#PHANTASYMIX 35: Kasper Marott


Kasper Marott
has been fascinated with dance music since his teenage years in the Danish countryside, programming music since the age of ten and dreaming of big, bouncing dancefloors. Far removed from the Deadmau5 copycat tunes he made on Fruity Loops throughout his teens, Marott saw his dream come true some years later, when he became one of a number of DJs spearheading the so-called ‘fast techno’ scene emerging from Copenhagen a few years ago. Blending the smoldering embers of unashamedly emotional trance aesthetic with the scale of BPM associated with main-room Berghain, Marott’s singles ‘Keflavik’ on Modeselektor’s SSPB and Drømmen om Ø on Courtesy’s Kulor imprint were rightfully inescapable on the rave scene for some time.

With a keen eye on the future and the rather hard reset of a pandemic to assist, Marott emerges with his debut LP, a halcyon and high-energy statement that nonetheless underlines his versatility as a wide-eyed electronic enthusiast. Released via Indecis, the music and art collective he runs alongside collaborators Alfredo92, Popmix, Søren Kinch, A. Waze, Martin Gilleshøj, and knowingly titled ‘Full Circle’, eleven tracks explore the different, tempos, facets and communal memories that inspire Marott. In his timely contribution to #PHANTASYMIX, Marott easily captures this energy as we inch towards an outright emotional return to the dancefloor.

Alongside the mix, Kasper spoke to John Loveless about the Danish scene, capturing emotion and the importance of country and folk music.

Hi Kasper. Thanks for contributing to Phantasy’s mix series. I’m always keen to talk to people who were typified as part of a scene; in your case the ‘fast techno’ movement/hype out of Copenhagen a few years back. Your LP extends far beyond that sound, but of course, you were around long before then too. What’s the experience of being typified as such? In this dry landscape without clubs, and with an album to promote, does this background feel like a positive or a negative?

Hey John, thanks for having me on board! I'm happy to contribute to your series with a mix.

It's always nice to be part of a scene and Copenhagen has been a fun place to be the last 5 years. The “fast techno” movement has been very fun and inspiring in many ways and I’m happy to be a small part of it. Those responsible for that are especially Sugar, Anders Marc, Courtesy, Mama Snake, Ibon, Schacke and many others that work hard to keep it alive at home! Thanks for that <3

As with many other local scenes, there is much more to find if you look for it. Copenhagen is filled with passionate music heads and I’m impressed by the dedication of creating music, running labels, parties, making concerts etc etc in a very true and honest way - People only work with stuff they love. Small underground movements such as Øen, Kune, Intercourse, Proton, Petrola80, Janushoved, Axces, Endurance, Percy (RIP) Group Therapy, Posh Isolation, Ved Siden Af/Et Andet Sted are all dedicated to keeping things real and authentic and I love them for it and it reflects my music! So yes, I think that it is positive to know that these people operate within your city and I feel welcome and a part of it, although it of course feels distanced at the moment.

As you note, you’ve wisely attempted (and succeeded!) to capture a variety of different moods on ‘Full Circle’ - “good, bad, funny, euphoric, nostalgic, sore” - for starters. Which of these is easiest for you to tap into? Are you haunted by the spectre of rave melancholy that follows so many serotonin-starved DJs, or are you a generally good time guy?

It’s a hard question to answer - I always make music without thinking too much - just simply trying to tap into a feeling while playing around with sounds and drums. Whenever I make something meaningful it reflects my life with all kinds of experiences I’ve had. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m glad and sometimes also sad :)

I enjoyed the artwork for ‘Full Circle’... A group of children having fun in front of a funhouse mirror, each trying out different shapes and sizes. I suppose that’s how we still feel sometimes as grown-ass people. What has your musical journey consisted of? Any weird left turns into country and western or goth that we might hear creeping through the textures of this album?

Yes, definitely - my record collection is rather wide, and I enjoy listening to new music all the time. Recently I’ve been listening to old country & folk music such as Lyretta Lynn and Jackson C. Frank - it's music that helps me.

I would say my musical journey has consisted of many hours of research on Discogs and me trying to live a satisfying life - some of the tracks on the album are almost 6 years old and reflect a totally different time. “Mere” is almost 6 years old and came out of a time where I was throwing exotic house parties at warehouse spaces in the meatpacking district in Copenhagen with friends such as Alfredo92, Telephones and Finn Johannsen.

The opening track “Mr. Smiley” is definitely coming out of my fascination with early trance music and going to “Fast Forward” parties in Copenhagen. I see my album as a collection of experiences I’ve had turned into music.

Much of the album is very colourful, lightly psychedelic, even. It’s a world away from some of the nosebleed nihilism that’s permeated big-room techno styles in the past few years. What were you early influences that established this energy and style? My instincts suspect they lay beyond 4/4.

Of course I can dig out a lot of records from my collection and you can hear where some of my tracks comes from, but it’s also a lot of different experiences with life and it's hard for me to tell exactly what experience or music that was crucial for my album - I also allow myself not to reflect on it and analyse it. Whenever something feels right, it is right!

I try to live my life so it fits my temper, and I’m constantly trying to make up the best way to live - I like to create and in order to do that I need inspiration and to get inspiration I have to experience life, whether its bad, good, sad, boring, exciting etc etc.

What are some of the most unexpected or undocumented aspects of Danish nightlife and club culture? Conversely, feel free to let me know what you would hope to change.

I wish for a new space/club in the city! Most of the exciting stuff happening in the city is off location and everyone operating with parties is struggling to find a suiting location for it. One of the best clubs I've experienced in the city was Et Andet Sted (RIP) at Grønttorvet and I wish for a new place like that!

What can we expect from the mix?

It’s more or less improvised with tracks I love at the moment. Wanted to play some weird yet danceable tunes :)

John Loveless, March 2020.

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