White Hills

support Måneskjold
author BV date 14/04/15 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

It’s that time of the year again where CPH PIX set up showings of many different types of films all over the city and, while doing so, also manage to set up various musical endeavors along the way that all have a connection to the love for all things cinematic that CPH PIX seems to be. This particular night seemed to be no exception as White Hills have established themselves as collaborative partners with renowned filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, having contributed a performance of their song “Under Skin or By Name” to his film “Only Lovers Left Alive” – finally culminating in a screening of said film before White Hills’ gig on this very night.

All photos courtesy of Stefan thor Straten

Måneskjold

The support of the night came in a delightfully familiar packaging as I was once again faced with the space-punk onslaught of Måneskjold – one of the more promising bands I’ve seen in recent years. Well aware of their love for all things loud and fuzzy, I abandoned common sense and managed to position myself at the very center of this particular maelstrom of riffs with few or no regrets to follow. As they opened their set with a new track called “Jordslået”, the crowd was immediately bombarded with a dense wall of fuzz riffs complemented by eerie synth oscillations – provided by Kasper Skotte from Narcosatanicos as an added treat in the already tightly packed soundscape. Throughout what could potentially be described as their most accessible material, in the form of tracks like “Hun Bor I Jernpyramiden”, the band seemed to be bursting with energy and a joy of playing that was highly infectious and hard to resist – which in turn made it all the more easy to overlook minor issues like a string breaking mid-song on Kasper Fjord’s guitar, or the occasionally strange mix which really seemed to favor the low-end quite a bit.

In spite of various slip-ups along the way, it was (and still is) extremely hard to overlook the endearing charisma and strange vocals of front-man Rasmus Miehe Sørensen or, for that matter, the wall of sound that the triple-guitar onslaught, the thick bass and the driving beat of the drums managed to create. I’m glad to see that this band of psychedelic space-punks are indeed progressing at a fairly rapid pace and I must admit that I am becoming increasingly excited about the prospects of a release from this band in what I hope to be the near future.

White Hills

Following a lengthy changeover White Hills finally took the stage and started off with a mildly eerie intro track that slowly progressed into a fuzz-filled drone of pure rock in the form of “No Will”, from the band’s latest effort “Walks for Motorists”. Bassist Ego Sensation made it abundantly clear early on that her presence on stage is not entirely limited to vocal harmonies and rumbling bass grooves – but also stretches out to pulling various poses and contorting her entire body to the groove of the tunes – as if she was entirely caught up in what she was doing with little regard for anything else going on around her. Much of the same can be said about guitarist Dave W. who, when not being busy with riffing away or stomping on an arsenal of guitar effects, would often find himself caught in the very same antics – making the combination of the musicians a captivating sight in their own right. It’s an element that did a great deal to improve the aesthetics of the music as I could otherwise have imagined that their repetitive, droning take on music could otherwise become a fairly dull affair during a live performance. During tracks like “Wanderlust”, the droning became hypnotic in itself as I noticed more than a few members of the crowd blissfully bopping their head to the heavy groove and the tasty fuzz-bass.

Somewhere in the middle of their set, the band was joined onstage by Scott “Dr. Space” Heller – a man most commonly known as the driving force behind the musical force of nature known as Øresund Space Collective. With his flair for bleeps, oscillations and all things synthesized, the soundscape of White Hills quickly took on a refreshed energy which kept the show from becoming stagnant while the crowd floated around a veritable sea of drone-based riffs. It is always fairly intriguing to see (and hear) how bands of a fairly repetitive nature fare in the live setting and here credit seems to be due for White Hills. It’s a rare feat to be able to twist around in contorted movements while occasionally collapsing to the floor, whilst managing to keep a steady groove going within the realm of drone-based space rock, but that is nevertheless the essence of what White Hills seem to be about in the live setting. Their recorded output might not suit everyone’s tastes, but their live show should be fairly adequate in convincing more than a few people that this band is indeed worthwhile.

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