Strong Norwegian profile at the Sonar festival

The Spanish Sonar Festival in Barcelona, one of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals, is a standard-setting event with a strong stylistic overview. This year the Norwegian presence in Barcelona will be stronger than ever with focus on three vital labels: Jazzland, Smalltown Supersound and Tellè.

Listen to a 30 second clip of Jaga Jazzist’s Digital Carrot
Listen to more tracks from such Smalltown Supersound acts as Kim Hiorthøy, Sir Dupermann, Martin Horntvedt and Jazzkammer.

Bugge Wesseltoft

The Sonar Festival in Barcelona runs from June 12 –14 and presents a strong programme that showcases what’s happening on electronic music’s various vital scenes. International headliners at this year’s Sonar Festival include Björk, Underworld and Aphex Twin.

Norway is represented by three of the national electronica scene’s strongest labels: Smalltown Supersound, Tellè and Jazzland.

Smalltown will showcase what is perhaps its internationally best-known act Jaga Jazzist (which licensed to Ninja Tune). In addition to the vibrant 10-man collective, Smalltown will also bring equally creative and productive acts Jazzkammer, Sir Dupermann and Kim Hiorthøy.

Internationally, Bergen’s Tellè Records is perhaps best known for having discovered such talent as Röyksopp, Kings of Convenience and Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band. Given the above mentioned acts departure in favour of bigger labels, Telle is contrary to belief, not left with an empty roster. The label has a roster full of fresh talent, and brings these acts to Barcelona: Kaptein Kaliber, Bjørn Torske, Uusi Fantasia and Datarock.

Jazzland is a veteran label among the Norwegian electronica record companies. Founded by renowned jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, the label has managed to carve out a niche of its own with its focus on improvised music with electronic influences. Jazzland will be represented by Wesseltoft and his New Conceptions of Jazz band as well as perhaps Norway’s most respected DJ – Strangefruit.

Says Wessseltoft to the Norwegian Broadcasting Company on performing at the Sonar Festival: Sonar is perhaps the best European festival for electronic music. It’s sort of an exhibition of what’s going on. We’ve been trying to get accepted at the programme for years, but haven’t succeeded until now.

Wesseltoft is also proud of the development on the Norwegian scene: For the moment, Norway is the strongest scene for several genres. We’ve focussed on treading our own path and working on stuff with a distinct Norwegian character – efforts that I now hope will give us reward.

Read more on the Sonar festival here.

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