Danish, Copenhagen-based pianist-keyboards player Rasmus Kjær, known from the band Under Byen, dived deep into the weird and unworldly universe of cheap synthesizer in order to represent and reflect on a very worldly and popular, modern-day experience, the charter vacation. He follows the footsteps of Aldous Huxley, Aphex Twin and Denzel Washington who offered the motivational advice: ‘It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you do with what you have’. And with this advice Kjær’s aesthetic concept dances – literally and never with straight ahead steps – on a fine lines between nostalgic authenticity and unsentimental plasticity.
Kjær began working on the concept of «Turist» already in 2007. He navigates in a postmodernist pastiche of half-cooked and semi-exotic sounds and styles, visiting synthesized reggae, vague Eastern scales, 8-bit video game scores, new-age kind of meditative chants and futurist Afro-beat twisted patterns. These eccentric styles and sounds lead the innocent tourist through the colorful vacation that becomes more and more esoteric and unpredictable. But the healthy doses of humor and irony that Kjær injects to his cinematic story apparently help the poor tourist to survive the unfamiliar ordeals. Eventually, this tourist may even win a few priceless realizations about life and the self.
This sonic story suggests a voluntary surrender to a totally superficial experience, made specifically for the naïve tourist who wishes to taste a little bit of the exotic but not too much of the esoteric. The flexible sonic spectrum of the immortal, analog synthesizers allow Kjær to sketch such an upbeat, ironic but always insightful story that reaffirms the infamous motivational advice. You may even want to try some of his suggestive dance moves, but beware, there are times when you’ll need some «Oxygen» supply from fellow-synthesist Jean-Michel Jarre.
Rasmus Kjær Larsen (keys), Jeppe Lindgren (dr, mii harp, choir), Signe Arnfeldt Bastiansen (guzheng), Rune Borup (moog bass), Magnus Lindgaard Jokumsen (perc)