Club exchange: Blå at Notting Hill Arts Club

 Type:Culture, Club
 Location:England, London

Two of Europe’s most diverse music and arts clubs come together to do a cross-channel session – all in the name of celebrating Norway’s centenary of independence.

On the 22nd of October the Notting Hill Arts Club will take over the 300 capacity venue Blå in Oslo. Club goers will be treated to a live set by the Alan McGee signed Soho Dolls, followed by YoYo’s Seb Chew and Leo Greenslade and Beachclub's Lars Hinnerskov. In addition to the acts, the booking, bar, light and door staff will be from the Notting Hill venue.

To reciprocate, Blå comes to London the following weekend, Saturday 29th October. And, for one night only, the Notting Hill Arts Club will be transformed into one of the best venues in Scandinavia. They carry with them a customarily diverse package including the Smalltown Supersound signed Toy (live), Maja Ratke and Hild Sofie Tafjord’s (both of Spunk fame) new project Fe-Mail (live) plus Blå residents Fredro Fontana and Sunkissed’s Olanskii. And as in Oslo, Blå will bring their own people to London to give their own distinct touches to the artsclub space and transform it into Blå in London.

Blå is renowned as one of the Jazzwise listed top 100 clubs in the world and it also packs a serious punch as a pioneer in electronica and club music. Many of Norway’s finest jazz and electronica artist regard this venue as their spiritual home, including Jaga Jazzist, Atomic, Wibutee, Supersilent and labels such as Smalltown Supersound and Jazzland.  Similarly, Blå has an impressive host of international acts to its merit, considering its 300 capacity, including Matthew Herbert Big Band, Tortoise, Chicks on Speed, LCD Soundsystem and beyond. All this whilst at the same time hosting kids concerts, book readings and club nights such as Sunkissed, who recently had Richie Hawtin, Magda, Craig Richards and Headman mingling with local heroes Lindstøm and Prins Thomas in one weekend.

Acts coming to London:

Toy is an electronic duo formed by UK composer Alisdair Stirling and producer Jørgen Træen from Bergen, Norway. Toy's playful tunes mix kids TV (Pingu, Radiophonic Workshop) and Japanese style electronica (YMO and Cornelius) with a touch of Scandinavian electro weirdness. They also manage to combine a flavour of incidental/elevator music with beats and grooves to create infectious pop. Stirling is behind the Bergen pop workshop/collective 'House of Hiss', working with Bergen producers The Sensible Twins (Hans Petter Gundersen and Kato Adland) which released 'Holland Park/Sugar Shoop' seven inch vinyl on New Records last year. Træen is a well know producer who among others has produced Sondre Lerche, Magnet and Jaga Jazzist. He also has his own solo project Sir Dupermann on Smalltown Supersound. The band released 'Rabbit Pushing Mower/Valley Cars' as a vinyl seven inch on Telle Records described by the BBC as “an amusing cream puff of a tune”. Their second vinyl single 'Sedan Through Tunnel/Decorama' is about to be released on Smalltown Supersound.

Fe-mail is a electronics/noise duo consisting of Maja Ratkje and Hilde Sofie Tafjord, both known from the anarchistic quartet SPUNK. The girls have played together for 10 years, but had their debut concert as a duo in Tokyo 2000. Since then they have spread their sonic inferno around the world. Fe-mail's music is electronic music based on improvisation with live sampling as well as recordings of their own generated sounds and field recordings. Their music is characterised by the use of old-fashioned, analogue electronic and acoustic sound sources such as pan pipes, harmonica and other underestimated instruments.

Fredro Fontana
Fredro Fontana is managing daily operations for many of Scandinavia's hip hop artists. He is also responsible for bringing highly regarded artists such as Common, Talib Kweli and Mobb Deep amongst others to Norway. His DJing skills has landed him gigs throughout Norway and selected cities in the US. Fredro spins the kind of grooves that makes you dance, moving between genres such as hip hop, funk, soul and reggae.

The London based purveyor of Scandomentalism has been running Sunkissed at Blå the last five years. In that time Sunkissed has established itself as both the most diverse, underground and similarly most popular house club in the Norwegian capital. Drawing in guests from Ricardo Villalobos to The Glimmer Twins and spanning a similar scope within its resident sound, the club has been the essence of the terms Skrangle House and Scandomentalism. Sunkissed has also set its mark on London on previous occasions at the Notting Hill Arts Club, The Key and Fabric.

Notting Hill Arts Club at Blå : 22nd October 2005
time: 9 pm entrance: 120 nok (members 70 nok)

Blå at Notting Hill Arts Club : 29th October 2005
time: 4 pm entrance: Free live shows!! (before 8 pm) £ 6 (before 11 pm) £ 8 (after 11 pm)

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