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Upcoming shows: Lightheaded + Mt. Misery... Jake Xerxes Fussell... Andrew Wasylyk & Tommy Perman... Cat Clyde... Charlie Parr... Mock Tudors... Dominie Hooper... Steve Wynn... Ryley Walker... Terry Reid... Chime School... The Courettes... Douglas Dare... Tusks... Rachael Lavelle... Euros Childs... Roddy Woomble... Mikey Kenney... Blue Bendy... John Francis Flynn... Old Sea Brigade... Coruja Jones... Good News... Myriam Gendron... Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra... Tropical Fuck Storm... Kris Drever... Erland Cooper... Pokey LaFarge... Admiral Fallow... Skinny Lister... The Sheepdogs... Svaneborg Kardyb... The Unthanks in Winter... Jim Moray... Emily Barker... Chuck Prophet... Martin Kohlstedt...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 5 December 2024
Where: Hallé at St Michael’s, 36-38 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5DG

We’re excited to be working with Svaneborg Kardyb for the first time.

New Nordic jazz duo Svaneborg Kardyb (pronounced kah-doob) announce Superkilen – their second album for Gondwana Records, after Over Tage (2022) and the EP At Home (2023)

The new album from Danish duo Svaneborg Kardyb – aka Nikolaj Svaneborg (keyboards) and Jonas Kardyb (drums) – is named after a public park in the ethnically diverse Nørrebro district of Copenhagen. This erstwhile strip of waste ground was repurposed by the Superflex art group in the early 2010’s to bring together immigrants and locals in a mood of tolerance and unity. Its title feels emblematic of their music, which, equally inventively, creates space and serenity as a tonic within the tense and cluttered environment of 2020’s living. In the same way that the regeneration project has transformed that neighbourhood, Svaneborg Kardyb have drawn on that positive energy to help instigate changes in their own music.

‘”Superkilen” means “super wedge” in Danish,’ says Nikolaj, who has a studio right next to the park, ‘but it’s a very expressive word, with the connotation of a breakthrough, like taking a piece of wood and cracking it open.’ Jonas completes the picture: ‘It’s like something that insists on being there, something from the outside that comes in, and it will just move forward and you can’t really do anything about it – we had to allow that on this record.’

So, Superkilen and the ideas surrounding it became integral to the psychogeography behind Svaneborg Kardyb’s latest album, as they brought more intrepid synths and emphatic beats to the sublimely nuanced textures of piano and drums familiar from their earlier work. The listener is dragged along each time on an aural adventure which involves plenty of the soothing sonic vocabulary which has won them fans world-wide, but which is also unguessable, and whose narrative may turn on a dime, on the subtle introduction of a single new chord, or imperceptible rhythmic shift. Intricate, absorbing and distinctly more-ish, ‘Superkilen’ feels like it will live up to its name and prompt a dramatic climb in SK’s career trajectory.

Like most Danes, they’re proud of their country’s progressive principles, says Nikolaj, ‘being attentive to welfare, and having a system that has your back no matter what happens. We pay a lot of taxes, and we get a lot back. It’s a state of mind in the people.’

‘But then you also need to go outside of Denmark,’ says Jonas, smiling, “’you have to go to New York and get your ass kicked, then you can go back with that energy as well, and use it creatively. We felt that we needed to do something new, to shake things up a bit – be more brave, maybe more angry.’

On Superkilen the duo also draw on their recent touring experiences after the breakthrough of their Gondwana Records debut Over Tage and NPR Tiny Desk session. They’ve seen all-standing festival tents erupt into dancing during more driven passages in their set, as well as glimpsing darker aspects of life beyond their home country, and those experiences have inevitably influenced the music they made on their return home, for their fourth LP. You hear it in the toppling, out-of-control beats and eventual resolve of ‘Vakler + Balancen’, the insanely burbling synth pattern which propels the title track, and the synth interference which ultimately engulfs the closing Arendal – a vision of an industrial eco-catastrophe, maybe, destroying the initial idyll. Yet, for all that, so much of the delicate beauty in SK’s music remains. The beatific ‘Udsigten’ (or, ‘View’) reflects, in its title, the jaw-dropping outlook over the sea from the floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows at the studio they worked in, Karmacrew Recording, on the island of Møn, off Denmark’s South-East coast.

There’s positive energy in the association with Gondwana, too. They’ve been ‘exchanging ideas’ with label mate Caoilfhionn Rose; also, seeking an extra colour in their sound for two tracks on the new record, they reached out to Portico Quartet bassist, Milo Fitzpatrick, and ‘he totally nailed it’. With its album title mirroring Matthew Halsall’s Fletcher Moss Park as a place of inspiration, Svaneborg Kardyb are looking forward to introducing Superkilen and its more urgent electronic elements to live audiences this autumn.

‘It’s a long-term journey to be a musician for Gondwana,’ concludes Jonas, ‘and it’s all about the music, all about making something that excites you.’ In every sense, Svaneborg Kardyb are already fitting right in as part of the label’s family, and an exciting future is unfolding ahead of them.

This will be one of the first public concerts in St Michael’s since its recent re-opening, having been closed since 2004. The Roman Catholic church was founded in 1859 and became the heart of the Little Italy Community in Ancoats.

This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.