Bergen's by:Larm praised by Brits

Bergen, gateway to the fjords and home to Röyksopp, Kings of Convenience and Tellè records, hosted this years by:Larm 2004 – Scandinavia’s largest music conference.

15/03/2004 :: Bergen is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Norway. 12-15 February its streets and venues were filled with music and people in the music know-how.

The event featured sold out clubs, 930 participants representing more than 300 companies from 10 different countries, more than 250 media people from the largest radio channels and newspapers in Scandinavia, 50 different panels, lectures, and workshops with speakers from all over Europe and the USA. There were more than 90 showcases on 11 stages plus The Alarm Awards.

"The event is filled with movers and shakers, and offers a great opportunity to exchange ideas, listen to exciting speakers and – of course – listen to new music. by:Larm is as much a friendly meeting point as it is an important business opportunity."

Martin Longley from the Independent was invited to witness by:Larm.

"... the streets were the best place to be. It was back out in Bergen's rich array of venues that the really vibrant talent was ready to be discovered. One of the best haunts was Hulen, carved into a mountain's innards, dripping walls growing air-conditioning ventricles, raw stone providing the best acoustics for the head-banging Bonk. This quartet looked like aging bikermen, but their granite riffing had a curiously unfathomable individuality, hinting at a range of other listening habits."

"Upstairs at Kvarteret became another favourite hang-out of mine. The Sellick Maneuver come out of Tortoise and Godspeed, with saxes and flute joining a democratic wave of sonic oneness, massing textures in layers. I'm not sure whether Kobert is a band or a singer, or both, but this abstract jazz trio was fronted by a very unusual scatting stylist, flitting around in front of a pared-down backing band of just a Hammond organ and an array of drums. She's surely set for stardom."

Click here to read the entire Independent article of 4 March.

Says Alex Close of Universal Music, "As usual a fantastic event. I saw a few interesting things which I'll be keeping an eye on."

Says Sharon O'Connell from Time Out and Uncut, "I had a brilliant time in Bergen and saw some great bands at the festival. Everyone was really warm and welcoming and I really enjoyed the music I saw."

Says Allison McCourthy of Circus Records:

"I thought it was very well organised, particularly the scheduling of bands twice which meant I could see all the bands I wanted to. I was able to spend time with the Norwegian labels Playground and Ephemera records, both of whom I am working with, and I forged introductions with other Norwegian acts, one of which I am looking at signing for the UK. In terms of the sessions, I particularly enjoyed the interview with Robert Christgau ..."

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