Published April 6, 2021
We continue to spotlight the fresh talents who deserve attention for their work and commitment and a crowd once we can meet up and rave again. In this focus interview we meet Anton Frisgaard and David Nørlund Wiberg, the two founders of BGM8S (Boogiemates). Despite the obstacles, which the last year has been to all of us, BGM8S Collective has continued to grow and expand their crew and activities.
Hi, BGM8S! Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Anton: I’m Anton, I am a DJ, producer, and music composer under various aliases. I use Young Application in relation to BGM8S. We’re a crew of ten people working hard on sharing our music and our community.
David: I’m David, I am also a DJ, producer and music composer under various monikers. “Divad” is the moniker I use in everything club-music/culture related.
Tell us how you met and why you teamed up as BGM8S?
David: We met in 2015 at the music conservatory in Esbjerg, where we studied electronic music and sound-arts. We had this one class at the conservatory that we decided to start skipping. We used that time to teach ourselves to DJ. At first, we played disco, soul, and funk records as “Boogie Mates”, which quickly evolved into electronic music, mainly House. We both started producing a lot of different styles which at the time fitted into one moniker. So we shortened “Boogie Mates” into BGM8S and made it a pseudo-collective. On paper, it had 6-7 members, but they were all Anton and me. After that, we began performing live performances and DJ sets while also arranging club events, local synth jams, and working on record labels. After we moved to Copenhagen in 2019, we asked Wild Reflection and Emma Schack to join the collective, a period where a fundamental shift began.
Anton: Yeah, and then during last summer, we met so many fresh faces that we wanted to welcome into BGM8S. Now we’re ten people, the two of us, Mira Campau, Disco Døner, Aleks BLC, Emma Schack, Ryan Dank, Lauren Beauchamp, DJ Lovecatt and Wild Reflection all in all. It’s been quite a ride so far, so it’s exciting to enter a new stage for the collective.
How will you describe your own music?
David: My primary genre is house, but I keep weaving between different types of house music, occasionally jumping into breaks and other styles as well. The best way to describe my music would be playful, grooving, and fast-paced. My regular tempo is 126-130+ bpm both in productions and DJ sets.
Anton: I work in and around house music too. I am thinking a lot about what can make house music relevant today. What was once a completely fresh sound enabled by pro and consumer-grade sound and music technology is now essentially a style. A feature that flattens its capabilities quite a bit to me. Since house music is essentially soul, funk and disco created in human/machine symbiosis, I think it’s interesting to think of human, soul and machine when producing and DJ’ing in the house realm. The Young Application project focuses on the trinity of human, soul, and machine. There are many exciting and relevant subjects to make music about, considering the technology that shapes our lives nowadays. I think it’s interesting that the machines of humans today, such as phones and computers, enable surveillance capitalists to map fears and desires and essentially our souls. Humans today are putting our souls into and having our souls abused by the same machine. As technology becomes increasingly prevalent there are literally a million concepts out there. The hard part is reflecting sonically on the contemporary relation between humans and machines and still making it danceable, soulful, relatable, and youthful too. But I think that was difficult in the 80’s too.
Both of you released new music lately and we noticed you are using various monikers when you produce and when you DJ. What’s your thoughts behind this?
David: I only use “Divad” now for my productions and DJ’ing in club-related music. I use two other monikers for other types of music that is unrelated to the clubbing scene.
Anton: Yeah, I put my old stage name Dan Sabel to rest for now. I’m focusing on Young Application and a few other projects outside BGM8S.
Any important goals you want to achieve with your music?
David: World domination.
Your BGM8S collective has grown in recent months and now features numerous fresh faces and some more established names. Can you update us on the strategy for your collective?
Anton: You’re right, we used to be this pseudo-collective we talked about, but during this last summer – God knows how – we managed to meet many new and talented people. Not too long ago, we expanded the collective. Now the collective is a flatly structured organization of ten people with different skills and backgrounds. Even though David and I did a lot of work back in Esbjerg, we wanted everybody to be as involved as possible. People have been putting so much love and energy into the project, and I can’t wait until we can finally start partying and playing together!
David: Yeah, as Anton and I aren’t running it by ourselves, we are in the middle of establishing a new workflow, now that we are a larger group of people running BGM8S as one unit. A large part of our focus right now revolves around contributing to the clubbing community by connecting with both party-goers and other crews and artists.
There’s a new podcast series as well. What’s the idea with this?
Anton: Our new series is an introduction to the whole collective. BGM8S is introducing all the new members in the collective by having them do a mix. We’re also doing livestreams with groups of three members putting on a party for a few hours. The last one was a fab womxns day special with Mira, Aleks and Savan. Much recommend checking both series out!
You also just launched a new radioshow. Tell us more about that?
Anton: That’s right, but it’s two radio shows actually, both on Bolsje Radio. Our good friend Kasper started up an independent station, and he’s doing the lord’s work, big, big up to him. Our shows are ‘Cooking Up with BGM8S’ and ‘A Night Out with BGM8S’. ‘Cooking Up’ is a cooking show where we play the music that we like to make dinner to on a weeknight – sharing the heat and our experience of a good kitchen soundtrack. ‘A Night Out’ is music for the pre-party or private shindig with loved ones during the weekend.
It’s very clear to us that your drive and initiatives are present. What has the current dancing ban meant in relation to this?
Anton: It’s so difficult, haha. It’s only tolerable for two reasons honestly:
1. It’s for the greater good
2. It’s such a tense buildup, and everybody will go OFF when it’s finally lifted.
David: We often reminisce about clubbing, but the whole collective has been great at saying “This is what we have, what can we create with it?”. All of our conversations have been focused on ideas and positivity. And because of that we have been really busy, which has kept our attention, somewhat away from all the negative aspects of the situation.
Plans for the future once the nightlife reopens?
David: I think we want to get out as much as possible. We have a ton of ideas and plans for different parties. I’ve been working on an event series called “Safehouse” for almost 2 years, including safe-space policies, 50/50 men and womxn behind the decks and ofc. house music. Everything is ready to go so it’s really all about getting the green light.
Anton: Yeah, making and sharing good music and values. Especially creating the safe spaces needed in society.
What kind of audience to your music do you wish for?
Anton: Ever since our first days, we have made our music and parties a place for all shapes and sizes. Since we’re a mixed bunch of skin tones, ethnicities, nationalities and sexualities, we can only tolerate an open-minded, respectful and inclusive audience.
David: I completely agree with Anton.
What kind of environment do you wish the electronic music scene in Denmark will be in the future?
David: I would like to see a much safer environment, where womxn can go to any club in Copenhagen, without being subjected to sexual harassment. I would also like to see a much larger female representation in the booth and in the studios. Finally: a greater sense of community in the overall electronic music scene. Many of the people I’ve conversed with from the scene, have talked about how many crews and labels stick to themselves. It would be nice to see a more united scene, where different crews meet up with one another. Not just in terms of working together, but just hanging out, showing up to each other’s events to support.
Anton: As David says, inclusive, safe, respectful and open-minded. I’d also really love to see an even bigger open-mindedness towards leftfield dance music, the less cookie-cutter the better in my opinion. And I totally agree with David that if we want to push the bar for dance music expressions in DK, we have to unite across collectives and crews.
In terms of creating a safer environment and more diverse representation in the electronic music scene we really agree and we’d love to hear if you have any suggestions or good advice for the scene in that matter?
Anton: It’s important to keep booking diverse lineups and to teach, showcase, and promote. Tia at Future Female Sounds is doing a lot of stuff right – we need more initiatives like hers to give young DJs the skills, confidence, and motivation needed. In terms of the safer environments, having zero-tolerance towards harassment and hate is the only way. The Fast Forward crew and affiliated people have been exceptionally good at selecting bouncers, having people like Club Mafia on the floor and making sure that everyone knows what is acceptable and what is not. These are all things that make a notable difference, and I have a ton of respect for their way of doing things. I think it’s a good strategy to implement these tactics and to keep finding inventive ways of enforcing good vibes and respectful behaviour while raving out.
David: I completely agree with Anton. Besides the zero-tolerance policy, I also feel like it’s important to educate the ones harassing. Instead of kicking them out, trying to have a dialog with them before, in order to make sure that they understand why they are kicked out. The best way to change the culture is to educate people on the subject. It’s also important to inform the party-goers, how they can quickly get a hold of someone, to help them out if they experience harassment. Some ways of doing these are with a sign at the bar or visible staff such as Club Mafia.
Any specific gigs to look forward to from you?
David: We are super hyped to be playing with Chris Stussy in Black Box at Culture Box! I’ve been looking forward to that gig since 2020 as I’m a massive fan of his productions and dj sets and it’s also my first time playing Black Box. I’m sure it’s going to be a huge night!
Anton: Yes, that booking was the most revitalizing thing to happen in a long time. Also maybe a few private things throughout the summer if restrictions permit.
Anything we don’t know about David and Anton that you haven’t told us about?
Anton: Lots! But let’s talk about it in between dancing in September.
David: I can give you a quick one. We’re born one day apart, my last name is identical to Anton’s middle name, and we have matching chin scars – although mine is bigger.
Anton: Actually mine grew a centimeter last time I fell on my bike – so I think we’ll have to re-measure!
Last question… Your best Culture Box memory and possibly a good advice for us once we’re back in business?
David: I’ve been re-visiting a certain memory from CB during the lockdown. Back in September 2019, I saw Cinthie perform in Black Box. The floor was H O T and all the people that night were super friendly and ready to party! At one point, some random guy turned to me on the floor and yelled “IS THIS F*CKING SICK OR WHAT!!” and I could only agree! Hahaha. Shout out to Cinthie! As for good advice: a bigger focus on creating a safer space for womxn, non-alcoholic beer in the bar and keep helping newcomers as you helped us.
Anton: My best memory is from the first time we got booked in Red Box, when Mall Grab was playing upstairs. The night was just a complete dream. The floor was packed and the mood was through the ceiling. Yeah, as David says, a more significant focus on making everyone feel safe and free. To me, it seems that the safer space, the better the party. Helping out smaller local crews like ourselves makes a huge difference and puts so much energy into the scene. So that’s a great thing to keep doing.
One love and thanks for listening <3
👉 Read the focus interview FOCUS: SWEETIE about spreading the ‘Sweetie lifestyle’.