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2013-08-29 by Fat Henry

Punkt Festival 2013 @ Gubemusic

An exquisite process of musical fermentation

As the Punkt Festival rolls around again, the now annual institution makes a return to its Scandinavian roots after last year's international smorgasbord curated by Brian Eno.

Fat Henry muses on the festival and offers a selection of albums by the performing artists.

Among the artists performing and remixing and lecturing this year are Gubemusic founder, Bugge Wesseltoft, a new ensemble - The Kilowatt Hour - consisting of Stephan Mathieu, David Sylvian and Christian Fennesz, trumpet heroes Nils Petter Molvaer and Arve Henriksen, radical female vocalists Sidsel Endresen and Maja Ratkje, guitar hero Eivind Aarset, Punkt founders Jan Bang and Erik Honoré, and a plethora of remarkable musicians both in support and in their own right.

The atmosphere at Punkt is unique among music festivals, always charged with anticipation, expectation, and a constant awareness that something absolutely unrepeatable could happen at any time. This is at the very core of the "remix" aspect of Punkt (an aspect Brian Eno seemed to ignore completely last year). Of course, there have been a few ... um ... "not-so-hot" remixes over the years, but for every lump of coal, there has been innumerable diamonds - many of which were the product of the Festival "core musicians": Arve Henriksen, Sidsel Endresen and Eivind Aarset alongside the Bang/Honoré powerhouse. Absent this year, but also a major contributor to the Punkt aesthetic through the years, is J. Peter Schwalm, but always deserving of a mention in relation to the festival for his sterling work within it.

Also of note is the fact that Punkt does more than just present concerts followed by remixes of them: the Punkt Seminars offer fans an opportunity to hear guest speakers (the majority of whom have contributed to the festival in some capacity that year) give talks on personally chosen subjects. Among them this year are Bugge Wesseltoft and Maja Ratkje, while an eclectic assortment of others cover territory from architecture to film to fine art, as well as music. Additionally, the filmmaker Kjell Bjørgeengen and poet Nils Christian Moe-Repstad present an installation (at the Kristiansand Kunsthall) entitled "Night gets five exits". Moe-Repstad has also been a longstanding member of the Punkt community, there at the beginning, and both performing and contributing ever since, notably in David Sylvian's previous appearance at Punkt in the form of the installation (and subsequent album) "Uncommon Deities".

With all this about to happen just a week from now, we provide here a selection of albums available on Gube by the majority of the artists performing this year. While this cannot begin to do little more than hint at the atmosphere that permeates the festival, it does allow for a taste of the exquisite ingredients that will be combined in this year's ferment.


Fat Henry

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