Monday, July 27, 2009

Islands in Space

Photos from a recent jaunt around the west coast of Norway that featured Bergen and Stavanger. Arrived in Stavanger just in time for the end of a food festival called Gladmat (happy food). Was also lucky to catch a pre-NuMusic party with DJs from Stavanger, Oslo and London playing in a tent at Gladmat and later on Cafe Resept. Ironic that the best food all weekend was a 'big fat burger' from a cafe across from the graff shop at the top of a wee hill, at the back of the city, and not the actual food fest. Buttered'n'herbed New Jersey potatoes, juicy and well packed patty with blazing sun on the terrace followed by some rolling in the grass. dulce!
Photos by Alexander Horne and Julie Arrive.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Out The Box

Passing through a wet and drenched Bergen amidst a brief sojourn through the West Coast of Norway brought up the discovery of some new cultural pearls recently. Originally planning to cover Berghain resident Len Faki's gig at the underground cave-like Teknikerkroen club in Bergen, plans had to change at the last minute due to Faki's postponement of the performance to a later date (supposedly he had a bigger gig!). A detour, arguably for the better, introduced a long running and classy soulful night in Bergen and the opportunity to visit one of Norway's youngest and most exciting societal hubs, Stavanger.

The Grand Terminus Hotel is something of a Bergen gem, combing classic Nouveau and Deco styles with a soft yet prominent vein of contemporary urban chic running underneath. The 1920s hotel is smack bang in the center of Bergen and due to it's geographical proximity to a grave yard, often is referred to as the funeral hotel. Sitting directly opposite Bergen's quaint train station and in front of a grave yard though only adds to this places charm and the feeling of a plethora of hidden stories. If a director could best capture the mood of this interesting corner of Bergen, and in particular the aura of the building, it would be fitting to suggest someone of Jim Jarmusch's style would fit. Black and white flooring, deep wooden whisky bar and high ceilings make this a place of class and what no better music to stem a night of music from for such a venue as jazz. In Grand Terminus the jazz is served cort and without the ZZs in the form of Jassbox. Long running and deeply funky, this night serves a potent start to an evening and draws a crowd as diverse as up and coming electro producers to fashion designers and fat beardy men (well dressed though). Hats off to organizers Espen Horne and Åse Langesæter who manage to bring in a melting pot of local and national djs every session with sounds from hip-hop, soul, funk and swing - all with a jazzy evening fresh vibe!
Photo: dj Fusa at Jassbox, Grand Terminus 24/7/09 by Julie Arrive.