Season’s Greetings

Those aren’t jingle bells ringing in my ears; no it’s just another year leaving its irreversible mark on my addled auditory canals, audibly cursing me with a noise that shows no signs of dissipating. In fact in 2017 it’s louder than ever  as one of the most evolutionary years for electronic music draws to a close. In this year, more than ever it’s felt like electronic music is rubbing shoulders with the more popular kids. With record attendance numbers, electronic music acts touring like the rock stars, electronic stages offering the largest draws at festivals, and new album releases coming from labels like Ninja Tune and R&S almost on a weekly basis, it certainly feels like this music we call “underground” music has outgrown its subterranean roots in 2017.

It was in large part due to the album format. Where that format was reserved for the more introspective, artistic concepts in the past, 2017 was the year that saw the album format dominate electronic music releases. Albums by Talaboman, Bonobo and Bicep are just a few of the albums that bridged that immaterial gap between audiences as they became broad critical success stories. Flicking through some of the last releases of 2017 over at Filter at the end of the year, albums still dominate, but the format also posed kind of a problem.

The album or LP was could never be neatly accommodated in the DJ set, quite like a 12”, so what was already a trend became the norm in 2017 with the live show replacing the ubiquitous DJ set for the first time since the 1990’s. We saw the likes of Vril, Romans (Tin Man & Gunnar Haslam) and Dorisburg all take the stage this year in shows that manipulated their recorded material with the approach of a DJ to his dance floor. As Stefan Goldmann from Macro explained in a recent interview on our blog: “Now we are kind of back in 1840”. The recording format is almost redundant today as we crave the experience rather than the commodity, with the recording format waving the promotional flag for the live show to follow later.

That’s not to suggest that Jæger has only been a live venue in 2017, because it was indeed the DJs that still made the largest contribution to that incessant ringing. As ever, our residents were the immovable force behind our weekly soundtrack as each resident left his/her own distinct mark across our two floors, often playing host to a guest or two. G-Ha & Olanskii’s Frædag were once again our touchstone to the outside world bringing world-class guests to Jæger week in and week out, but it was also a year we marked some of our previous guests opting for a different approach. We noticed Marcel Dettmann abandon hard-driving functional Techno he had built his reputation on, for the minimal/synth wave, EBM and Techno from his youth. Featuring edits from the likes of Cabaret Voltaire and Front 242, Dettmann offered a fresh perspective to his “sound” as a DJ, which also became enshrined in his adventurous Selectors mix for Dekmantel, also from this year.

Leon Vynehall too opted for different approach in 2017, and became an honorary resident at Jæger, where we shared the UK DJ with Concrete, Pikes and Le Sucre as one in four hosts during a reserved touring schedule in 2017. Over the course of four nights Leon Vynehall had settled into his position with ease, playing extended sets in which he traversed the vast breadth of his record bag. It was only ever to be a temporary residency for Leon Vynehall, but regardless we’ve still managed to establish 3 new residencies in 2017. DELLA’s Drivhus, Karima F’s Affirmative Action and Charlotte Bendiks’ IRONI joined the ranks this year, inviting guests like Tommy Bones, Whodat, and Kate Miller to Jæger through the course of the year and will continue to do so in 2018. A special mention also needs to go to Den Gyldne Sprekk who have been nominated for the best club concept of the year by NATT&DAG for bringing a rock concept to an electronic music venue and the anti-generic onslaught of bands and DJs that joined Raymond Teigen Hauger for his Tuesday night residency.

It was also a year not without its difficulties, although more on a universal scale. Perhaps it’s the cynical old man I was always destined to be arriving in 2017, but in a year where the hoverboard is a bold-faced lie; Star Wars is a new phenomenon again; and gender / race discriminations were a constant topic, I feel that I’ve become trapped in some temporal loop like some sci-fi character with a bad catch phrase: “seriously this again?”. It’s particularly the men, inspired by the 60’s misogyny of Don Draper (without the ability to hold their noon cocktail as well) dragging their knuckles on the floor in search of a subservient mate (some, all the way to hold prestigious offices in international politics) that have been a particular culprit. Old white men with early signs of dementia trying to cling on to the residual strains of an erroneous rhetoric like Donald Trump’s wig to his scalp, have plunged us all into an alternative timeline like the Delorean and the lightsaber never happened. And while we might have thought it was only prevalent in the realm of unhinged Hollywood, we were not surprised that it was happening right on our doorstep. With that Jæger teamed up with the Savior campaign at the end of the year to say “hands off our bartenders”; something we never thought we had to say in 2017.

We could do without that in 2018 thank you, because we’re intent in getting back to the matter at hand – the music. We’re hardly letting up and after the briefest of breaks in 2018 and we’re back on the 5th of January with our annual DJ Maraton at the starter’s pistol calling in the first season with guest appearances by Âme, Tony Humphries, Cassy, Moritz Von Oswald, Radio Slave, DJ Sprinkles and many many more. In 2018 our residencies will once again be the cornerstone of the year ahead, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves because first thing’s first… Romjulsfestivalen.

Season’s Greetings from Jæger.

Comments are closed.