New release on Punkt Editions

punkt | stillefelt - Modest Utopias

Pastoral digital single release: 28 April

Modest Utopias digital album release: 19 May

Modest Utopias CD release: 1 September


Modest Utopias: A collaborative album born amidst lockdown, forged through digital conversations, inspired by the Live Remix concept.


Modest Utopias is a powerful collaborative album between British trio Stillefelt and a temporary Punkt collective led by producers/musicians Jan Bang and Erik Honoré, featuring music students from the University of Agder.

The project began when a three-day Punkt Festival in Birmingham was cancelled due to the first Covid lockdown. Instead of abandoning their plans for collaboration, the musicians engaged in a digital musical conversation which has now materialized as the second release on Punkt Editions.


As the world grappled with unprecedented challenges, music served as a source of comfort and connection, motivating the artists to embark on a creative journey during a time of introspection and transformation.  Modest Utopias draws from a diverse range of influences to explore themes of conflict, adversity, and hope. As we move forward, the album serves as both a reminder of a pandemic that is already starting to feel unreal, a dreamlike memory of deserted streets and isolation, and as a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of art in our lives.


Modest Utopias is not only an album born out of challenging times, but also a testament to the innovation and collaboration that lies at the core of the Punkt Festival: The Live Remix concept, where live performances are remixed in real-time by other artists. This groundbreaking approach was adapted into a "city-to-city format" for Modest Utopias: Stillefelt’s performances in Birmingham were reimagined and enhanced in the Punkt Studio in Kristiansand before being returned for further creative input by Stillefelt. The album was ultimately mixed by Erik Honoré in Oslo as society began reopening.


Up until this collaboration, Stillefelt’s work was focussed on exploring what it means to improvise music together in live performance. Modest Utopias became a way to continue that work at a time when playing to an audience was not possible. The exchange of musical ideas between Stillefelt and Punkt was an improvisation that unfolded over time, and much like a live performance, Modest Utopias became something inextricable from the musicians who created it and the environment in which it was created.


Punkt has enjoyed a long-standing collaboration with the University of Agder, by contributing to the institution’s electronic music education and providing practice opportunities for music students. This partnership is evident in Modest Utopias, which features the talents of both seasoned artists and emerging musicians from the University.

The artists on Modest Utopias include:



  • Chris Mapp: bass, electronics
  • Percy Pursglove: trumpet
  • Thomas Seminar Ford: guitar, electronics



  • Benedikte Kløw Askedalen: vocals, electronics
  • Alexandra Hellesnes Revold: samples, electronics
  • Kristian Isachsen: samples, electronics
  • Canberk Ulaş: duduk
  • Eirik Lindtner: guitars, electronics
  • Jan Bang: samples, electronics, vocals
  • Erik Honoré: samples, electronics, synthesizer


Produced by Jan Bang and Erik Honoré.

Cover design by Nina Birkeland.

Invisible Columns

Sanem Kalfa / Ambrose Akinmusire / Kit Downes / Jan Bang

'Invisible Columns', the new project of Sanem Kalfa (Artist in Focus 2023), at North Sea Round Town is being performed on Friday 23 June for the first time in the Van Nelle Fabriek. Kalfa has invited three international artists for this performance: trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (USA), pianist and organist Kit Downes (GB/DE), live electronic artist Jan Bang (NO). 

All About Jazz describes her proven vocal techniques as "the most convincing testimony to the power of the musical voice" (Jakob Baekgaard).

Kalfa's voice is augmented by the soundscapes of Norwegian live sampling mastermind Jan Bang and the mesmerizing piano and hammond sounds of Kit Downes, described as "one of the best pianists of his generation" (BBC Jazz Award, ECM Records)

 Akinmusire is described by NPR Music as “a trumpet player with deep expressive means and a composer with kaleidoscopic vision.”

'Invisible Columns' was developed in conjunction with the North Sea Round Town and premiered at the festival in the most important industrial monument of the Netherlands, the Van Nelle Fabriek. Kalfa presented various concerts during the North Sea Round Town 2023.

Podcast: Ensemble Modern / Jan Bang

Jan Bang & Sava Stoianov in conversation

Nebenstimmen Ensemble Modern Podcast
"Nebenstimmen" brings you in conversations on music, art and life between Ensemble members and conversation partners chosen by them. In this episode, trumpet player and Ensemble Modern member Sava Stoianov talks with the Norwegian producer and electronic musician Jan Bang about the work “With these hands”. How did the recordings for rehearsal purposes accidentally become pieces? What is the Norwegian way of exploring ideas? Discover how Jan Bang answers all these and more interesting questions and what is behind his motto: “It’s about freedom and to be precise.”
Jan Bang, producer and musician Sava Stoianov, trumpet player
Music Jingle: Conlon Nancarrow: Study No. 5, arrangend by Dietmar Wiesner Jingle: Eva Böcker

available on the following platforms:

Matthew Barley - Electric

BBC review (four star)

Works by Jan Bang, Anna Meredith, John Metcalfe, Joby Talbot, Jonathan Harvey et al
Matthew Barley (cello)
Signum Classics SIGCD 846   75:50 mins 

Matthew Barley has been performing contemporary works for much of his career, building out the repertoire for cello and electronics in particular. This album is the culmination of these efforts, bringing together several of the pieces he has commissioned for this instrumentation with other works by seminal electronic composers. As a collected work, Electric is haunting and otherworldly, with many of the pieces included exploring the vast potential of reverb. Barley chooses to let the natural timbral imperfections of the cello jar against the clean musical lines and shapes created by the electronics. This textural blend can end up feeling rather unstable – in that beautifully raw way you often get in live performance, when something is being created in real time.

Movements of Jan Bang’s Noticing Things punctuate the programme, its moaning cello part shifting cleverly between traditional cello sounds and more electronic textures. Throughout the album, Barley’s cello shapeshifts, transforming from siren to choir, shimmering to gritty.

With electronic technology that is constantly in development, it’s important to see these works set down with strong recordings that reflect the landscape for and possibilities of contemporary performers and technology. Electric offers us just that.

Freya Parr

Fifteen Questions Interview with Jan Bang

by Tobias Fisher

Part 1

Name: Jan Bang
Occupation: Musician, composer, producer
Nationality: Norwegian
Current release: For the new project punkt | stillefelt, Jan Bang teams up with his long-time creative partner Erik Honoré as well as British trio Stillefelt and students from the University of Agder. A first single, "pastoral", is out via Jazzland Recordings, with full-length Modest Utopias to follow later in the year. More about this unique release as well as Jan Bang's new solo album can be found in the following interview. 

Recommendations: Joseph Campell: The Power of Myth; Music: Ravel: Ma Mère L´oye 

Over the course of his career, Jan Bang has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Eivind Aarset, Trilok Gurtu, Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils Petter Molvaer, Roberto Di Gioia, MELT Trio, Dai Fujikura, Ståle Storløkken, and Samuel Rohrer. 

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it? 

I've always been playing for as long as I remember. First the violin, then the piano and onwards from there as a singer and composer. 

I grew up in a family where music always had a great part in our daily lives and was surrounded by records, mostly classical recordings. My brother introduced me to what was around of 70s popular music. I was especially keen on black American music with beautiful harmonies and rhythms. 

Memories from singing harmonies to what was mostly Black music in the back seat of our red Renault 12 is still a strong image of my early musical memory. We were three siblings growing up with our mother, a single parent.  

When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity? 

I'm not quite sure. I guess this changes and has changed a great deal from childhood through adolescence to becoming an adult. 

As I'm writing to you I am listening to Midori Takada playing mallets. Since that being a physical instrument, I can relate to the human behind the mallets performing. When making my own music - even in my teens – music always started as a feeling. I still work this way: trusting my intuition in the moment. This is in a way my own contradiction as a performer. 

When working on stage I am trying to just be precise, to be as accurate as possible and not forcing my own emotions over to members of the audience. I am working with different components like texture, harmonics, melodies, rhythm, pulses. Parallel activities, all the time at once trying to be as accurate and in the moment as possible. To be able to react naturally to an impulse. 

A great deal of my work has been devoted to live activities improvising with electronics as well as using pre-composed material.

How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?

The world of music has always been an interesting place for me. Very early on I developed my own way of composing at the piano. I had a piano teacher that I persuaded to only write down my own small pieces instead of learning other people’s music which never caught my attention. 

He said: “but Jan, you are not learning anything from me writing down your music”. He was obviously right, but something in there was in retrospect a good decision for myself and my own learning experience. I could dive into my own little bubble and further develop in a natural way. Self-taught in this respect.

Starting out as a duo with Erik Honoré in my teens, my goal was to become a producer. I wanted to learn how to fully express myself in a studio becoming involved in the early electronic music production in Oslo. I was drawn towards jazz musicians. Great players that could improvise together like gods. Some of these musicians already had made a name for themselves. I was interested in connecting the brilliance of these musicians’ performances with studio techniques. 

By chance I found a way to bring these ideas onto stage. I started real time sampling of the musicians, improvising with these samples exploring new possibilities with a group of interesting people. Singer Sidsel Endresen was essential to these explorations. Bugge Wesseltoft was also essential and eventually a large number of experimental musicians from the Norwegian scene at that moment including the likes of Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Audun Kleive and others. 

I decided to move back to Kristiansand to live my life with Nina Birkeland, the graphic designer who is responsible for the Punkt artwork. By 2005 I returned to my old friend Erik Honoré and together we founded PUNKT. This became a new chapter in my life and brought new ways of working for us both. 

Punkt is a festival where concerts are immediately being followed by a remix of what just happened. Over the years we have brought PUNKT to 27 cities around the world and still counting. Over the years, so many artists have been involved and been taking part in this adventure. To name them would be an unending list of talented people. 

Parallel to Punkt activities, production work for others and my involvement with my students at the University of Agder – I find time to work on my own projects. 

When the disease came, I was working on the second Dark Star Safari album, an experimental band where I'm the singer. 

I never had any plans of returning to using my voice, but suddenly the material opened up that possibility – or rather the melodies just came in a natural way. I decided to record my voice singing these songs and getting to know my voice again and the different voices it contained in different register, nuances in dynamics etc.

Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please. 

We are all mixed from various cultural influences, so identity to me is not singular. I can enter different situations and usually I will find interesting ways of approaching the material. 

I am interested in the human spirit and in the singular human being. Showing love and respect to the people around me is something I highly value. As a musician I had to develop my own way of playing using the sampler as an improvising and compositional tool. 

What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art? 

I have always had a sense for playfulness and a strong instinct in music making. As a young person I would be absorbing visual art, films, and was obsessed with music. Each day after school I would be running home to the piano to explore new colours, harmonic structures, and melody. 

While techniques and instruments have changed, I still have much of the same approach to music making. A strong sense of composing or recording when inspiration comes.

How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

The past belongs to the future so in that respect I am aware of that I'm standing on other people´s shoulders. 

To place oneself in a tradition is not a bad thing. It's essential in understanding the time we live in.


Part 2

Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?

Over the last few years, I have returned to the piano for composing. It stood quietly in our living room for almost 15 years. Then one day I started playing it again and suddenly all these new compositions came out of that instrument – just like I used to 30 years ago. 

In my twenties I found it more interesting working with samplers and synthesizers and drum programming. I'd be using different kind of samplers from Emulator, Emax, Akai S1000,S3000. The MPC 3000 have been my main drum programming device. 

However, it was the Akai remix 16 sampler that was a game changer. With this machine I found a way to bring the studio into a live situation. I did this the first time working with Bugge Wesseltoft. We named it “live sampling” which now has become a common term for real time sampling.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.

My life on a daily basis is filled with different things, so I don't really have a regular routine. 

Around 2015 I started working as a professor at the University of Agder teaching the students techniques about live sampling, and also mentoring them throughout their studies. I am so proud of my students and how wonderfully talented they all are. Since beginning of 2023 we've become a CoE (Centre of excellence in education) with myself as the centre leader. This is so much fun and demands my focus. 

Last year Erik Honoré and I set up Punkt Editions, a label for Punkt related music and a vehicle for putting out our own stuff. The first release was The Bow Maker - a duo album with Japanese contemporary classical composer, Dai Fujikura. 

This spring we'll release my new solo album Reading the Air - a vocal based solo album with songs written using the piano and with lyrics by Erik that features different singers including Anneli Drecker of Bel Canto, German singer Simin Tander and the wonderful Benedikte Kløw Askedalen who is just about to finish her master studies at the Uni. 

Later in fall, we'll release a duo album with guitarist Eivind Aarset as a follow up to Snow Catches on her Eyelashes. I'm currently in NYC to record an overdub in Bill Laswell´s studio with Nona Hendryx for one of the pieces on that album. In addition to these plans, I am writing a commission for Macedonia and the Skopje International Jazz Festival in November 2023. 

[Read our Bill Laswell interview]

Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please? 

The first that come to mind is an album by Arve Henriksen entitled Cartography

I spent three years producing and writing material for that album that was released on ECM. There is a piece called “Recording Angel” that I first wrote as a commission for the Art Museum in Kristiansand and that I invited Arve to play on. The way the whole thing came organically together and the genius of Arve's playing was a feeling of having struck gold. 

There are many stories and so much music over the years, but that was the first that came to mind.

Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results? 

I've had the fortune of collaborating with a great deal of very talented people over the years. Different human beings create different results. This is also true in collaborative music making. I very much enjoy a fresh start. This is not always the case, but a blank canvas is just a wonderful opportunity to be creative. 

Some of the most important listening situations have been listening together with others. Recently I lost a friend who was important to my own development as a listener. I was 15 years old and my friend, who was a few years older than me – would play me music that I'd never heard before – and I absorbed all of it and took it in. 

Being a musician and producer involves a good amount of sharing of ideas. It's like a small community of people on the same boat navigating on the open sea and into the harbour. You must go where the wind takes you. Sometimes it can be a longer journey and other times short. The size of the vessel doesn’t really matter - it's all about the flow, the wind and the sails.  

How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society? 

As a teacher, one of the important overall tasks is to create responsible citizens. To bring back art into society is maybe more needed than ever. Young people, especially working with technology in relation with music are open minded and interested in exploring new possibilities. I have great faith in younger generations, not only in music but in how they treat each other with a strong sense of generosity and respect. They take responsibility in their own lives and are genuinely concerned about the future. They have been measured throughout their lives from a very early age and can sometime face their own independence with a strong sense of uncertainty. 

I think that it´s important to give young people a chance to express themselves. To present them opportunities to play together in rehearsals and in concerts in front of an audience, just like so many musicians before them have been thrown into the professional life becoming artists of their own.

Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions? 

Oh, it was a saviour for me. I had a challenging and demanding mother that at times was totally unpredictable. Her love of music was passed on to me and my siblings. In my family, music was seen as the highest form of art. 

From a very early age I started creating my own music. I still remember the room clearly: The colour pattern of the carpet and the Hellas-piano towards the wall and the window facing the street. We also had a grand piano with piano rolls facing the garden. I would shift playing in these two rooms and write my small piano pieces that eventually became songs. My mother was a pianist and I had my bedroom right beneath it on the ground floor. 

An early musical memory is the sounds of the swallows in the summer garden blended with the sound of mother playing Brahms' Intermezzi.

How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?  

We just received status as CoE – Center of Excellence in Education working with creative use of technology and finding new ways of playing around with new tech and new ways of learning. To me it can come in both ways: the obvious is to start with artistic ideas and then using technology during this process. The other is to start with new technology and ask the question: How can I figure out ways of using this thing? 

That new tech should not be taken too seriously. We should play with it and have fun with it. Then out of that process something genuinely interesting may occur and perhaps create something that has an impact. Out of that something beautiful can happen.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks? 

James Joyce writes beautifully about this in Artist as a young man where he divides art into two categories: One being art that is of less importance to you on a personal level. This form of expression is a vehicle for other things like advertising or political art that serves a purpose. The other is the art that arrests you. 

To make a good cup of coffee involves selecting the right beans, how it is burned, the graining procedure and the temperature of the water etc. I enjoy a cup of coffee, but to be arrested by art is on an entirely different level. This form of arresting experience is what Joyce calls static – to not be able to move. 

I don’t think he thought of that as not including movement, but more like this feeling of being spiritually lifted.

Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages? 

To me what is interesting is the human play with sound. Certain aesthetics demands new ways of sound shaping. This has to do with how different sounds express certain feelings. 

Since we all live our lives that are constantly changing, we need new ways of expressing certain emotions. This is constantly in flux. A fuzz guitar in the 60s expressed certain emotions, but doesn't necessarily have the same impact today. 

As a musician working a lot with finding sounds, I find it interesting to always be open to different sounds and how I respond to these sounds myself. A feedback can perhaps express something that is more confronting than any power chord in the world.

New single out on Friday 28 April, 2023

punkt | stillefelt - pastoral

«Pastoral» is the first single from the album «Modest Utopias», a collaboration between British trio Stillefelt and a temporary Punkt collective consisting of producers/musicians Jan Bang and Erik Honoré with music students from the University of Agder. 

The project began when a three day Punkt Festival in Birmingham was cancelled due to the first Covid lockdown. Parts of the planned collaboration between British and Norwegian musicians was transformed into an online musical conversation that took place during the remaining Covid period – a collaborative effort which has now materialized as the second release on Punkt Editions. 

The musicians: 

Stillefelt: Chris Mapp - bass, electronics. Percy Pursglove - trumpet. Thomas Seminar Ford - guitar, electronics. 

Punkt: Benedikte Kløw Askedalen - vocals, electronics. Alexandra Hellesnes Revold - samples, electronics. Kristian Isachsen - samples, electronics. Canberk Ulaş – duduk. Eirik Lindtner -guitars, electronics. Jan Bang - samples, electronics, vocals. Erik Honoré - samples, electronics, synthesizer. 

Produced by Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. 
Cover design: Nina Birkeland

all rights reserved


Obituary, Ryuichi Sakamoto

By Dai Fujikura

Of course, we were all expecting 'this day'. But somewhere along the line, I began assuming that 'this day' would probably be some time in the distant future. I kept exchanging e-mails with Sakamoto-san (as I always called him) about his music for this year's Born Creative Festival. I received Sakamoto-san’s last e-mail four days before he passed away.

It was just another email with his usual impromptu response.

Ryuichi Sakamoto has been a hero of mine since I was in middle school, as he was to so many of my peers.

It was a dream come true to develop and enjoy such friendly and intimate correspondence with my hero for over the last fourteen years. We often exchanged emails, messaged, and had dinner together many times. Whenever I was in New York, my last action before flying away was to always drop by Sakamoto-san’s house.

Sakamoto-san was a true genius. His musical talent was beyond exceptional, although I think he wouldn’t admit that himself. The music he created was not only highly artistic in its quality, it was also widely heard. This seems a rare combination in the Western idiom of art and popular music, but Sakamoto-san was able to do it naturally, even though he would modestly tell me, “Oh don’t say it is popular, Dai-kun (as he always called me).”

He was a man with a strong curiosity when it came to novel sounds and new things. His messages and emails were always sent with considerable excitement - “Dai-kun, how did you do that? Do you know that? Have you heard of this?” etc…

This kind of inquisitive, instinctive curiosity is, in a way, the most important aspect of being an artist. As we know, he never lost his creativity and kept composing stunning works while fighting his illness. That is what, to me, makes him a born artist.

I have such admiration for Sakamoto-san's relentless efforts in his creative process. He never wanted to show his hard work to the public (or even to me). He reminded me of James Bond, saving the world while insouciantly sipping on a Martini. I also compose music, so I could always see his enormous hard work towards his numerous and extraordinarily diverse projects.

There are too many memories of my hero to write about here.

"Rest in peace" is what one would normally write. Yet I doubt Sakamoto-san, that creatively impatient man, will ever rest. I’d like to imagine that he is busy asking people in the New Place (Heaven?), “In this new place, this sound doesn’t sound as I expected. Do you know a way to get a bit more resonance here?”

We are still left in this world, fortunate that we can cherish the many works that Sakamoto-san has left us. I'm looking forward to presenting his work at the festival this year as planned.

Being curious, that's what this Born Creative Festival is all about.

Thank you, Sakamoto-san.

Dai Fujikura (translated and edited by Yukiyo Sugiyama and Harry Ross).


In 2018, Punkt did a live remix of Ryuichi Sakamoto "Cantus Omnibus Ubus" that was performed at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre as part of Dai´s Born Creative festival. A festival where children from the age of 5 is learning to becoming composers. Working with professional musicians, they don't stop until the child is satisfied. -JB

Matthew Barley

New album by British cellist with music by Jan Bang

Matthew Barley: "The album opens with a piece written in 2012 when I commissioned Jan Bang, Norwegian composer, DJ and master of sound design, to create music for me to improvise with – the result was Noticing Things".

Jan writes: “I was introduced to Dai Fujikura through working on David Sylvian ́s album, Manafon. So when the invitation came from Matthew Barley
to rework Dai ́s commissioning piece I was pleased to say yes. Noticing Things evolved into a reinvention of Dai ́s originals using the ‘Aria’, ‘Awakening’ and ‘Floating’ movements as starting point for these three small pieces: In ‘Implanted Memories’ I wanted to make something that had a reference to Dai ́s ‘Floating’ and still had reminiscences of both pieces I ́d put together and of Dai ́s work as a whole. The drone is being treated only by the use of pitch/EQ giving it a sense of clarity both technically with more space for Matthew ́s cello improvisations, but also offering the listener a possible room for his own imagination.”

Matthew Barley: "All the cello parts for Noticing Things are improvised – a creative task I enjoyed chewing upon, listening repeatedly to the tracks Jan had made to familiarise myself with their content and shape". The next movement of Jan Bang’s Noticing Things, ‘Replica’, “uses a beautiful melody from Dai Fujikura’s ‘Aria’, but with different blocks of sound to give it another view from a different angle.” (Jan Bang)

About Jan Bang’s third movement, ‘Flooded Corridors’ he writes: “There is a little pizzicato part in Dai Fujikura’s ‘Awakening’ that brought my attention as glaringly special. I took that as a starting point for this non-metrical piece that I somehow think of as a calligraphic drawing of irregular beats and parallel colours. There are small occurring incidents created in my studio in Kristiansand using my hardware Akai sampler.”

Matthew Barley´s Electric is out on Signum Classics and can be purchased here


Albums of the year


Uli Koch of Manafonistas. com has listed Dai Fujikura and Jan Bang -  The Bow Maker in albums of the year:


Svein Kruse (1955 – 2022) 

Occasionally small towns foster certain individuals that function as important parts in the development of local communities. Their primary role is being taste makers. They´re not music journalists or musicians, neither teachers nor employees of any community centre, but have more in common with shamans searching the underworld and returning with new wisdom. Tastemakers have a love of music and an urge to share what they´ve seen or heard with others within their community. 

In the small town of Kristiansand where I grew up, this person was Svein Kruse. At six foot five he ranged high above the rest of us. A man with strong opinions and a fearless commentator. His day job was at Toots - a record shop specializing in experimental music with imports from Canada. At nights he would be going to concerts. Often ending up in deep conversations with visiting musicians, voicing his frank opinions. 

From May to August, he would be DJ´ing at Kick, an outdoor club that decades later would be reconstructed, covered with a roof and on occasions served as a venue for Punkt. Kick had these beautiful chairs that were designed to rock back and forth working perfectly with the music coming out of the sound system. As far as I remember, there was no dance floor. Everyone was rocking together in their individual seats. Svein would also be Dj´ing sets at a club called Kjelleren where restaurant Mother India currently is situated. 

I turned 15 in the summer of ´83. That year I started working for Mike Lewis, an expat from London importing records, mainly 12-inches from the UK. This was heaven for me being a young aspiring musician, absorbed in the world of music. Listening to AM radio at nights, and spending after school hours searching for new discoveries from last night listening sessions.


The Bright Purple House 

One day Svein walked into the shop. He invited me to his bright purple house the same day and played me music I had never heard before. It was the first time I heard Jon Hassell's "Dream Theory in Malaya" and the first time I ever heard Scott Walker with the otherworldly "Sleepwalkers Woman". Heavenly music that left a deep mark on me and my musical life. We instantly became friends. 

I have a clear vision of sitting in his living room listening to Holger Czukay´s wonderful “Cool in the Pool” and Roger Eno´s “Voices”, Harold Budd´s “The Pearl” and Byrne/Eno´s “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”. Other gems from that era were records by Mathilde Santing, “From Gardens Where We Feel Secure” by Viriginia Astley, The Last Poets, Working Week, “He Stranger” by Anne Pigalle and all the other releases from the ZTT label run by the writer Paul Morley and producer Trevor Horn.

I often popped by Svein´s home. The sound of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Jah Wobble and Ann Clark´s "Our Darkness" coming out of the speakers. This coulorful building in the city centre was later demolished and re-erected at Agder Museum sometime in the early 90s. Always elegantly dressed. Quick, witted, and alert in his remarks - Svein introduced music to generations as a DJ at Kick and Kjelleren: "Masimba Bele" by Unknown Cases; He Said´s "Pump"; The The´s "Infected" come to mind - and Art of Noise "Moments in Love" - the highlight number that marked the end of an evening at Kick. 

According to legend, Producer Trever Horn once stated that the 12” single of “Moments in Love” biggest selling singular territory was in a small town in the southern part of Norway. We sold ship loads of that record. Somewhere within that equation you will find Svein Kruse. 

  • Kruse died new year´s eve 2022 and is survived by his wife Sissel Undheim and their two sons Magnus and Johannes.