I have a wonderful exclusive here of an interview I conducted with Lotus Kisbye from the radio show out of Copenhagen titled Spacebounce. Airing every second Friday live on Universitets Radioen, this radio show visits the musical underground as the hosts attempt to promote genres and new artists stirring up the pot.
I was fortunate to speak with one of the hosts or rather hostess in this case, Lotus Kisbye for an interview regarding the program.
EGU: To be into interested in a career, or even hobby as a radio show host, I imagine, at least from personal experience, that you must have a strong drive to experience, explore and share music with others. I wish to start with three questions if you don’t mind.
LK: Exactly, fire away.
EGU: What inspired you to get into this career?
LK: I think what drove me the most was to explore the different ways of expressing yourself through music, both historical backgrounds but also personal desires or takes on the art, which for me are usually the most interesting point of views.
EGU: What is your personal musical background?
LK: Back in the day I was quite the musician kind of gal. I played the flute, violin, piano and spent 7 years in a church choir. I believe I got wow’ed into the more orchestral and classical types of music due to my fascination of big composers such as, Vivaldi, Thaichovsky and operas like Carmen. Great art and artists.
I do still have a dream of getting into the cello as well. Maybe one day, who knows.
EGU: And where do you want yourself to go with it, in the sense of your personal career goals for the future?
LK: My exact goal is yet to be determined. For now I’m just enjoying the ride and where my work with radio is taking me. So far it has gotten me to festivals, new contacts within the music industry and also made me think in a broader perspective regarding my career and personal interests. That is already more that I could’ve ever dreamt of.
I do however have a plan of seeking into the Danish national radio station next year, where a radio show a bit like ours is running. Let’s see how that goes.
EGU: SpaceBounce seems to be a pretty eclectic show when it comes to the choice of music. I myself have had the pleasure of listening to a few episodes thanks to our wonderful Internet connections. What are the criteria for music to be selected for the show?
LK: One of the very main criteria is that it has to be new and somewhat not exposed, or just less available to the masses. I like the idea of catching new tendencies before they hit the big scene, or just catch it while the idea is still new and raw.
Especially getting a hold on brand new composers is my very aim. I like their drive and the playfulness they give into the music. An experience, that for them is just as new as their music. The feeling I get when bumping into these kind of producers and exploring the new, experimental productions is what makes it all worth it.
The choice of music is also quite a personal selection. It requires a great amount of time to select the right track for the right show and also to match it with my mood that day. A combination is perhaps what the spacebounce shows results in.
EGU: Before I dig any deeper, do you know why the show’s name “SpaceBounce” was chosen to be the name?
LK: Yeah, I wish the name had an interesting background, but the name is in fact extremely random. When we first started the show back in August 2012, my previous co-host, Lisa Marie Storetvedt and I spent quite some time with brainstorming, trying to come up with THE name that would combine both of our taste in music. She was more into the soft and happy side of electro pop, where as I like my bass deep and dark. So, instead of agreeing with one name we insisted on two words: she felt like ”Bounce” where as I wanted more ”space” which led to ”spacebounce”.
In the end it ended up being a perfect choice, It fits quite well with our general take on the more futuristic genres and the love for expressive, tropical and drum-based styles.
EGU: The music industry, both mainstream and underground have gone through and are continuing to go through many drastic changes. Where do you see the industry going with respect to both the mainstream and the underground?
LK: Both are embodying the influence of the internet. Sharing tracks freely, quickly and self-publishing sounds and compilations. It’s fast and innovative. I see major creativity run in the scene. This is a much needed development and makes room for new movements to gain attention through international contributions. As seen with the dubstep and moombahton invasions. Movements gain entrance to the clubs quicker and people gather much faster whilst working together in big numbers on the same goal. This is the absolute strength that comes with these changes.
I myself have a greater passion for the underground scene rather than the overground. These changes are alpha omega for the underground, it will make it grow stronger and connects like-minded individuals to think bigger, to create projects in larger scales. I believe these past few years with new genre movements prove that the possibilities are unlimited.
EGU: What is your opinion with regards to all the festivals going on these days? There seems to be so many that keep coming back year after year and even more continuing to pop up.
LK: I think that what defines the small pop-up festivals is that it reflects the development in the music industry and even more the music as an art form. It transforms very quickly into smaller movements or absorbs influences of others and so it enlarges. There is a great need for festivals to pick up on the tendencies quicker and perhaps stick with that goal as a definition of the festival itself.
An issue with larger, traditional festivals is that it focuses on the main genres as a sort of form package that needs to be fulfilled every year to attract the usual festival guests. Festivals which line up contains classical names, unoriginal names that doesn’t surprise or move the masses such as the very surprise of unfamiliar artists or in which new music tends to do. Maybe it’s a utopian belief, but it seems to me that these pop-up festivals symbolize a emerging need for getting close to the roots of the newest styles and vibes, a need that might occur from the will of wanting to explore the unknown, seeking the unknown and exploring music rather than having already well-known music being presented to you.
For me that is a very fascinating twist on the view of festivals.
EGU: With regards to the music played on SpaceBounce, if you had to choose, which I’m asking you to try do so right now, what genre or style (perhaps a better choice of word) do you prefer the most? Can you explain what it is about that genre/style that draws you to it most?
LK: That’s a tough one, I believe I seek the style of music that has very little or none to do with human contact. And also music in languages that I don’t understand. It attracts me.
Especially the Brazilian new wave of baile funk, kuduro and techno brega gets my mind twerking and is absolutely some of my favourite styles.
One style that always seems to get to me though, is the ambient, organic and experimental kind of style. (Where overground producers such as Burial, Trentemøller and Lulu Rouge stands as my ultimate favourites in this matter.) Let it be within electronica, juke, edgy vocals or something completely different. I like how the machine-made sounds breathe and move as if it was alive. Machine combined with a trace of human existence, either with a light and dreamy snare, rhythmic, oriental drums and an edgy vocal backed up with a massive bass.
The perfect combination makes the music become alive, at least for me.
EGU: Are there any other genres you personally would like to share on SpaceBounce that you don’t share currently?
LK: Yes, and we are aware of the fact that there are certain genres that we tend not to include in the show. Genres such as drum ‘n’ bass, quiet, experimental electronica and the massive house movement. Electronica is indeed a favourite of mine and a genre I would like to include more often. But due to the tight form of the show and on-air time we have decided that the build up only rooms a small amount of slow beats plus tracks with focus on the more technical side of electronic music. This is definitely a genre that I would play more often if we had more time.
EGU: What is your favorite animal?
LK: I’ve always loved the thought of brown bears. For me they seem more peaceful than what’s really the case.
EGU: What is the usual process for seeking out music to put on the show?
LK: My main source of obtaining new and interesting music is internet driven sites, such as soundcloud, blogs like yours, Generation Bass or the two Danish blogs: Rekomplieret and Lostdubsofdenmark. As for soundcloud I spend many hours of listening to my incoming tracks, going through the entire dashboard, both my own and also looking through the likes of the people I follow. My patience comes into a test, seeing as this is very long process. Keeping an eye on conversations in music groups on facebook might also come in handy from time to time, regarding genre discussions, artists and views on the music industry.
Following artists and blogs is indeed a great way of inspiration and finding new sounds. But more than anything I like the process of finding the music myself, contacting the artists and networking that way around for future collaboration. Networking that has resulted in our 6 months of guest mix sessions. Exposing upcoming or underground DJs and producers from around the globe, for whom we share a major respect. This way the music selection turns into something greater and more meaningful when getting to work closely with the faces behind the productions towards a common passion.
EGU: What are you currently listening to a lot personally (outside the show, just what’s on your iPhone/iPod/whatever you mostly listen to music with)?
LK: To be honest, the music I use in my radio show is exactly what I fancy listening to outside of the show as well. Why music selection for the show is very personal to me.
Besides that my favourite artists are for sure chosen with great impact of my nordic melancholia. The favourites are though without a question: the Danish teklife-hero, Trentemøller, the knife and Burial. I also have a great passion for the 90s, both bubblegum pop and eurodance, soft swedish folk music and obscure, experimental electronica in general. Such as the first albums of the Danish band, Efterklang, where the song ”Collecting Shields” from Tripper gets me everytime.
EGU: What is your natural hair color? I’m guessing blonde…
LK: Haha. Yes, and you are very right. Blonde is my natural hair color. In fact my hair used to be almost white when I was younger, or just very blonde.
EGU: LOADED QUESTION WARNING! – My personal observations have informed me that the music scene is not as dominated by men as it used to be. I see a lot of women as DJ’s, producers and radio hosts these days. I did take care in saying “not as dominated” because it still is but just not as much as it had been in past years. Do you see this too? Do you see more women feeling inspired and un-intimidated to enter the massive music industry? Or is there still a strong feeling of masculine domination? (For example do you think women need to be attractive to get in the door or is it more even now among men and women)?
LK: I think it’s a matter of perspective, I believe that the individuals that are running the music industry is of the male gender, both behind the scenes and as front figures. There is definitely a strong dominance attached to most jobs within the industry, jobs which have been represented by male influence for a long time, but with that being said, I do think it is important to set focus on the female innovators in the scene. It is not as black and white as it might have been in the past.
For me, I find inspiration in strong female figures such as: the radio host and the great talent Mary Anne Hobbs with her brilliant show, Dubstep Warz – such a big inspiration and influence on not only her take on the radio as a media but also genre involvement and movement.
The Danish radio host Le Gammeltoft who runs the biggest electronic music show in Denmark on the national radio station. I have a major respect for not only her knowledge, her engagement in the Danish electronic scene but also her will to push upcoming producers forward and giving the underground scene a helping hand.
These are what we should be focusing on. These women are out there in the music scene, pushing styles, contributing and working hard. There is no need for being intimidated by entering the scene or holding back due to masculine domination. Le Gammeltoft and Mary Anne Hobbs, to name a few, are perfect examples and more are to follow. This is the future and there is room for both sexes and room for different audiences, different genres.
EGU: What place have you not been to but really want to visit most?
LK: I’m a nature gal, I have a new found love for exotic locations and deserted landscapes. I don’t think it includes a specific place, but deserted locations dominated by the wilderness suits me just fine. South placed farms and small towns up in the mountains also fascinate me quite a deal.
Okay, so if I should choose: it would be South America, Greece or Portugal. Or places like Canada because of their landscapes of giant lakes and forests.
EGU: If you can pin point your favorite thing that you have received from being a part of SpaceBounce, whether it be an experience, a connection, anything really, what would it be?
LK: That’s an interesting question. I’ve always wanted to get into a larger artistic project. Not only as an idea or simple concept on paper. A project that involves my whole body and soul. We’re not quite there yet, but I do see Spacebounce as an artistic project on my behalf. In this I try to capture my emotions and combine it with the brilliance I find in the underground roots. So I guess you could say that I put as much passion into the music selection and networking as I put myself into the project. That is what I’m hoping shines through the speakers. This project has given me a major insight to the insider part of both music production, the faces behind the computer screens and the musical and artistic movements that come with it. To challenge myself with continuing to develop the concept of Spacebounce every week is my every-day drive. To me this is art.
EGU: In what other ways has being a part of SpaceBounce positively affected your life?
LK: Besides the project itself I think that the major impact on my life has been how I’ve seemed to have found my place in the music scene. This is not the only place or spot I could fit into within the scene, but for a long time I have been seeking for a role to play. Exploring the underground, the artists and network behind it has given me the drive and a great passion to push forward. A passion and a gift which I felt I should give back to the very same scene and people that have inspired me to think in new ways and finding a purpose for my interest. This is me giving something back to people and scene that pushed me forward for a long time without even knowing it. This is an art project, it’s a music project. This is me, this is Spacebounce – thanking the music and the people behind it.
That was a lovely long chat one must agree. I learned a lot about our lovely Danish host and now I will share a few of their episodes to give you a clearer idea of what the radio show is about.