With five dates at CMJ, a spot on Brooklyn Vegan's 10 Must-See Bands list for the fest and a place in the Vegan showcase, Danish experimental rock outfit Kirsten Ketsjer came to New York in October with a lot of hype and a lot to prove. And according to our sources, prove they did.
Both Andy Bodor of the Cake Shop (who hosted the band for one of its CMJ gigs) and Martin Thulin from Los Fancy Free gave the band rave reviews -- apparently the Danish trio brought down the house, so we had to check them out.
The band (drummer Anja Jacobsen, guitarists Andreas FÃ¼hrer and Anders Lauge Meldgaard) originally started as a sound and poetry project called "Den Epileptiske Tennisspiller" -- The Epileptic Tennis Player. In the last few years, they've evolved into an experimental rock outfit, which is the main focus of their 2007 release ffffoo k tsscch. The result is a sound that goes from lyric-oriented, guitar driven rock on songs like "Ernie and the Sandstorm" and "The Bridge Part 1", to the far reaches of experimentation. "The Bridge Part 2" for example, is about two minutes of pure distortion and feedback before the entry of a slow, steady kick drum, and eventually ambient outdoor sounds that grow into a weeping violin melody and synchronized spoken word. "En Lille En" starts out with frenzied slide whistles and recorders with a spattering of snare drums, brings the texture to a climax over about a minute and a half, and distorts out.
MP3 Download - "Ernie And The Sandstorm"
It's a strange combination, indeed. But when they're at their most innovative, the use of sound is continually dynamic and interesting, and when they're at their most traditional, the use of melody, lyric and the voice of Anja Jacobsen are equally intoxicating. And if you're into what they're doing, Kirsten Ketsjer is actually part of a greater experimental music association, called yoyooyoy, that features other (mostly Danish) artists with a similar aesthetic.