On february 19th we went to Copenhagen to see what was going on at the Loppen, a decent club located in Christiania where MNDSGN was going to perform that night sharing the stage with the mc Ivan Ave, and they were going to be joined by other local artists related with the hip hop scene and experimental electronic. Read more…
All was served by the great SOUNDesc, a Danish independent label and event promoter which has been refreshing Copenhagen’s scene for a long time now. We’ll speak more in detail about them soon (Interview coming). The night seemed promising and our expectations have not been let down at any moment!
Let’s start with the venue. Located in Christiania and with its lay-down and groovy vibes inherent of that free town, Loppen is a really unique place.. It’s an old brick building and the wooden structure inside produces a very sweet acoustic. Beers were pretty affordable, too. If you get to Copenhagen you definitely shouldn’t miss out on that place.
When we arrived in the club, there were already two local selectors on stage swapping the dj desk and warming up the crowd. Jongpadawan, focused in producing fresh hip hop melted with vocal samples and with other genres like footwork or dnb, and Roger Beattaker, who is more into experimental electronic production and got us really surprised with his sounds. They were followed by the locally famous artist duo The Palace that performed a truly organic hip hop with solid beats. Anthon alias Stack, one of the two founders of SOUNDesc, then prepared the stage with some Nu Jazz and smooth electronic sounds for the gem of the night, MNDSGN feat. Ivan Ave.
The actual show was split into two parts. First, both artists presented their collaboration projects, followed by Ringo himself, who let all his creativity materialize with the help of his keyboard and micro.
Since the very beginning of the act, Ivan started to melt with the smoothy, 90’s inherited and fat beats that Ringo was playing. He never quite stopped to easily move and dance to them. Something remarkable was that they managed all throughout the gig to transfer their good vibes and humour to the people. At the beginning only Ivan was the one who interacted with the crowd, but after a while – and some shots of Jameson – both of them were starting to make fun without caring about anything anymore… They were playing with delays and reverbs now and then, while MNDSGN was making some hilarious movements that for us seemed like the anti-poses of a tough rapper.
At some point they even stopped the music altogether to tell us whatever they had on their minds – but without never failing to include the public into their show. All those little things could not but provoke smiles and delight in every single person in the crowd.
The lyrics of some of Ivan’s tracks are quite remarkable, such as the tracks “Free Shit”, “Forks” or “Helping Hands” from his new LP Helping Hands in collaboration with MNDSGN that just came out on February 12th via the Berlin/Cologne based label Jakarta records.
After having performed a whole lot of tracks of their recent collaboration, their first common project Low Jams (2014, also on Jakarta Records) and another special collaboration between Ringo and a local artists from Copenhagen, Nanna B, Ivan Ave made way for MNDSGN itself.
He immediately started to drop a diverse sort of beats ranging from Soul to Jazz, but also some futuristic and abstract rhythms, while playing his Juno keyboard with its smooth Hammond organ sound, among others. He also sang to some of his tracks with his remarkably sweet Soul voice, as for example when he performed a cover of Bernard Wright’s “Music is the key”. After a while, Ivan came back on stage to vitalize the show even more: he sang another couple of tracks and kept on dancing to the rhythms of his music partner. One of the highlights of the show was when mister Ringo, at the peak of his creativity, took the Juno and started to produce live raw beats, building up tracks such as “Find me”, sung by Ivan, or his famous and super laid-back “Camel Blues”, performed by himself.
One thing that we enjoyed was that Ivan and Ringo were actually never acting with those usual rough rapper poses, showing that not all artists of the hip hop world need to be coming from a ghetto and sing about money, chicks, guns and all the other suburb related issues that this genre is judgmentally attributed with.
The stage at Loppen offered a very decent sound for the show, and although there were some technical problems with the mics, the guys managed them with a lot of humour and the mood remained totally unaffected.
The concert finally only ended once the club needed to shut down – Ringo and Ivan seemed never wanting to stop their show, even if Ivan had asked for the special support of the crowd that night since this was already their 16th gig in a row and the night before they had played in Paris.
The enthusiastic public stayed true and supportive until the very end, since what they were seeing on stage was a pure representation of smoothness, and bright and relaxed coolness. The records they brought with them were sold out in a minute after the show finished. We went home with a smile in our face and a mind full of relaxed beats, and are definitely looking forward to what this genius couple will serve us in the future.
For now, you got his fresh Lp, Helping Hands, that you can stream below to know what we are talking about: