A new year, a new Nødutgang festival in the northern city of Bodø. These concerts have usually taken place at the end of September, but this year the organizers had postponed it to the end of October. This festival is dedicated to genres raging from industrial and noise to ambient, free jazz and avantgarde, in other words quirky and strange music.
On the first day of the festival, Deku Trio was the first band playing, with the members playing bass, banjo and drums. As Deku is a reference to a tree in the videogame Zelda on Nintendo 64, it is an obvious that the music is inspired by videogame-music. While the band was playing there was distorted pictures and videos of games from Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and Minecraft on the screen in the background.
The next band playing was Yat-Kha, which was the big highlight for me during the festival. They’re a trio consisting of guitar, drums and the instrument known as morin khuur, or horse head violin, which is used in Mongolian music. The three musicians come from the southern Siberia, where many Mongolians live, and they’ve put in a somewhat rockish flavor to the folk music of their people, with supporting throat singing. Despite being played with electric guitar and drums, the music had a tremendous atmosphere associated with the Mongolian hordes as they cross the steppes with their horses. Their set was one of the best music experiences I’ve had in a long time.
Void ov Voices is a side project by Attila Csihar, known as the vocalist in the legendary black metal band Mayhem. On stage he was dressed as a monk with a hood and stood behind an alter with a skull and candles. The set consisted of whispers which he repeatedly looped, before adding his voice. As the atmosphere gradually kept building, the music becoming more noisier.
On Friday the duo Sanae Yoshida and keyboardist Jonas Olsson was the first band on stage. The first song consisted of a collection of apparently random notes. I say apparently, since it sounded that way, but Jonas had a guy sitting next to him helping him with a note sheet while he was playing. The music was interesting to some degree, but the set was not my favorite this evening. They had a few other compositions which were at least just as quirky, but at least these had following beat.
The next artists on stage was We Are All Alone Here and We Are Dead, also known as WAAAHAWAD. This was a way more interesting experience, and the band consisted of a woman using a table full of electronic equipment and a hippie with an electrical guitar. The music moved through a psychedelic industrial soundscape which is hard to describe. The hippie played a simple repeating riff, while the woman made noise and used her voice in an almost random way. The experience was rather trippy.
I’ve experienced Psykisk Tortur at several occasions prior to tonight. The duo produces noisy soundscapes where a confused guy waving his arms around while pushing buttons, and the drummer keeps the rhythm going. They’ve never changed the routine of their set, and I hope they never will.
The Thing played fantastic free jazz. It’s incredible how much chaotic noise a small jazz band consisting of saxophone, contrabass and drums can make, and their set was very entertaining. It was especially fun to see the saxophonist emptying large amounts of spit from his instrument between the tunes.
The last band playing on Friday was Next Life, which plays music that best can be described as cyber metal. The musician played riffs on his guitar that accompanied synthetic music he had made with chip-synths from old game consoles.
On Saturday Himmel Workshop opened the day with a bunch of keyboards in the front of the stage, having a bass player, drummer and a conductor. The music had a seventies prog rock-flavor to it but was more repetitious than progressive.
The next event, happening in the concert hall, was a dark room where the audience listened to an excerpt of an album consisting of Field recording made for a radio station in Sweden in 1994. The sounds were taken from the spring in Lapland, a symphony of birds and water. This piece was the prelude to act two starting later that evening.
Before the second act, I attended Falmende Forsøk, which was a guy reading poems, while three others played several instruments, everything from guitar to saxophone, with a table filled with all the electronics you need to make noise. It was great Norwegian industrial all the way, with only one of the poems in English.
Back in the dark concert hall, I listened to a new version of what the first act had consisted of. It opened with a poem in Sami, a northern Norwegian native tongue, with the sound of water turning to rhythm, with added bird shrieks. The recording of nature was transformed to music, and the experience was quite interesting.
The last musician who performed was Kaada, who played the piano and had two tables with electronics. Once again, the music is hard to describe, but had an art flavor to it, and it was really good. DJ Nuteq finished the festival with uninteresting techno. I drank the rest of my beer and concluded that the Nødutgangfestival once again had given me a great experience with unusual and surprising music, and I’m already now looking forward to what next year’s festival will bring.