MUSIC WITH CABLES FULL TIME
(Nikolaj Tange Lange) Dec. 2005 Dansk
Since Heidi Mortenson left Denmark ten years ago, she has grown up in the spanish ghetto. Her only job in the beginning was to hand out flyers for a club. ”It was a party if I could afford a liter of soymilk,” she tells.
She is in Denmark now to play a concert at the Ladyfest, but also to celebrate her debut record ´Wired Stuff´. A record which in a way has been on it´s way since she ten years ago moved to Barcelona. At that time she was living in a one-room apartment where she had to turn on the shower to heat up the room - with the result that it soon got too damp and she had to go out. In return she almost had no costs and was free to do as she pleased. Slowly she worked her way up to be PR manager for the Moog club. And when a friend moved to London Heidi could even afford to buy her turntables and this way she got to practice how to DJ.
After two years she received bad news. Her best friend in Denmark was dead. This made her think about what she wanted in life. ”I didn´t want to promote others and play other people´s records. I felt the need to be creative myself,” she tells. But instead of reaching for the guitar on which she had composed songs as a teenager, she bought a Roland 505 - same type as Peaches made her debut album on. And she started to experiment.
”I have sung into a washing machine and also rebuilt my parent´s phone receiver into a microphone.” Already from the start her experiments made a good impression. Soon she was selected to play at the experimental festival LEM and shortly after she was on a European tour.
Since then the career has been one long up going ride for Heidi Mortenson. And the machine park has been limping behind in the tempo she could afford. ”It´s only one year ago that i got a sound card. And I din´t have a studio microphone until one and a half years ago.” All though she several times has been tempted to get a regular job she never ducked. She just doesn´t feel good when other people tell her what to do. ”Rather nick an apple now and then, and pick up clothes from the recycle containers. My pink raincoat which I will use for the show tonight is one that I just found on the street today.”
One and a half years ago Heidi Mortenson made a big move from Barcelona to Berlin. ”In Barcelona the music scene was parted in two. It was either dance music or experimental music. And I felt that I was in between.” In Berlin she has worked together with Kevin Blechdom and Scream Club. But she also finished her debut album. At a time where she after ten years with washing machines and messed up telephone receivers, feels that she is getting more mature as a musician. ”I´m much more confident and i use my voice more and i dare be more personal in my music.”
And being personal is important for Heidi who writes texts that always springs from experiences in her own life. ”I think the most important is that you´re honest in what you do, and that you don´t pretend. E.g. I´m not a very good guitarist. But I don´t wanna wait two years to bring it on stage till I´m "good enough". Good enough for who? The two guitar nerds who´s checking out how I´m grabbing the chords?
When she later that night brings out the guitar and mixes the twisted beats with a hard raw guitar, it seems only from exiting joy that there is screaming among the audience. An audience who by the way receives just as nicely the more advanced electronic songs from the debut album as much as the more primitive covers of Dolly Parton´s ´Jolene´ and AC/DC´s ´Highway to hell´.
To think that we Danes have such a cool rock´n´roll queer electro star -and nobody ever told us!