JM#178 – Sondre Kveldsvik

Sondre Kveldsvik is back at the Jaeger mix for the fourth time, the second DJ to accomplish the feat, and with good reason. A DJ with impeccable taste and broad horizons, Sondre selections favour mood over function, digging deep through the past, present and future in music that relays some of that warm personality of the man behind the decks. 

Almost a year on from his last appearance Sondre returns to the Jaeger Mix with his usual flair for vibrant, synthetic music with a mix that goes all in on an eighties vibe. But this is no eighties new romantics revivalist mix, as Sondre digs to the more obscure corners of the era, and its influences, travelling the regions beyond western pop music traditions with songs that thrive in the eccentric. 

Featuring music from the likes of Midnight Runners, Boney M, Alex Brake and System Olympia, the mix spans the great expanse between the eighties and present as it continuously retains that indelible eighties mood. It all comes to its conclusion on a bonafide “classic” according to Sondre, as we probe the DJ on his thoughts on music yet again.  

Hello again Sondre. The last time you were here was summer, now it’s winter. How has it affected the sound of this edition of the Jaeger mix?

It really does feel like we’ve skipped winter this year but I’d say I rarely play dark music anyway, haha.  

You usually start with a track to instill a type of mood. What kind of mood were you going for on this occasion? 

All in 80s vibes. And ended with a classic! 

How did that mood progress and evolve through the mix for you?

The idea was to gravitate towards what the two people after me were going to play at some point. I ended on Alan Braxe as the last track and went on to play more atmospheric house the hour after this recording. 

Often the jaeger mix will start with an empty floor and then slowly build from there. How much does the context influences what you do at that point for the sake of a recorded mix?

A lot. I feel strange by playing too energetic or big tracks when the floor is empty. I think I’m most comfortable starting off around the 100 bpm mark. 

You work within the music industry for Universal, where your time is taken up by largely commercial music. Does that ever resonate with what you do as a DJ?

Well, the first track in the mix was Boney M. So it does somewhat resonate with me as a DJ haha. To be honest I don’t really think about it too much, but I prefer club tracks to have a song structure I think. Even though I really love long dreamy house tracks without it too, and I play that loads. But it comes down to what your idea of commercial music is. I think part of DJing for a lot of people is playing music people haven’t heard or maybe forgot about. Still I’d say the main bit of the tracks I play in a 5 hour set are structured like songs. It’s a lot more challenging to play like that, but more rewarding personally. 

How do you distance yourself from that world when you’re in the booth?

It’s just two completely different things. I have a lot of love for the underground scene which has resonated with me since I was a kid and I have a lot of respect for commercial artists as well. But in terms of personal taste while DJing, I like the majority of the music I play to sound underground. Which is of course completely based on personal subjective feelings.

You definitely called it on the last Jaeger mix when you said that the 90’s are coming back. There are tons of  new artists making that kind of music now. Have you found any that you’re particularly fond of?

In terms of sound and even though it’s pretty old now, LNRDCRY’s “Much Less Normal” from 2014 nails it, it’s such a beautiful album. I really like music coming out on Pacific Rhythm, Exo Recordings, Tux Wax (90s Wax), Magic Wire, Ritual Poison and Help Recordings. In terms of producers, Ex-Terrestrial, Rudolf C, Gnork, Earth Trax and all those guys are really talented! The last guy mentioned makes incredible ambient/neoclassical music under his real name, Bartosz Kruczynski as well. Beautiful stuff! 

Did any of that make it into your mix? 

Not this time around, but I did play a few of them in the second hour. 

What were some of the highlights in this mix for you?

The second half I think. The rotary takes a few tracks getting used to. I knew the first track I was going to play and then had some thoughts about others but it wasn’t really planned. The highlight for me is the puzzle and patching all the tracks together. When you play a lot of songs and older music which isn’t quantized, you have to give up control and kind of just go with it. I quite like that. 

Besides some edits, we haven’t come across any music you make. What is it about DJing that keeps you motivated and content? 

Like many I have a love / hate relationship with producing where it’s never quite good enough so I end up passing it to friends and play it out myself, haha. For me it’s creating for the sake of the process, jamming out stuff. In terms of DJing, as long as the booker understands what you play and the people at the venue like it, I’ll keep on doing it forever.