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchetra – Too Much Information (Laolu Remix Edit), Solid State – Philly Live (Rack’em Edit), DJ Click – Lila Club and finishing off with Brassroots – Good Life. High sweat manoeuvres achieved.
Party over, it’s back to the hotel bar to see the night out and we bombard the locals with questions they must have asked a hundred times before. There’s also talk of how to get back for another party so watch this space.
SUNDAY, 12 NOVEMBER
We start on the two-day trip back to Blighty feeling a bit shell shocked by the experience. It is without question one of the strangest places I have ever been. The proximity to nature and elements, climate and geography and just the isolation makes for a something very weird and wonderful.
Hear two tracks from Mental Overdrive’s live set.
What were clubs playing before they got switched on to dance music?”
“Mostly shit music”
The untold story of a group of teenagers from the remote cities of Bergen and Tromsø set off a chain of events that transform their country.
We are truly excited to announce the screening of the incredible documentary, Northern Disco Lights. In a country where the ripples of disco were never able to reach, it takes an entire new generation to discover the unstoppable force of dance music.
The first half of this evening will feature the Northern Disco Lights screening, beginning at 8pm sharp and with just 200 tickets available. Followed by a Q+A with the film’s creators and Lindstrom and Bjorn Torske who feature in the film.
After the screening, we’ll be throwing a party til the early hours. With Norwegian space-disco wizard, Lindstrom, performing live along with fellow Norwegian cosmic disco star Bjorn Torske. North London duo Idjut Boys, Bill Brewster and resident Dorado. To complete this cosmic lineup is Flash Atkins, director of the Northern Lights film.
Film Trailer – https://goo.gl/ZL4C2L
Entry from 7pm
Film Screening + Party – £30 (limited 200 tickets)
Entry from 10pm
Party 1st release – £15
Party 2nd release – £17.50
Party 3rd release – £20
19:00 – 20:00 – Flash Atkins opening Dj Set
20:00 – 21:15 - Film Screening
21:15 – 21:45 – Q&A
21:45 – 06:00 – Amazing music
Tom and Col have dusted off their high tops and asked the Paper Allstars to give their favourite album track a rub-down.
Richard Seaborne went for Papa and has kept some 80s flava while stripping things back to the raw groove as only he can. There’s a boogie house bass, a rock sold kick, shaky hats and GizMo adding some warped vocals. Oh, and did I mention the acid?
Leon Sweet returns to the fold and it’s good to have him back on Slow Down. Clipped tech-house drums and hypnotic synths burble along, all held down by a kick that carries some serious weight. Using the chiming and vocals from the original, the track builds to a crescendo that will melt dance floors.
Finally Norway’s finest, Magnus International goes breakbeat with a nod to the glory days of rave as he uses plenty of the original track to weave it’s weave it’s 5am magic.
Vinny Villbass is one of the Norwegian artists emerging from the shadows of the Oslo house scene. He co-runs and plays at the seminal Sunkissed, has had releases on Beatservice and Eskimo and is the mustachioed man about town . This is his debut for Paper and we are very pleased to welcome him in to the label’s Nordic family.
En Liten Pose Selvtillit is deep house at it’s finest and harks back to the early Tromsø techno scene pioneered by Biosphere and Mental Overdrive. Crisp production, clipped swinging beats and percussion plus an incessant bass make this one for the summer, before the track builds to a synth break that wobbles it’s way in to the world of the weird.
Kahytten (Full Fest Versjon) has a pulse and drive that will get any club rocking. Loose congas, synth riff, locked in bottom end and a wandering synth hypnotise in to a full blooded dancefloor destroyer. The studio trickery ramps up and we’ve got a fight on our hands.
Kahytten takes the template in a slightly different direction with more pads and if you try hard enough you can hear the sound of the Oslo fjord in the background.
Norwegian young guns De Fantastiske To are back with two tracks that lift their game to the heavyweight division.
When I Want To is a stripped back vocal bomb. Machine drums and a nagging stab bring the swing before Della’s understated vocals set the soul. Equally at home in big rooms or sweaty basements from London to Sydney, this packs a massive underground punch.
Next up, Skumring keeps things subterranean but drops the BPMS to the chug setting. Clanking percussion, sub and an acid line draw you in to hypnosis before the break introduces a balearic pad and synth line. Then the drums are back and it’s a trip to the end.
Harri (Sub Club) – “Lovely warm up material”
Anthony Mansfield – “Strong release!”
Pete Herbert – “Excellent”
Tronik Youth – “Love Skumring”
Billy Scurry – “Yep, feeling these, very much!! Top work!”
Gold Boy (Midnight Riot) – “Nice work fellas”
Vinny Villbass – “Great tracks. heavy rotation.”
Aldrin Zouk – “Fab slo-slung builder on Skumming! Thanks!!”
Nick Holder (DNH) – “FIRE!”
Francisco Azpiri – “Hard to choose ¡¡¡, both mixes are excellent ¡¡¡ looking forward to spin them in Mexico clubs ¡¡¡”
James Rod -“BIG SUPPORT”
Somerville & Wilson – “Fantastic release from De Fantastiske!! Love both tracks. Especially When I Want To for the Dancefloor”
Richard Seaborne – “Ace…Norway meets Lil Louis”
Icelandic groove warrior B.G. Baarregaard is back on Paper Disco with an EP written after a move to the Norwegian town of Aal. Avoiding the use of samples it’s modern flipped out good time music for feet and floors wherever they may be.
AMR is modern disco with a popping NRG acid bass, funky keys, some Nile guitar and everything you need for a disco ball moment. Just when you think you’ve got it nailed the chord changes and off it goes again.
From the first bass and chords of Kulturhuset you know summer is well and truly on the way. If house music wore a grin then this would have one a mile wide. Stabbing chords, jumping drums and tuned percussion bring the sunshine.
Finally Mestringskatten is the deepest track of the package but still has that 80s synth sound. It’s in beach bar mode with plenty of twinkling and balearic sensibility ideal for sinking a Pina Colada on the Adriatic. So when you’re sat there thinking I know this this one, well this is it!
Yam Who? : “Bjorn providing the special goody bag!”
Sleazy McQueen : “My favorite Iceland-cum-Ål transplant is quite at home surrounded by icy soundscapes, bouncing, round bass and latin percussion. It’s a treat to hear him develop as an artist through the years.”
Fingerman: “Nice chuggy numbers. Kulturhuset stands out for me. First rate :)”
Get Down Edits: “Proper, This is cosmic disco at its best, top quality!”
Daco “Great EP with lots of bounce!”
ROBOT 84 : “Nice summer vibes!”
Chris Massey Music: “Mastringskattan sounding cooler than a Calippo Cucumber here….full support and will give this a few trial runs”
Cosmic Capers Radio Show : “Mestringskattens cosmic swirls gets the vote for me on this one, nice tune.”
Pete Herbert : “Love ’em”
Bad Barbie : Lovely laid back summer meanderings”
Neil Diablo : “Sexy ep! amr is my favorite”
Diskobeistet’s Birkelunden EP touched on the classic paper sound with added Norwegian vocals and was a hot one for us last year. So hot in fact that now we’ve stuck it through the remix machine just in time for summer.
Vinny Villbass takes it across the ocean and gives it a stripped back NYC spin. The result is a no messing, late night jacked up workout with added hypnotising synth shots and rolling drums & percussion but still retaining the original hooky chords.
Richard Seaborne never fails and this time he channels the spirit of Todd Terry by way of Leeds. Machine gun snares, filtered bass and keys aim straight between the eyes and score a bullseye for dance floor dynamite.
Haugli takes the groove deep but his mix ramps up deceptively with a three note synth rolling bassline that steams along like a lost take on a Johnny Cash session. Chords & pads from the original swirl in & out to up the cosmic ante for a very playable slice of modern dance music.
Boxing things off is new track Dypet that rolls a phatty and thumbs a lift to the after party. Lazy, hazy almost broken beats with some serious enticing synth sounds and basslines make this a definite addition to any discerning post club mixtape.
Mark Farina: “Liking this release a lot…very nice!”
Pete Herbert: “Excellente.. played the orig a lot.. liking the remixes too”
Rahaan: “Very Nice!”
Harri (Sub Club): “liking most of these….hard to pick a favourite!”
Fernando: “Really good all round! great ep. Play, play, play”
Rune Lindbæk: “Haugli mix is the one for me!”
Severino: “Great sexy remix from Haugli”
Nutritious: “Cool set of remixes. Dig all of em! Thanks!”
Kahuun: “Nice release. Vinny Villbass and the original for me. Full support”
Wrighty (Soul Buggin’): “Vinny Villbass mix is spot on for my dancefloor”
80’s Child: “Seaborne rocking this for me top stuff!!!”
Bad Barbie: “Feeling the Summer lilt of Dypet”
Duncan Gray: “LOVE the Vinny Villbass version but all mixes are v cool. Dypet is a great little downtempo bonus too. Great release.”
Norwegian young guns De Fantastiske To have come up with three brand new basement blasters for their new Monokrom EP.
It kicks off with the title track that is a straight up deep tech houser packing a vocal punch. Snapping percussion, detuned synth stabs, acid squelch and a large bassline are all present and correct as the sultry vocal stylings of their fellow countryman OST make it a certified killer!
Litt Dristig keeps things murky and a little hypnotic with swirly pads & organ chords then some stubby synth shots that ensure this party is kept subterranean. Proper deep house and not a vest in sight!
Sensommer goes jacking whilst keeping an eye firmly on the dance floor. Beats & bass start the party off and keep everything in check until some almost balearic disco pads & synths bring an element of sunrise to the forefront while the arps go twinkly.
Paper’s resident rodent and all round rotter Flash Atkins manages to stay off the juice long enough to turn in a full on, heads down tech edged banger that should be only played in the darkest of Berlin dark rooms.
Neil Diablo – Monokrom is pretty heavy!
Billy Scurry – Great release, looking forward to hearing Sensommer on a beach in the near future, but the Flash rmx steals it for me.
Danielle Moore (Crazy P) – Nice grooves on here with some quality skippy rhythms!
Goldboy – These guys always deliver the goods.
ROBOT 84 – Hard to pick a winner on here, all killer… thanks!!!
Get Down Edits – Cracking release, look forward to playing these.
Pathaan – NICE
Kahuun – Nice deep release for the dancefloors. The original Monokrom with Ost on vocals is a pure killer track. The Flash remix is on a strong second position.
Mental Overdrive – Flash mix for me. More off-centre than originals.
Severino Panzetta (Horse Meat Disco) – YES i like this.