Bård Aasen Lødemel aka Skatebård, is one of the most prolific artists on the scene of retro electro with three EP released this spring alone, on three different labels. Vuelo EP was out on radius records in early April, while German label Supersoul Recordings released Marimba/Pagans a month later. Most recently Skatebård’s own label Digitalo Enterprises released his Love Attack EP on may 15t. Meanwhile his tune Love Attack Vocal is rotating, or streaming, very frequently in clubs and on spring prancing ipods.
Skatebård rarely leaves the house. Once a year he tries to get out, but concedes he is still a freak; immersed in Italian disco and electronic aural tinkering day and night. He used to skateboard a lot, and listen to skateclothes-wearing hardcore and punk bands. But due to the unevenness of the tarmac in his native north-western Norwegian village, he started rummaging in the pine woods with his trusty walkman instead; spools filled with Detroit techno. -A combination somehow formative of much of the cutting edge Norwegian electronic music of the young millennium.
This combination came to full musical fruition with Skatebård’s debut album release in 2006. Midnight Magic features the natural combination of neon and pine according to its maker, a juxtaposition yielding something fresher than its parts; electro disco like unsullied yoghurt with a good dash of sweetener. The Detroit aural neon had by that time long since been replaced by the relative luminosity of semi-big city Bergen to which Bård relocated in 2001. He instantly started pushing demos on local cult label Tellé records. This soon resulted in releases; singles and EPs, of which Skatebård has churned out many. “Skateboarding was a crime (in 1989),” his first outing from 2002, has become a cult favourite among fans. By 2006, and Midnight Magic, his name was already established as one of the quirky cool of the vibrant Norwegian electro scene. His status has also been furthered by the hugely popular club concept in Bergen Digitalo, also the name of his own label. It refers, in part, to Skatebård’s love for Italian eighties electro, a genre featuring as a prominent influence in his music. He is also inspired by the likes of Biosphere and Kraftwerk, like his buddies in Röyksopp, but his favourite band remains Black Sabbath. -A melange indicative of a deep love for music and a commitment to give it all his time, which he divides between his solo project and club concept/ label and the fjord-rap hip-hop collective Side Brok (saggy pants). The latter’s utmost localness of dialect and style, has proved a smashingly innovative formula for their genre, truly invigorating Norwegian hip hop.
Bård Aasen Løedemels has become a trustworthy source of new suave tunes for the fans of quirky cool electro and now the audience is widening. He is cruising into the blogosphere with neon pine flamboyance, and his latest single Love Attack Vocal is gaining a lot of attention. A remake from last year’s album, it now features Annie in an “icy disco duet”
which can be heard in clubs around the world and on the play lists of the most influential sites for zeitgeisty music. So if you see a skatebård on the roster for your local cutting edge festival this summer, be sure not to miss out on the neon pine digitalo.