Arts & Culture

Artist Spotlight: Copenhagen’s Underground Music Party Collective KUNE

It was at a meeting with three members of KUNE that I learned about Esperanto, a single global language created by Polish doctor Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof in 1887. As I sat with DJ Martin Gilleshøj Mikkelsen, DJ Rico Petersen, and visual artist Matei Petrescu, they explained that KUNE means “togetherness” in Esperanto. KUNE is a collective of seven people: the members missing from our interview are DJ Alin Stunned, DJ Anders Søndergaard Dahl, DJ Gunnar Eyþórsso, and visual artist Oana Camelia.

Rico begins by recounting when KUNE first came together. “Martin and I joined later,” he says smiling. “In the beginning, it was just Alin, Anders, and some others bringing turntables, speakers, and lights. They started making parties on Amager. The first underground party we created together was in this weird basement in Sydhavn. Surprisingly, a lot of people showed up to that one. The party turned into beautiful chaos.”

“KUNE has existed since 2014 and I’ve been involved for almost two years. I would say that it has developed like a human being and has gradually become more influential. We don’t have set rules but we learn along the way and grow together,” says Martin.


 

 

Matei was attending one of KUNE’s outdoor parties when someone asked him to make a stencilled sign for the bar. He did, and since then he’s been part of the crew, creating cool visuals and art pieces for the events.

“We aren’t solely responsible for KUNE events; there are so many people involved, whether it’s by working at the wardrobe, making artwork, cleaning or standing at the entrance,” Matei says.

The conversation moves to diversity in the Danish electronic music scene. “It’s diverse because underground music is so universal; even though you meet people who might be different from you, we are all united under the love of music. You start to speak the same language in a weird way. We generally don’t think so much about this issue; we are all just people.” says Rico.

He continues, “if you take into account the size of Copenhagen, we have a huge scene with lots of different genres and directions. Danish DJs are getting more global recognition. Sometimes people complain that electronic music is becoming mainstream and that there are too many parties, but I think that it’s one of the things that makes the city stand out.”

Martin agrees. “I’ve heard from people in the industry that now is the best moment for the scene. It has never been this hyped and active. It seems like people are really encouraged to take risks and follow their passions, whether it’s organizing parties, producing, or just being the part of the scene,” he says.


 

 

So how do KUNE parties stand out from the others? Rico answers, “From the beginning, it’s always been more than just a party with music. We almost always collaborate with artists who exhibit their work. We often make full room installations.”

“The visuals are all about immersion,” continues Matei. “The artistic mediums can vary from painting to sculpture; it really depends on the space.”

As for their upcoming party featuring Georgian DJ Zurkin, I ask how they found him and what the process of organising this party has been like. The featured visual artist included this time is Danish photographer Daniel Hjorth, who has done a series on Georgia. Martin takes me through the process: “About a year and a half ago I went to Tbilisi, Georgia, and came across Vodkast records. I spent the day there, then went back the next day where I met Zurkin, Jaba, and Vakho, the co-founders of Vodkast Records. They invited me out and we spent the night sharing ideas.”

They went to Georgia again for 4GB Festival, where the Vodkast crew was playing. “The crew played a really special set,” Martin says. “He also performed on a Boiler Room showcase at the renown Bassiani club in Tbilisi. That was when we decided that it was the right moment to book him.”

Martin adds that he and Anders have a show on MMH community radio where Zurkin is invited to record an after party session the day after the gig.

I spoke to Zurkin about the upcoming event, and he’s excited to share his skills with the Copenhagen crowd. “I was impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of Martin and Anders. We had a really interesting musical exchange. I am in contact with the guys almost every day and they are very open-minded about everything. I’ve filtered my playlists so that I can showcase things that are connected to Denmark, and will be playing some tracks that might be both familiar and at the same time unknown to the listeners.”

The KUNE crew has created a thriving artistic platform, uniting all sorts of artists and creatives under the powerful force of music. KUNE parties are an electrifying space where people meet, engage, enjoy art, and get a taste of the underground music scene that pulses through the soul of Copenhagen.

See Georgian DJ Zurkin at the next KUNE event

Råhuset
Onkel Dannys Plads 7
1711 København V

Saturday 13th October
10:00 pm
Tickets are 50 DKK

This event will also host “Batumi Boys,” a photo exhibition shot by Daniel Hjorth capturing the beautiful seaside of Batumi, Georgia:

Photo credit: Daniel Hjorth

To learn more about KUNE, check out their Soundcloud, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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