JM#196 – Frifot (live)

Emerging out of the precocious Badabing catalogue is a shadowy figure with designs on House music. The man behind Frifot is an enigma with a foot in the history of Oslo’s club- and electronic music scene and a deft hand in House music production. 

Making his debut with Open Doors on the Vinny Villbass label, Frifot emerged fully formed, letting the “tiger” out of its cage on his first release. Besides recording, Frifot is also a live artist and making his debut on the stage last week, he came to the Jaeger Mix with a live set. 

Playing some bits from Open Doors, and mostly future releases, Frifot delivered a fast-paced introduction to his sound and style. Built on the foundations of House the tracks feature spacey atmospheres and bubbling melodies, driven by an insatiable groove. 

With the Jaeger Mix in the can, we find out a little more about this figure, his music and the sound of pots and pans…

Hello Frifot. Let’s start with an introduction. Tell the good people who you are and a short history on your musical pursuits.

My first musical influence was recording pots and pans back and forth on 2 cassette players, and from there it went via metal and the sudden fascination for putting fire on christmas trees while inhaling the new and unexplored sounds of electronic music. I think my first real visit to a completely different place must have been the FSOL – Lifeforms album

What is your earliest memory of a piece of music?

It’s hard to remember. I don’t know. It might go back to the pots and pans. I clearly remember that. Maybe not for the harmonic value of tranquility it produced, or the functionality it carried for use in relaxed yoga sessions, but it was certainly an early exploration of sound without knowing why, or how to utilize it. It might be more relevant to question my first memory of creating music (or cacophony closely related to the concept of music), but it’s my first memory of interaction with sound in some creative capacity. I can’t say that I have a song that is the first one I remember.

I assumed from what I heard, Frifot is not your first foray into music. What were the previous projects like and how did you arrive at the sound of Frifot?

I started with music in between goa trance/techno-ish on trackers under the pseudonym “Kaiowa” and then went on to music more in the mold of Progressive House. My First release on vinyl was as a part of a duo called Psalt released on Looq Recordings in San Francisco.

Your music sits somewherein the greater spectrum of House. What is the foundation of the frifot sound that stays consistent throughout?

It’s hard to describe a concrete foundation other than that its ideas of beats and patterns filtered through my way of shaping and constructing. I try to keep a bit in there both for the dancer and the listener, so that might be a thing.

What are some of your influences in that regard?

Hard to say. I try not to be too influenced by very defined directions of thoughts and ways of working. I guess my influence is to stumble upon stuff, and then understand it through its utilization, not its theoretical value of reference.

You just released your first record Open Doors via badabing. Tell us about the themes behind that record and how it came about.

It’s hard to say, I guess there was a special tiger inside of me doing those vocals at times, and I think that some of the themes in that release was about being at the zoo, when the zoo is you. I did build the structure before the tiger hit the ground though, so it’s not only escapism. It was a fun dynamic approach.

The sound you cultivated on the EP is certainly there in the live set. Is that how your songs take form usually, as a live jam?

Very much yes. Set the parameters, make everything ready, then jam. Let the tiger in. It’s christmas. Then go through it with clean ears, choose what directions you like, and then go again. I think this is a very good way to get an individualistic sound. The chaotic approach of this process makes it harder to replicate for others, because you will, in ways, be the sound that is defined by your interaction with the synths, parameters and structures u set up.

How do you adapt the sound of frifot to the live context?

I’m currently working on it. It’s kinda important to give the loops different character of motion and Identity in how the will be utilized live, and that the knowledge of the fact that it will be a live track is a part of conscious decisions in structuring the song. First making a track and then structuring it for live is probably not the best way, because it feels like working backwards.

What did your live set consist of for this one?

Marshmallow Clouds, Crystal Crayons, Rogue planet, A track that still doesn’t have a name and Neonlys.

Is there something from this set that might be or make it into future Frifot records?

They are all on upcoming releases except the track with no name. I’m trying to remember what it’s called… It would just be confusing anyway, hehe, but yea there is one unreleased one in there.

What else is on the horizon for frifot in the near future?

More live gigs. I’m rearranging my setup now to do live sets in clubs even more easy and intuitive, and there are some releases here and there to look out for this spring and summer.