Klangkveld #3 and Aéropop Revisited – Bergen, Norway

Earlier this month independent Bergen-based label Klangkollektivet delivered an evening of film, indie and jazz to ease the city’s music community out of any EKKO fest hangover it may have had. Their annual ‘Klangkveld’ nights provide an opportunity for them to showcase their releases from the year, this 3rd instalment serving as a good example of how local labels are carving out a rich and diverse music scene in Bergen.

The focus of the night was on the release of Alexander Von Mehren’s Aéropop Revisited EP – a series of remixed tracks from Mehren’s 2013 full-length debut Aéropop. There was also a lot of attention on newly signed Lumikide, who were there to debut their new single ‘Again’.

Special guest for the evening was Sean O’Hagan – a long-time friend of Mehren’s and a contributor to the Revisited EP. Production credits on Sondre Lerche’s debut album and regular appearances in the city over the last two decades means that O’Hagan has an established connection with Bergen. O’Hagan’s influence on Mehren is made explicit on Aéropop – with Stereolab and The High Llamas forming part of the obscure and carefully considered sound-palette Mehren chose to sample and work with. O’Hagan’s connection to Bergen, alongside his contribution to Revisited thus provides a sense of coming full-circle, and made for a logical addition to the line-up. His reworking of ‘Aérosuite’ opens Revisited – a melodic composition that chops a loop from the original and creates something completely new in its own right.

Aéropop Revisited is sonically diverse (owing to the range of artists involved), but maintains a cohesive quality in the level of work which has gone into each track – new parts have been laid down and even new lyrics in some cases. Contributions come from Mehren’s international inner-circle of friends and collaborators: Sean O’Hagan, Andy Ramsay & Joe Watson of Stereolab, French orchestral pop band Orwell, Dave LeBleu of The Mercury Program, Dutch sample-based producer Crookram, and local DJ and producer Young Dreams.

Mehren’s set on the night mostly consisted of tracks from Aéropop, but he did experiment with some of the remixes found on Revisited towards the end. The improvisation involved with these actually made for some of the more interesting parts of his performance, an opinion largely shaped by the fact that it was with one of these tracks that a MOOG synthesizer found its only use. After Alexander Von Mehren, Young Dreams and Dave ‘Herremannen’ Heilman (drummer for Sondre Lerche, Fancy Colors, and Regina Spektor) took to the decks to see out the night back-to-back.

Seb Bowcott

images: klangkollektivet.no, facebook.com/pages/Klangkollektivet

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