Words: Michael Lawson
2016 has been a big year for Denmark-based techno collective, Apeiron Crew. Not only have they solidified their position at the forefront of Copenhagen’s club scene with a former residency at the celebrated Culture Box; they’ve also established an ever-growing reputation further afield, turning heads with performances in Berlin, London and at Krakow’s Unsound Festival amongst others.
The music you’re likely to hear in an Apeiron Crew set seems perfectly suited to Copenhagen's long winter nights: cold, uncompromising techno and electro, often paired with grittier, more industrial-informed tracks.
Alongside Mama Snake and Smokey, Glasgow-born Solid Blake makes up one third of the crew. Real name Emma Blake (her alias is a play on Metal Gear Solid protagonist Solid Snake), she previously worked as a producer at Glasgow’s highly-influential student radio station, Subcity Radio, before moving to Copenhagen and taking up DJ’ing. Refusing to restrict herself, she's recently turned her hand to the production side of things too, with a forthcoming release on London imprint, Brokntoys, in early 2017.
This Friday (16th) Blake brings her dark and heavy techno to Nightrave at La Cheetah Club, in what promises to be a genre-defying night. Featuring alongside the bass and footwork of Hyperdub heavyweight, Kode9, support comes from Nightrave founder and Heka Trax label boss, Nightwave, plus trusty La Cheetah resident, Wardy.
Ahead of the party, Solid Blake has provided us with a selection of her favourite Danish Exports, selecting tracks and producers that have made a real impression on her since she moved from Glasgow to Copenhagen:
CENTRAL. - EASY (Nord Records)
"Central is Natal Zaks from the Aarhus-based label projects Regelbau and Help Recordings. I love the stuff that these guys have been doing over the past couple of years, but this one in particular has an amazing groove that I haven’t heard much on other records from Danish producers. That slow buildup gets me really excited every time I hear it – it’s such a good one to start a set with to get people moving."
"Smerz are actually from Norway, but have been active on the Danish scene for long enough that I feel like we can claim them as a ‘Danish act’ now. They make these really cold, emotionally distant pop tracks that are especially powerful when played live. This performance for NTS coincided with the release of their new LP ‘Okey’, which I bought from them in person the day it came out and have been playing at home constantly since then."
SØS GUNVER RYBERG - 1170 SIVA (BARE BONES) [CNTRT006]
"SØS Gunver Ryberg is a composer and sound artist who makes these ultra-textured immersive tracks and super expressive live sets. Again, she’s an artist who is definitely worth hearing live if possible, but she has also been involved in some really interesting projects outside of venues, including working on the music and sound design for Danish indie game 'Inside'."
MISANTROP - THEY DON'T KNOW (Foul-Up)
"When I first arrived in Denmark I used to go and see this guy play house and disco at a club called Dunkel, where I met a lot of people who turned into some of my closest friends. The record is really varied in terms of influences, and displays how knowledgeable he is as a producer and listener. I chose this track because it’s a total banger that would fit well into my sets, but it’s all great stuff on there. I’m very excited to hear what’s up next from him."
CTRLS - NONUSER (Token)
"Ctrls is probably Denmark’s biggest export when it comes to techno, although he also made a lot of drum’n’bass and house in the past under different aliases as well. He has such a distinctive signature sound; this jarring, weirdo techno that works on the dancefloor in a really unconventional way. He’s also very active in the local scene in Copenhagen, giving production tips and tricks in his home studio to producers in training, and providing sage advice on just about everything else to those in need."