Interview with Copenhagen Electro Alliance and Inherent Futurism Boss Morten Kamper

Inherent Futurism is the new label launched by Morten Kamper, an intrinsic member of the Copenhagen electronic music scene and the man behind the city’s 313vinyl_collective record store. He launched the label with a reissue of the Autobot-1000 ‘3 Dimensions Of Space’, a hidden gem from 2001 and the golden era of electro. Now, for the label’s second release, he brings things closer to home and revisits an array of select compositions from the Copenhagen Electro Alliance, compiled together to make up the aptly titled ‘Merger’.

In this interview we spoke with all the members of the Copenhagen Electro Alliance and threw a few questions to label boss Morten as well. To dig a little deeper into this project, how it all came together and get some recommendations of some key electro cuts from all involved, read on…

Hello Morten Kamper and Copenhagen Electro Alliance crew, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Morten, you’re the founder of the new Inherent Futurism imprint and running a record store in Copenhagen, could you tell us a little about what the record store represents to you and what the aesthetic of the label is?

MK: Well. The label represents the sound of which I have always had an affection for. My vision with the label is to release quality electronic music, not so much about a certain style, but more about music I find interesting and worth releasing. The first two releases have been electro, but it’s, quite frankly, more of a coincidence. I was getting the chance to release two, different, projects where the overall sound and aesthetic really spoke to me. Autobot-1000 is more old school, with references to Detroit/Kraftwerk, whereas the Copenhagen Electro Alliance have both – strong references to Dutch and US electro, as well as a more experimental sound at times. I like the flavor of the tracks and its versatility. The next release might be techno, but I still want to push the electro sound.

Copenhagen Electro Alliance, for those who may be unfamiliar with your work, could you tell us a little about this project and how it all came together? 

CEA: We’ve known each other for 25+ years and have been making music for about as long. We’ve always had a love for electro and about two and a half years ago, we got together as a collective with that specific sound in mind. The basic premise is simple: do a digital release every 3-4 months. We quickly found out that we compliment each other well and it’s been smooth sailing so far. We have recurring meetings where we make plans, play tracks for each other and distribute tasks. But we also just hang out and have fun. This summer we made a small cassette tape release which was a compilation of tracks from our first six releases. Morten hosted an event for it in his shop and shortly after that he came to us with the proposition of releasing something similar on his new label. 

The electronic music scene in the Nordics has been going strong for quite some time now, could you share with us some notable things you’ve found inspiration from in your local scene and beyond in Denmark, from the past, present and any artists you see as the future?

MK: The scene in Denmark is relatively small. Electronic music in Denmark is alive but in general, Denmark has never had a reputation for clubbing/club music on a wider note. The major cities Copenhagen and Århus have a lot of small communities/collectives that produce, release and spin electronic music. Luckily, it’s still “underground” in a way here in Denmark. That said, some major stuff is going on in the summer, mainly. Distortion comes to mind, but it’s hardly underground anymore. 

CEA: People like Bjørn Svin, Badun, August Engkilde, Kid Kishore, Goodiepal, Untitled Tricks, Kim L.A.S. and Kenneth Christiansen have been inspirational to us. And we’ve been fortunate enough to work with many of them in different ways. For us, it’s about more than just music. It’s also about community, setting things in motion, doing your own thing and staying true. It’s great to see that the spirit is still very much there today with a crew like Fast Forward and others who are bringing that DIY attitude to the scene.

The ‘Merger 2×12’’’ compilation features music from everybody in the collective, namely Nixxon, Brain Enterprise, Deimos Defender and Kruzh’em. Do you have a shared studio space for the collective or work individually and what have been some of your go to studio pieces when producing this electro style, are you still utilising things like the foundation Roland TR-808 and Yamaha DX-100 which featured so heavily on the Detroit Electro era’s output, or are you looking to more contemporary production methods and machines?

CEA: We work individually on tracks, using separate studio spaces. And yes, we do use some of the classics from the 80s and 90s as well as newer gear and VSTs. Whatever is needed for a particular track. Hardware is in focus during the composition phase, with software coming into play later. We all have an affinity for physical devices with immediate, hands-on interfaces. On our releases you’ll hear the Roland TR-808, Roland CR-78, Elektron Model:Cycles, Roland SH-09, Korg Electribe EMX-1, Erica Synths DB-01, Korg PolySix, Roland Jupiter 4, Yamaha DX100, Moog Minitaur and many more. Outboard processing is another important part of our process. Old rack units like the Alesis Midiverb 2 and compressors from Drawmer and Klark Teknik are mainstays. 

Morten, you launched the Inherent Futurism imprint with a reissue of Autobot-1000’s unsung classic ‘3 Dimensions Of Space’ and this project follows, it appears your love of electro music runs deep. Could you tell us when you first discovered electro and why you’ve been so drawn to this genre?

MK: Well, electro has been a part of my life since the very early days. From the influences in the Hip Hop/Breakdance/Electric Boogie scene. Artists like Twilight 22, Newclues and Egyptian Lover to name a few, to more synth-driven stuff: Depeche Mode, Visage, Radical Youth and so on. I always embraced sound and when the Detroit electro sound exploded I was completely sold. Cybotron/Model 500, UR, Drexciya, Aux 88, that stuff. So that is my heritage and inspiration as well as benchmarks.

What’s next in line for all of you once this project is out, Morten do you have further releases scheduled for the imprint and do the rest of you have any further music scheduled to be released? 

MK: Hopefully I’ll work with the CEA crew again. Very curious how this first project together will unfold. They are doing an amazing job with their music, and quality tracks keep coming. I have a few things in the pipeline, nothing confirmed but I will absolutely keep releasing music I dig myself. I must also mention Clone Records who do the distribution, they have been very supportive and that helps when you have someone who backs and likes the sound of the label.

CEA: We’ll continue to put out the digital EP releases, they provide continuity and direction for us. There are talks of collaborating more on tracks. Some of us are working on live performances. All of us will have solo projects coming out next year. And who knows, some day there might be another collaboration with Morten and Inherent Futurism?

Could we get a favourite electro track picked by each one of you to share with our readers? 

MK: That’s tough!! But for pure “opening” my eyes I would maybe say, Newcleus – ‘Computer Age (Push The Button) (Club Version)’, the promo 12″. It has the 8:55-minute exclusive track on it.

Another shout could be Cybotron – Clear 12” 

KRUZH’EM: Newcleus – ‘Computer Age (Push The Button)’ (original).

NIXXON: IF – ‘Secret Desire’

IF and the Dutch electro scene in general has been a huge inspiration in all my years as a DJ, musician and listener.

BRAIN ENTERPRISE: E.R.P. – ‘Lunar Ruins’

Just a nice track. Dark and beautiful, with a classic, yet modern sound.

DEIMOS DEFENDER: Cygnus – ‘Electronic Slave’

Cygnus is a master of melody and texture. A huge inspiration. I love how he seamlessly flips the groove midway here.

Lastly, could you all please give us a Copenhagen tip, somewhere you would recommend anybody visiting the city to check out, anywhere from a place, a bar, a restaurant, record store, clothing store or anything else you think is an essential must do? 

MK: Well, people who dig electronic music should of course visit my second hand record store. 

Loaded with classics with a strong reference to Detroit techno/electro and Chicago house.

As a bonus it’s situated next to the Meatpacking District where there are a lot of nice bars and places to eat.

KRUZH’EM: Visit Christiania!

NIXXON: Come in summer where the city really comes to life. Go to one of the parks and enjoy the special atmosphere.

BRAIN ENTERPRISE: Sit down on a platform in one of the main train stations in Copenhagen and enjoy the graffiti on the trains rolling by.

DEIMOS DEFENDER: Go to Dubfabrikken, a monthly dub night hosted by the cultural hub Bolsjefabrikken.

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