Catching up with Charlotte Bendiks

A lot has happened since we last spoke to Charlotte Bendiks. While she continues to play all over the world, she’s also brought a new live show to the stage, released her brilliant debut for Cómeme, “Hidden Tracks”, and will be inducted as a Jæger resident this week when she kicks off her new IRONI residency this Saturday.

Her EP made a definitive impression on the Cómeme roster and Bendiks’ own discography, showcasing her penchant for body music and her intense relationship with the place of her origins, beyond the arctic circle. Following her Aurora EP on Love OD from two years ago it establishes a distinctive sound that follows the Norwegian producer from the studio to the booth.

She joins us in the booth as our new resident with her new residency IRONI. Her first guest is label mate Ana Helder, and curiosity got the better of us, so we sent some questions over to Charlotte to ask her more about her EP, the residency and playing alongside Ana Helder.

Let’s get stuck in Charlotte, and probably the biggest thing that happened since I last interviewed you is the EP for Cómeme. Tell me a bit how that came together?

It started with Studio Barnhus asking me for demos and I sent them some tracks. After a year of sending tracks back and forth, they decided not to release a record with my music after all. So suddenly, I had all these tracks and I didn’t quite know what to do with them. Avril Ceballos, who runs Comeme together with Matias Aguayo, asked me to send the tracks to her so that she could help me find a label for them.  However, after listening to them together with Matias, they decided that they wanted to release my music.  And so we went to work, selecting tracks for the EP. And during that process, we ended up working with some old and unfinished Hidden Tracks that in the end became the EP.

I read the PR and there’s talk of mysticism, ghosts, ghouls and aurora borealis. What were the conceptual themes behind the tracks and was there anything of particular influence for the EP as a whole?

There are many stories behind the Hidden Tracks… Stories that cannot be shared with just anyone, because you have to be able to handle them. The stories can be quite intense,  and that is also why the press sheet for the EP is very mystical and abstract.

Tromsø,or more accurately the north, makes quite a prominent feature on the EP in terms of the themes you. Why do you have such an intense creative relationship with your origins?

Growing up in such a remote and isolated place, I felt disconnected with the rest of the world – almost like a geographical outsider. In general, I think a lot of art and music derives from artists who identify themselves as outsiders.

I know you’ve been splitting your time between Berlin and Norway more lately. Do you think it’s going to have an effect on the direction your music will take later?

Everywhere I go, everyone I meet and everything I listen to will inspire me. I always look for new sounds or vibes, and the more I get around the more I will discover.

It’s a great EP and I really love the complex percussive arrangements that really gives the record a great energy. What will you be taking with you going into your next project and how do you feel you’ll be developing your sound in the future?

I think maybe the next step for me will be to form a band. Maybe explore my Norwegian roots and the black metal scene…

But let’s get onto the crux of the interview IRONI. You told me a little about it in an email the other day, but maybe you can tell Jæger’s audience all about it in first person?

Ironically, I don’t want to answer this question.

You first guest is Ana Helder. She’s also part of the Cómeme and a friend I imagine. How do you know each other and why is she your first guest?

I met Ana many years ago. The first time we met I think I was living in Cologne. We have played together many times since then, in Germany, Norway and Argentina. She is one of my favorite DJs, and a dear friend. Since she is on a European tour at the same time as I start my IRONI nights, it fits perfectly to have her as the first guest. Also, it is kind of sweet, because I was the first guest of a party she started in Rosario Argentina, called Sub Culto…

How do you imagine the night might sound and what do you think Ana will bring out in Charlotte Bendiks

Ana plays both funky and trippy at the same time. We have a very similar taste in dance music, so I guess we will have a lot of fun trying to surprise each other with hidden treasures. However, I guess we won’t know what it will sound like until we start playing together. Also our set will depend a lot on the crowd and how they respond to it.

And lastly, can you play us out with a song?

Of course, I have to choose one of my favourite Ana Helder tracks.