Iceage drummer Dan Kjær Nielsen tells us about his favorite things of 2021
Danish group Iceage released their fifth album, Seek Shelter, back in May. For it they worked with producer Sonic Boom and the album found them lightening up their sound just a little, and exploring dance rhythms as well. You can give that a spin below.
Iceage were original set to start their 2022 tour on February 12 in San Francisco but they had to cancel the first half the dates due to personal reasons. The tour will now start March 1 in Atlanta and include stops in Nashville, Asheville, Durham, Baltimore, Philly, Cambridge, Providence, NYC (Bowery Ballroom on March 9 & 10), Holyoke, and Kingston (Tubby's on March 12, sold out). All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile we talked to drummer Dan Kjær Nielsen about his favorite things from 2021. His Top 10 list includes music, film, books and a few major life events. Check out his list complete with commentary below.
Iceage's Dan Kjær Nielsen - TOP 10 2021 (in no particular order)
I cannot begin to describe the feelings surrounding the birth of my second child, the cyclical intricacies and overwhelming mysteries, joys, hardships and miraculous emotions of life, death, emergence, creation and nature in this, or any, blog post, but this event and its impact I cannot leave out of this years summary. Blessed.
-Releasing SEEK SHELTER
Profoundly proud of this piece of work. Much of the process can be read about elsewhere but sending this out into the world has made me very happy.
-Plating with ADAM
Got invited to do a live collaboration with one of my little brothers, Adam, who is also a drummer but with quite a different style than I, supernaturally talented. Being somewhat intuitive, both of us, it ended up having a largely improvised nature and the way we played together was unlike anything I’ve experienced. Lots can be said about invisible shared traits between family members and I’m not sure any of that is true although our similar DNA might affect our rhythmical physiques. When playing with others I tend to rely quite a bit on sensibilities and some kind of telepathy and this was most certainly present and in a whole new way and one that proves that sometimes complete trust in loss of control can lead to places and expressions impossible within it (and often more exciting).
MAMAKI BOYS - PATRIOTE
A group from Niger that, as they describe it “put tradition into rap, the ancestral dances, the things our grandparents did in the village. Our mission was to revalorize the culture, to put it in hip-hop and to show all the colors of our country.” Fast, intricate beats that sample acoustic percussion and Nigerien instruments the sound and the energy they create on this is fantastic. Out on the always interesting Sahel Sounds.
ANGEL WEI - A YEAR OF MOURNING
Equal parts smooth, sentimental, and alluring, I think this is unmistakably intelligent, vulnerable music of this time in history with themes and sounds drawing on procrastination, deep research and reflection, digital music itself. So here's to strong emotions and using them and to a deeply beloved friend of mine. A Year of Mourning is out on the always great Yegorka.
V/A - NAHMA: A GULF POLYPHONY الخلیجي الغناء تعدد: نهمة
A compilation dealing with “The pearls of the Gulf ... their magnificence matched only by the courage of the divers who found them.” It has got some recordings of pearl divers singing their beautiful songs and pieces by modern artists inspired by this theme. What is recurrent, to me, is drums and rhythms of all sorts, weaving in and out of each other, going from electrifying to hypnotic and further on and there's so much to listen to, engage with and enjoy. Released by Flee, a project aiming to illuminate the actual backgrounds behind specific genres and movements in an age of fleeting attention and mindless cultural consumption.
DEAN BLUNT - BLACK METAL 2
Every time there's a list like this, Dean Blunt appears and I think he’s one of the realest and most creative musicians around. Every riff or sample or syllable is bestowed with some kind of style and life. If the cover art references anything (to me) it is a heavy album by a self taught maestro producer semi hostile veteran wizard of the night.
PETER GODFREY SMITH - METAZOA, ANIMAL MINDS AND THE BIRTH OF CONSCIOUSNESS
A book that deals with the history of life itself, from its very beginning and tells in detail how ideas like self and consciousness arose in evolution and it is immensely fascinating and puts a lot of things in perspective, raising larger questions and makes one ponder the nature of everything. Godfrey Smith who is a philosopher, historian and scuba diver, wrote the book Other Minds which focuses specifically on cephalopods, and it altered my perception and sense of wonder fundamentally. Highly recommended for everyone that wants to think.
A film about animism, spirituality and belief, possession, and inheritance. And about how all of this can go wrong. The setting is rural Thailand and it's ah absolutely beautiful, a rarely credible horror film with such a powerful atmosphere throughout the whole thing. I watched it with very poor subtitles that left much to be questioned but it almost enhanced the experience as the movie already demands some piecing together and brain activity. An unforgettable experience. Produced by the director of The Wailing which is an absolute masterpiece as well!
DUMPLINGS LEGEND, Chinatown London
Ate here on a day especially vulnerable to impression and had a wonderful feast of all different kinds of dumplings made behind a glass wall in the restaurant and a spicy beef noodle soup, everything exquisite. Found out on the way out that this location is the spot where the werewolf eats chow mein in Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and could definitely feel it.
ICEAGE - 2022 TOUR DATES
Mar 1, 2022 Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
Mar 2, 2022 Nashville, TN - The Basement East
Mar 3, 2022 Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle
Mar 4, 2022 Durham, NC - Motorco Music Hall
Mar 5, 2022 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
Mar 6, 2022 Philadelphia, PA - PhilaMoCA
Mar 7, 2022 Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
Mar 8, 2022 Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre
Mar 9, 2022 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Mar 10, 2022 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Mar 11, 2022 Holyoke, MA - Gateway City Arts
Mar 12, 2022 Kingston, NY - Tubby's
Mar 23, 2022 Leeds, United Kingdom - Belgrave Music Hall
Mar 24, 2022 Newcastle, United Kingdom - The Cluny
Mar 25, 2022 Glasgow, United Kingdom - Stereo
Mar 26, 2022 Nottingham, United Kingdom - The Bodega
Mar 27, 2022 Birmingham, United Kingdom - The Hare & Hounds
Mar 29, 2022 Bristol, United Kingdom - Thekla
Mar 30, 2022 Brighton, United Kingdom - Patterns
Mar 31, 2022 London, United Kingdom - Electric Ballroom