Waldchengarten Biography January, 2005.
When Waldchengarten was formed in late 1999, by brothers Lars and Dennis Hansen, it was with the sole purpose of creating an alternative to traditional perception of music. Within the noise or "alternative electronica" scene this is rather common, but regarding the biased musical landscape of Denmark, this is somewhat outstanding. The motivation was the wish to experiment and the challenge in creating out of material most people would dismiss, i.e. using dissonance as the source to create harmony. That is, if one could consider harsh noise and strident feedback as being harmonic...
The first recordings were really pure noise, however, they hold some dynamics and are the beginning of what evolved into the characteristic Waldchengarten heavy low-end rumblings. On the first release, Was Kommunikation? 10" (kfi 2000) it is especially the clattering, insisting reiteration that is the foundation of the expression, but also the restless energy. The record pays for itself yet can't settle down continuing to evolve gloomy and menacing without actually getting anywhere. And it is within this paradox Waldchengarten's method truly can be improved. Time was also spent concentrating on developing and refining this expression. A vast amount of experiments were conducted, investigating means and effect, sound source and manipulation, and a great deal of thinking on the anatomy of a track. Rather quickly it was established that development is crucial and to structure a track, as if a story without lyrics but with only the sounds to carry out the drama and suspense of the tale, was an interesting way to work with noise. Telling a story in progression using reiteration as a method propounds a paradox which is common in the later Waldchengarten production.
After the release of the 10" quite some effort was spend distributing the record to all parts of the world. The band had a hunch that the noise-scene in Denmark wasn't exactly "the bomb" in the corporate music business. Therefore the concentration was abroad, where a large noise community existed. The 10" was sent to review and distribution in USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, France and Japan. Here it was well recieved by both reviewers and listeners. A single record had, however, found it's way to Danish music zines .
That summer, 2001, new recordings were made for an upcoming 7-inch, which was to be released in conjunction with a European tour with Japanese Seed Mouth. The 7-inch, Six Silver Bullets was an exercise in whether or not it was possible to create whole noise/ambient works - complete with intro, build up, drama/suspense, intensification, climax and outro - in just two minutes. It couldn't, but the result was nothing to sneeze at. Some of the tracks had a greater complexity than the 10-inch and revealed a great breadth of vision, while one single track was a display of pure harsh noise. Moreover, the inner sleeve was supplied with a morbid short story that kept a fine balance between everyday observations on one hand and the absurdity of the far-out on the other.
A few concerts were also played in Denmark, aside from those on the tour, including at Intercosmos 01 electronic festival. Waldchengarten are a Danish duo whose work traditionally mixes destructo-snippets of recognisable instruments, indefinable rumbles and power electronics. The lathe-cut Six Silver Bullets (KFI 04 7) does not combine these elements (as they did on the previous release) "so much as it slides between them, sounding alternately like Mesmer warming up before a gig, a distorted tape piece based on Kraftweks Autobahn sound effects, and MSBR drilling for teeth in an echo chamber." - Byron Coley, The Wire
Back in the studio, hours of recordings were re-worked or discarded until finally, in the summer 2002 the In Preperations of Machines to Fall LP was released. This was the actual full-length debut of the band. The record was a further development of the tendencies found on the Six Silver Bullets 7". The compositions are more concentrated and complex in their structures and in the layers over which they are deployed, while the pure noise is merely reduced to yet another artistic effect or tool. The ability to imply a contradiction of it's own is an interesting aspect which would not be possible without a knife-edge sense of timing, and where the really interesting space is created is in the absence of what ties the extremes together.
2002 also offered the first remix assignments. Abroad, Cock E.S.P. asked for a contribution for their remix-tribute CD Hurts so Good and Nihilist Records asked for a remix for the unofficial tribute CD Masters Of The Scene in honor of the Swedish band ABBA. Danish Under Byen asked for a remix from their new record Det Er Mig Der Holder Traerne Sammen. Vinyl Dog Joy wanted them to remix a track from their CD stories from the hafway house and Strumm wanted to get a remix of a track off their 7" Strumm. And in November Geiger Magazine made a 6 page interview with Waldchengarten, exploring the depths of their noise + a 3 page feature on Noisejihad.dk.
In preparation of machines to fall LP / Geiger 3 With all this effort something was bound to happen, and it did. 2003 was probably the groups most active year - 18 concerts ranging from collaborations with authors and reworking a classic art noise piece, appearances at art festivals, music festivals, danceperformances, a soundtrack for a silent movie, and several appearances on DR (Danish national radio). BeautyBoxer was released on Verato Project and when Geiger came out with the 20 best of 2002 list, only 5 Danish bands were featured on the list, including Waldchengarten with "..In Preparation of Machines To Fall" LP.
Last year was an equally busy year, partly due to several personal projects outside of W?dchengarten, as well as working on new recordings for different labels, and to some extent re-defining the Waldchngarten agenda. Still there were time for a re-visit at Norberg Festival in Sweden, as well as other music/art related festivals, but propably the most significant gig was when Waldchengarten, as the first pure ambient/noise act ever, were booked for Roskilde Festival 04. Roskilde 04: Waldchengarten - Nuclear Radiation. The wind became, if possible, even more intense, as Danish Waldchengarten unleashed their electronic hurricane on stage. Where moments earlier there had only been passing gusts of wind, now was a massive cold front of high-frequency soundwaves. Because actual music wasn't the point. Nor rythms for that matter. Strangely enough people gathered together in the mud in front of the stage anyway. What exactly appealled to them is hard to tell. Quite a few eyebrows were raised when the extremely heavy wall of sound emerged - only to be refracted continously over the heads of the gaping/stoned audience. A sonic monster, impossible to stop, trampling everything down on its way to the senses. And this might as well be the thoughts of Waldchengarten.
Because the duo have long ago realized that rules and limits are sent from hell, while the slowly pulsating noise-ambient is the holy path onwards. Only a few times in the 45 minutes noisy sphere, you could sense regularities. Tiny pseudobeats manifested through a depressed bass, but not enough to label it an actual rythm. And exactly because of this, the entire concert remained a technological scrub of whitethorns and the senses and identification left naked as newborns. Workers at powerplants, or similar industries, would possibly categorise the koncert as an almost perfect representation of dangerous nuclear radiation
Discography: Electrical Bonding CD (DH 2005) Uncomfortable Positions MP3-ep (Fukk God 2004) Beautyboxer 3" CD (Verato Project 2003) ...In preparation of machines to fall LP / CD (KFI 2002) Waldchengarten: Live! (KFI CD-R Series 2001) Six Silver Bullets 7"(KFI 2001) Was Kommunikation? 10"(KFI 2000) Waldchengarten / KF split Cass. (Out of Love rec., Italy 2000) Compilation tracks: v/a: "Noise Decay", Danish noise comp., CDR - Organic Pipeline 2004 (trk.: "Lies got you into this mess, but lies won't get you out") v/a "Under Byen: Remix Album 2004" LP - DVP 2004 (trk.: "Om Vinteren") v/a: "Aarhus NU", A book about what's happening at the moment in the musical life of Aarhus incl. comp. CD. Published by Signalement Aarhus 2004 (trk.: "Cancels out if need be") v/a: "Hurts So Good", Cock ESP remix CD - V/VM Test Records 2003 (trk.: Cuttin', punchin', screamin' - "you should have been more careful mix") v/a: "Masters Of The Scene", A tribute to ABBA, CD - Nihilist Records 2003 (trk.: "Thank you for the music") v/a: "Noisejihad", 2nd Noisejihad comp., CD - Noisejihad 2003 (trk.: Cracked open on a short range", "Ill-mannered Rhetorics", "The Hunt. The Kill. The End") Official website: www.waldchengarten.dk