Roskilde Festival 2011 Review (Part I)

My Roskilde in Music : Names to watch out for Part I

As I wrote before, Roskilde 2011 was the year of the underdog, the year in which the Orange chart-toppers were ousted from the complete and utter dominion they tend to posses at the festival. 2011 saw stages like Cosmopol, Gloria and Arena shine and shimmer with the ambience of the less commercial and the underground. Orange did have its moments though, as anybody who saw Iron Maiden perform will tell you. Here’s a selection of up and coming names to keep an eye on in the near future

Reptile & Retard

Several years ago, France’s critically acclaimed electronic duo, “Justice,” took the world by storm with their raging basslines and squelching synth sounds coupled with indie and rock influences. “We are your Friends” became an evergreen hit and the band were catapulted into the annals of history. France have got Justice and Denmark have been endowed with Reptile & Retard, two loons from Århus whose myspace page contains but one track as they haven’t released an album yet.

Following success in China thanks to being promoted by former Oasis manager Michael Ohlsson, Reptile & Retard took Roskilde’s pavillon junior by the horns and flung the audience into a spellbinding 2 hours or so of sheer mayhem that culminated in the lead singer clambering onto the pilons supporting the stage before hurling himself into the crowd below.

The duo are currently working on their debut album which will be produced by David M Allen, the same bloke behind numerous tracks by “Depeche Mode” and “The Cure.” The Orange scene is calling !

Nicholas Jaar

At just 21, Nicholas Jaar is nothing short of a music revelation. Jaar’s organic, symphony-esque take on electronic music is as unique as it is spellbinding, comparable in many instances to the work of the likes of Andreas Trentemøller and Gui Borrato.

Drawing influences from the likes of Erik Satie and Mulatu Astatke, Jaar blends strings simple beat structures and dreamy vocals together with the craftsmanship of a musical genius. Much can be expected from Jaar after his critically acclaimed concert that saw the New York based talent showcase his debut album “Space is only noise” to a partisan Cosmopol crowd.

Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley’s tale is a cinderella story unlike any other. The “Screaming Eagle of soul” as he is commonly referred to, at the age of 62 released his first album “No Time for Dreaming” only earlier this year, after a lifetime as a struggling musician and cook. After spending most of his childhood living in appalling conditions on the streets of Brooklyn in the company of drug addicts and criminals, Bradley spent two decades as a chef in California whilst making music on a part-time basis.

After being laid off, Bradley moved back to his native New York and became a handyman to allow himself more flexibility as a musician and at the age of 51 began to record his productions. Fast forward to 2011 and Bradley’s debut album is racking up praise from music critics the world over as parallels between himself and the likes of soul legends such as Otis Reading, Curtis Mayfield and the seminal James Brown are drawn far and wide.

Roskilde 2011 will remember Bradley for his charged, soul-filled concert that saw him break down in tears at the end of it all and the world will remember this music legend for a long time to come. What an inspirational figure!

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