KALTBLUT MAGAZINE: KASPER BJORKE

KasperBjorke_by_RasmusWengKarlsen_5

KASPER BJØRKE ‘AFTER FOREVER’ ALBUM – RELEASE DATE 22.09.2014 Dark melancholic beats take you on an aural journey with Kasper Bjorke’s latest album ‘After Forever’. Not your typical dance record Bjorke’s fourth solo album captures the essence of club music without having an obvious sounding dance track vibe. Favouring the likes of cult bands such as Depeche Mode and The Cure – Bjorke entertains the idea of a fresh approach to 80’s sounds with a slightly slower and colder feel than with his previous releases. Featuring a bunch of collaborators from around the world ‘After Forever’ makes for a carefully curated musical masterpiece.

You have some amazing artists that are on your new album. How did these collaborations come together?

I have basically been contacting everyone myself. I was making instrumental tracks with specific vocalists in mind and then approached them and sent them the demo, asking them if they had any ideas for vocals and if they would like to feature on the track. Luckily for me, most of them said yes. Jaakko Eino Kalevi also came up with some synths and live drums besides vocals for the track ‘TNR’, which was really great to have as well to implement. The track ‘Sylvia’ with CTM we actually made together from scratch in the Red Bull Studio in Copenhagen over three intense days. This is where I also recorded drums for the album with MØ´s drummer, Rasmus Littauer. Some of the other vocalists like Nomi Ruiz (ex Hercules & Love Affair) recorded her vocals in NYC. Tobias Buch who featured on the first single ‘Rush’ recorded his vocals in LA and the Icelandic girl group Sisy Ey recorded their vocal parts in Reykjavik. So, it came together from a lot of places in the world. One of my dearest friends in NYC is also a bass and synth player (Kurt Uenala), so we recorded stuff for four tracks on the album during ten days last November. Kurt recently co-wrote the songs with Dave Gahan on the last Depeche Mode album in his studio in New York. It was pretty great to have some of that vibe into the music as well. I’m a huge Depeche Mode fan!

What turns do you think your sound has taken since you first started? 

I think I have become more focused on developing my own sound and not trying to sound like the producers I was looking up to or listening to at the time. Through that I have become a better producer as well.
You live in Copenhagen but what city do you think you get the most from musically?

I get very inspired when I travel and I think I have done parts of all my four albums in New York. That city has an energetic impact on me for sure and I travel there at least twice a year. A lot of the music I listen to and get inspired by from the past 30-40 years comes from New York, so I guess that’s why I am so much into that scene.
Having worked in a number of different cities what are your thoughts on the DJing community in Copenhagen?

I mainly travel out of the country to DJ these days so I don’t really keep track of what’s going on. I mainly DJ at specific nights where I curate the line-up or its bigger one off events, like festivals. We have some cool festivals here like Roskilde, Distortion – and from next year also Sonar Festival (I am actually taking part in the curation of the line-up). Back in 2006-2008 there was a cool and fun club scene in Copenhagen with some really nice venues. Now it’s mainly about the smaller bars – and honestly, they book DJ’s with very low standards. I think I just got too old for taking part in that scene too (laughs). There is a small but strong underground DJ community though and mainly one club that has a proper line-up these days called Culture Box. The bookers are very uncompromising and I have invited DJ’s such as Axel Boman and John Talabot to come in and play there with me. But the actual crowd who appreciates that is very small…

Is there a story behind the name ‘After Forever’?

It’s actually named after a painting by the American Artist John Copeland. I acquired that particular piece from his gallery and then I met him at last years Roskilde Festival and we got to talk about music and stuff. I asked him if he would be up for painting something for my album – and John said yes. We kept in touch and I visited him in his studio in Brooklyn. At one point we just agreed that what fitted the album best was actually the piece I had hanging on my wall at home. The title really made sense to me. It has this universal, cosmic feel that I really like – especially as a contrast to the quite graphic and somehow violent visual side,

How would you describe your musical process?

It’s quite intense because I also work with music management (I manage Trentemoller, Reptile Youth and other artists). Once I actually go into my studio it’s because I’m inspired to work and I have an idea that I want to get out of my system. Then I go back and forth and work and alter and finalise the track over a longer period. I am quite efficient and I’m not a studio rat that sits making beats for 12 hours with pizza slices all around me. That’s just the way I feel comfortable and inspired to work. I think if I had too much time I would never be able to finish anything. I would just keep on changing the track and maybe even start over and over.

Do you have a gig that sticks in your mind the most?

My first gig at Panorama Bar, it was around 2 years ago. I was playing so much around that time and travelling like crazy, so I was actually tired of playing and didn’t really enjoy it as much as I used to. Around 5 days before the gig I started to get butterflies in my stomach and prepared like crazy. Once I got into that DJ booth at Panorama Bar I had the most amazing four-hour DJ set. I was so into it and really felt the love from the crowd. That’s part of why it’s so special – apart from the great sound and all it’s the layout of the room and the one-to-one feeling you get with the audience. It gave me a lot of new energy that I could run on for months after. There is definitely a pre and post Panorama Bar for me – as there are for many other DJs who play there. It really is that great.

You’ve got such an extensive list of different projects… So, what’s next?

I am producing a new album for the Danish artist Jacob Bellens that will be released next year. I’m also doing some remixes and a new EP with my side-duo project The Mansisters. A busy fall and winter ahead…

Images by Rasmus Weng Karlsen.

To read my original post from Kaltblut please click here.

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