SPOTLIGHT: FREDERIK TOLLUND
Published February 21, 2022
The ever interesting Danish scene for electronic music is thriving because of passion and dedication from all its various actors: DJs, promoters, crews, bookers, audience etc. With this Spotlight series we tell you who to watch. Meet Frederik Tollund!
Please tell us about your background and why electronic music has become a big part of your life?
I’ve always been into music and digging — but I really found electronic music through dancing and partying. After pouring hours into raves and soulseek, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had music and especially electronic music centered as something vital in my life. The many introspective and nerdy elements of digging and production speak to one side of me, while the communities, friendship and collective phenomenology fill the rest.
How would you describe your own music?
The last few years I’ve really gotten back into making dance floor-oriented music (as opposed to introspective noise). This music is a synthesis of my love of non 4-4 beats and relies heavily on hooks and breaks. I really enjoy making music on hardware since I’ve found that the quirks and limitations have led to experiments and accidents that later become the main hooks, grooves and identities of the tracks. Honestly a lot of the time is spent trying to solve technical issues and it’s very endearing when these issues create foundations for new tracks. Hardware’s lack of an “undo”-button can lead to mountains of gold and frustrations.
Can you tell us about your inspirations and influences as a musician/DJ?
My main influences come from experienced moments with crews, dancers and djs. I have the shittiest memory but can still have absolute vivid flash backs from Seal being dropped in a morning set or my friends holding me. These memories are impossible to unlink from the work put in by dancers, clubs and promoters and therefore many of these strong associations are tied to crews and places. Especially experiences at Et Andet Sted, Bedside parties, KUNE, VSA, JASHO, Berghain, Group – and Private Therapies shape the way I dig and look for music. In terms of DJ’ing I’ve always found myself being as inspired by attitudes and approaches as I am specific sounds. I love djs that string moods together and aren’t afraid to require attentiveness or throw curve balls at the dance floor.
You’re a resident of Group Therapy. Tell us about that, what’s the story behind the project?
Group Therapy is a bi-monthly rave that Morten, Selma, Carlo and I have thrown since 2018. Mostly at Ved Siden Af. It’s founded on the vibes and music that has been life-changing for all of us and is our attempt to create a space for self-actualisation, feminist utopias, blossoming of friendships and working actively with safer spaces and making and giving space for diversity on the line-up and on the dance floor. It’s closely connected to Ved Siden Af and would not have been what it is without this club. We are blessed with the most beautiful and dedicated crowd of dancers and regulars, who are the ones making it what it is. Playing and especially closing these parties have completed changed my perception of what kind of commitment and care you can expect from dancers and thereby what I can do as a DJ. Group Therapy is absolutely one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever been a part of. Big shoutout to whoever has been at one of these parties when the lights turn on, it really means everything to us.
How do you see the Danish electronic music scene right now, and what’s your hopes and dreams for the future?
It’s difficult to really know after/during the pandemic, but I was really overwhelmed by the level of care and commitment being put in by everybody since the reopening last September. I have the feeling that a lot of the perceived boundaries and rigid structures around different scenes, communities and crews are eroding, which is so exciting. Hopefully this will give more space for crews and dancers that are still very underrepresented in the scenes. Mobilisation of different crews through ‘Københavns Frie Promotere’ also enables so many amazing options for knowledge-sharing, political pressure and helping one another, which is an attitude that I feel like could spill into DJ’ing and music production even more as well. Hopefully the importance of safe, feminist, sexy and hedonistic cultural spaces can create a momentum which can slow or turn the gentrification or over-commercialisation of an electronic music scene.
How do you see your own role in the scene?
My position as a DJ is incredibly linked to Ved Siden Af and Group Therapy. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have some cute key people (shoutout especially Sebastian!) put their faith in my skills and selections time after time and I’m super grateful for that. In terms of how I see my music, I think I’ve been lucky to break out of being pigeonholed as solely a “house” DJ and hope that I can continue to branch out.
Do you have any good advice for Culture Box in regards to the future of electronic music in Denmark?
Good question! Be conscious of the power position that big clubs have and the responsibility that follows in terms of creating and cultivating diversity in terms of gender and race. Work actively with safer spaces and non-discrimination and always center marginalised people and people who might not usually be given spaces in these matters. Ban photos at the parties and continue your Debut Nights putting trust in the new and the underground. No bullshit meritocracy, it’s supposed to be a party!
Any exciting new projects in the pipeline for you?
We’re incredibly excited to return with Group Therapy this year and have many collaborations and artists coming up which I’m so excited for. Additionally a tune of mine is getting a late March release on a compilation I really love and respect, so I’m really grateful for the trust on that one.
You are playing at Culture Box on Saturday 12 March. What’s your feelings and expectations?
I’ve listened to Leon Vynhall’s music a lot, but have never heard him live, but I’m hoping to provide a foundation and starting point which can allow him to go wherever. I’ve also never played Black Box before and it’s always exciting to play new spaces and for people that might not have heard my music before. Hope to see some familiar faces too though.
Saturday 12 March: Leon Vynehall / Frederik Tollund / Ryan Dank / KANYE HEST / PAVI / B from E / Elias Gozal
Culture Box Stream Sessions: Crisco