Jesper / Blue Foundation :
Biography, â€œSweep of Daysâ€?
Blue Foundation are:
Kirstine Stubbe TeglbjÃ¦rg: composer, vocalist and writer
Tobias Wilner: producer, composer and DJ
Bo Rande: producer, composer, trompet m.m.
MC Jabber: MC and writer
Tatsuki Oshima: DJ and vinyl manipulator
After two years of composing, recording and experiment in a 3m x 4m top-floor atelier in Vesterbro, Blue Foundation have whittled down more than 30 pieces into their second album (out on Virgin on 02.02.04), the 11-track 'Sweep of Days'.
As with the critically acclaimed first album, the Danish members of the band, Tobi, Kir and Bo, have once again combined their instrumental, vocal and programming talents with the London-based Japanese turntable maestro DJ Tatsuki, and with the English lyricist and performer MC Jabber.
The band's characteristic style from their previous record - soundscapes layered with dense and unpredictable beats, subtle scratching and soft trumpet harmonies, threaded throughout with intelligent lyrics expertly delivered - has been further developed and refined for 'Sweep of Days'.
The new album features a wide range of live instruments, including violin, cello, guitars, piano and melodica, plus guest vocals from Blood & Fire's Spikey T on the dub-inflected duo 'Embers', and Japanese rap from Sato-ji o the uncompromising 'Yellow Man'. (And, for the connoisseur, there is a special, extended track on the vinyl LP, and a hidden track on the CD!)
Warm and reflective, melancholy yet life-affirming, 'Sweep of Days,' with its mix of jazz, catchy melody, bass, scratch and static, is a testament to the diverse musical inspiration and experience of the Blue Foundation band members and collaborators.
Now, after mixing in Copenhagen (October '03) with Rene Cambony and mastering at the Exchange in London (November '03), it's time, finally, to put our music to the test, and release it to a changed world.
As Kir sings, in the album's last song, 'This is my day'â€?
â€œThrough the steady sweep of days
Keeping focus as the currents race
Seems like weâ€™re always working
At this timeâ€?.
Since the release of the album â€œSweep of Daysâ€? in Feb.2004, the Danish press has praised the album as one of the most outstanding musical achievements of 2004.
Critical Reaction â€“ February â€˜04
In the estimation of Denmarkâ€™s leading music critics, Blue Foundation have taken a giant musical leap forward with their second album, â€˜Sweep of Days.â€™
Already the highest new entry in the Danish national charts, only one week after its release, and with the first single, â€˜As I moved On,â€™ on heavy rotation on Danish radio, the album, described as â€˜swarming with hit singles,â€™ has invoked comparisons with artists as diverse as Morcheeba, Massive Attack, DJ Shadow, Rickie Lee Jones and Bjork.
Its edgy blend of live instruments and programmed beats, the virtuosity of the arrangements and its spellbinding lyrics have all earned accolades (â€˜seductive,â€™ â€˜addictive,â€™ â€˜consciousness-expanding,â€™ etc), with critics united in acknowledging the album as â€˜of international calibreâ€™ and as â€˜a breakthrough.â€™
The production- and composition-skills of the key Danish band members, Tobias Wilner, Kirstine Stubbe TeglbjÃ¦rg and Bo Rande, complemented by turntable maestro Tatsuki Oshimaâ€™s â€˜whirlwindâ€™ mixology, MC Jabberâ€™s â€˜solemn, ominousâ€™ rap, and the flowing, melodious interplay of horns, strings and vocals, have all combined to create a melancholy, uplifting, romantic yet recognisably urban sound, in â€˜a siren call to the cityâ€™ and â€˜a stand against celebrity culture.â€™
Journalists have recognised the groupâ€™s artistic and personal integrity and disdain for hype and, after Blue Foundationâ€™s nearly 2-year long creative effort (during which countless tracks were discarded or re-worked), the public has had its patience rewarded with a release with â€˜international hit potential,â€™ â€˜full of painterly, mystical sounds,â€™ â€˜timeless,â€™ â€˜dustyâ€™ and â€˜enticingâ€™ â€“ an â€˜infectious,â€™ â€˜uncompromisingâ€™ and â€˜genre-defyingâ€™ tribute to their fans and supporters worldwide.
â€˜Itâ€™s quite simple, really,â€™ according to Information. â€˜Blue Foundation improve the quality of your life, and make it possible to hope that better times lie ahead. We thank the five for this breath of musical fresh air.â€™
Blue Foundation flashback
Flashback to London in the late '90s, where Tobi and Kir, on a tour of clubs and second-hand record shops, first met DJ Tatsuki. They had long been inspired by Japanese culture and music, and this encounter further cemented this connection. Tatsuki has lived for many years in London, and has for years been a fixture, with his Mukatsuku crew, in the capital's underground music scene. His special take on hip hop culture and turntablism was the perfect complement to Blue Foundation's intelligent and sensual soundscapes of abstract beats, cuts, static and atmospheric scratching.
Back in Copenhagen, Tobi and Kir hooked up with the English spoken word performer and lyricist MC Jabber and with the Danish trumpet player Bo Rande, to create the final artistic and musical line-up of the band. A small atelier/studio in an old meat-renderer's in Vesterbro (to the west of the city centre) became the rehearsal and recording locale for the group; Blue Foundation were now working together as a musical collective, a flexible foundation of individual practitioners combining their diversity of background and talent into a multi-layered mix of music, sound, rhythm and word.
This initial collaboration saw the release, in January 2001, of the band's first album entitled â€œBlue Foundationâ€? on the respected Danish electronica label April Records. As well as new material, the record included tracks from their earlier EP 'Wise Guy/Hollywood' (April) and the single 'Hide/Hollywood', previously put out by the British label Moshi Moshi. The album was acclaimed by critics and public alike, and its sales of 5000 copies represented a more than healthy figure for a debut on a relatively underground Danish label.
But the band's ambitions ran higher. On the strength of a network of connections with artists from, for example, Japan and England and Germany, remixing Fauna Flash for the Compost release â€œConfusionâ€? as well as appearing on several compilations such as Bennetons â€œColoursâ€?, and helping out Danish producers from Universal Funk and Banzai Republic to get tracks out in Japan. In June '01, the band undertook a 4-week, self-financed tour of Japan. This was a tour de force of sleeping on night-buses, a series of concerts on consecutive days and masses of press attention. Blue Foundation toured and absorbed it all, from Tokyo's hectic club milieu, to Kyoto's Shinto shrines and the jazz club of Kyoto Jazz Massive to Kobe..
Not only were these meetings with Japanese artists a great inspiration to the group, they also provided a springboard for more fruitful collaborations between Japanese and Danish DJs. In the last years, the band has taken the initiative in, for example, bringing Opiate (Thomas Knak) to play in Tokyo, Calm to Roskilde Festival and Klock and Saidrum to their â€œLive Beatsâ€? club series in Copenhagen alongside german Monolake and Norwegian Xploding Plastix. And Blue Foundation band members have individually collaborated with a variety of artists from spoken word performers to producers, such as Calm, Boom Boom Sattelites, DJ Klock, The Mixologists Crew, Shazia Mirza, Francesca Beard a.m.o.
A step outwards from the independent scene, by virtue of a deal signed with Virgin at the end of 2003, has ensured that the band can continue to develop in its characteristic manner: converging everyone's respective artistic approaches to continue their usual high standards of production, recording and performance, but also to carry on a diversity of different projects and collaborations.
Thanks to for submitting the biography.