Pixies In Volcanic Streams

The annual By:Larm showcase conference in Norway is hosting the inaugural Nordic Music Prize because it wants to dispel the myth that all bands from the region can be filed within three or four genres.

It wants to shake the preconceptions about Nordic Music such as “all Icelandic acts sound like pixies bathing in volcanic streams” and all Finnish musicians are “dour and depressed.”

The 130 acts playing across forty stages within walking distance of each other are said to represent “the cream of rising artists” from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

This year the acts that have managed to a bag a slot in Oslo Feb. 17-19 have been whittled down from more than1,500 applicants.
This year’s By:Larm had Efterklang, Serena Maneesh, Jaga Jazzist, Johann Johannsson and Oh No Ono.

The Nordic Music Prize will be chosen from a shortlist of 12 records. The judges will include five of the top Nordic music journalists, plus Laurence Bell of Domino Records, Victoria Segal from The Times of London, Jeannette Lee from Rough Trade Records, Rob Young – former editor of The Wire – Mike Pickering of Columbia Records and Matthew Schnipper from The Fader.

Energy giant StatoilHydro, which already sponsors a biennial award for young artists, is throwing in euro 100,000 for what’s considered to be the most exciting up and coming Norwegian act.

The speakers at the daytime conference sessions are yet to be announced but previous years have included a diverserange od names such as Geoff Travis, Daniel Miller, Karl Bartos, Peter Hook, Alan McGee, Tony Wilson, Jello Biafra, Malcom McLaren and Joe Boyd.