According to “Human Infomail,” the Distortion Festival newsletter, yesterday’s activities in the Nørrebro neighborhood produced a “body count” of nearly 30,000 people, packed in what seemed to be a six block radius. “Body count” is an accurate way to describe it: the first day was a shocker of people whose sole aim in life was to drink booze and rave as hard as possible, but the second can only be described as out-the-park buck. I located the Klashy Tank (RAVE RAVE RAVE) again and, surprise! It isn’t a bus, it is an actual tank helmed by panda suit men. Furries are popular at this thing—I later ran into a pig, a tiger, a chipmunk, a bunny and some sort of alligator dragon. They were dancing to Phil Collins’ “Ssudio.”
The throngs naturally fanned out from the Klashy Tank, building in number until people started actually climbing buildings.
Seeking a brief bit of respite from the insanity, I wandered over to the dubstep tent, where an assortment of dudes were holding it down.
We also ate Jamaican food served to us by a chef with two Michelin stars and white dreads, while people participated in the 30-meter painting, a free-for-all paint party on paper stretching across the bridge. The soundtrack was newish dancehall. Denmark loves Mavado.
At night, hundreds of revelers filed in to Korsgadehallen, an actual gymnasium complete with basketball hoops and abstract sculpture for the Triple Bass Threat: J-Wow and Kalaf from Buraka Som Sistema, Kode 9, and Madlib. The crowd was thickest for Madlib, who played a set of classic hip hop that you hear at any house party in Brooklyn at any given time. I learned that “93 Til Infinity” crosses all borders, a fail safe track that everyone in the world apparently knows the words to.
Kode9 went on around 2am and proceeded to prove why he is a dubstep luminary: he kept the levels heavy for hours, low-end barrage nonstop, but his set remained intricate. He’s a man that knows to ignore the nuances of a bass-centric genre is to do it no justice—a statement that might seem redundant considering the music he releases on his label Hyperdub. This dude is serious. He mixed “Digidesign” in a way I’ve never heard, delicately and briefly so that it felt like a flower blossoming at night. PARDON THE EXCURSION INTO CORN TOWN. It was just that awesome.
There was a side room where a girl was DJing inscrutable house behind an all-dresses decor. Most of her fans were trannies. No idea.
By the time Kalaf and J-Wow came on for their Enchufada extravaganze, most of the crowd was understandably beat, but the Buraka dons are incapable of turning down their energy, and ran through a high-rise selection of J-Wow’s new work while Kalaf played host. Never won’t love those dudes, but I had to cut out a bit before the end to see how my hotel bed was doing.
Next up: More insanity featuring Schlachthofbronx, Douster, Spoek Mathambo, Uproot Andy, a ZZK Records showcase, Booka Shade, a Roskilde chill-out and Nina Kraviz, the biggest DJ in Russia.