MUSICAL PROJECTS

UNGANISHA 

Unganisha is a music collaboration between Labdi Ommes (Orutu and vocals) and myself (electronics).  A fusion of east-african traditional music, western experimental art music and electronic club music.

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VINGELKLANG 

Vingelklang is an electro-acoustic free-improv duo consisting of Amund Ulvestad (keys and electronics) and myself (guitar and electronics). Their debut album N U L L was released on Fnatt Records 2017. 

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TAPEWIND

Tapewind is an alternative rock quartet consisting of Tore Sandbakk (guitar and vocals), Amund Stokke (bass and synths), Martin Ulvin (drums) and myself (guitar and electronics). 

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KGB

KGB is a freely improvising trio consisting of Karl Hjalmar Nyberg (saxophone), Gregor Riddell (cello) and myself (guitar and electronics). 

SHōKōGUN

Noise meets hardcore meets psychedelic punk in this trio with Aleksander Berg (vocals and bass), Kim Alexander Holmøy (drums) and myself (loud and distorted guitar)

COSMO COLLECTIVE

COSMO Collective is an open musical collective for musicians using DIY electronics. The core of the group are Alex Hofmann (saxophone and electronics) and myself (guitar and electronics)

 

Unganisha is a musical collusion between a traditional musician from Kenya - Labdi Ommes (Orutu and vocals) - and an experimental electronic artist from Norway - Bernt Isak Wærstad (electronics). They’re in continuous pursuit of bringing east-african traditional music, western experimental art music and electronic club music together. Bits and pieces from two cultures are used as building blocks to create a new, culturally re- synthesized and personalised form of music!

The story of Unganisha started in Nairobi in 2016 when the two artist met for the first time at the cultural hotspot The Alchemist. It wasn’t the most obvious partnership perhaps, but they’re both used to being outsiders seeking new connections and always opened new doors, exploring new ideas. Labdi is currently the only female Orutu player in East Africa, which was a taboo for women to play, and is part of a growing population of young African artistes taking up indigenous instruments and re-introducing them into the current music scene. Bernt Isak is an interdisciplinary artist working with musical styles ranging from electro-acoustic free improvisation to electronic pop and a variety of fields such as performance arts, instrument design, programming and sound art. 

Cross-cultural collaborations are always carrying with them a possibility of one tradition being co-opted to make another more interesting. Though Unganisha’s music is based on their individual musical and cultural background, it is primarily the result of a creative process where bits and pieces from two distinct and diverse artistic personalities are fused together to create a new and refreshing sound. 

It isn’t an easy ride, being based in cities on different continents (Nairobi and Oslo), but thanks to the ease of modern recording and communication technology (most of the musical foundations has been made with iPhone voice recorder and the WhatsApp messaging platform) and two persons with an experimental and exploring nature, Unganisha has been able to overcome cultural, geographical and technical differences and challenges

This collaboration also has cultural-political goals. Currently there is a movement to strengthen the alternative underground culture and the roles of women in both traditional and electronic music, combined with local and regional identity. East-African music is often overshadowed by music from West-Africa, and successful artists generally operate within more popular globalised genres like RnB, hip-hop, pop and dancehall. The mainstream focus is also apparent in the DJ-culture where clubs in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Kampala mostly play local pop and the biggest global RnB hits. 

In spite of (or perhaps because of) this focus on global music, an alternative underground music scene is on the rise, and collects artists outside the mainstream. Projects like Santuri Safari have been putting focus on both regional identity and equality through projects like Femme Electronic. They have also been working for arenas where artists can collaborate across genres through their Santuri Sounds program. Unganisha wants to be an active part of this movement and contributing to the alternative culture, regional and local identity through musical innovation and strengthening of women’s position in both traditional and electronic music.
 

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Vingelklang

Vingelklang is the illegitimate love child of guitar tone scientist Bernt Isak Wærstad and cellist-gone-electronics-nerd Amund Ulvestad. Conducting both planned and improvised electronic transformations of a wide range of sound sources – from strings and oscillators to soft porn and frogs, Vingelklang covers a wide stylistic and associative musical range.


Vingelklang’s debut album N U L L (released on Fnatt Records November 2017) oscillates tranquilly between ambient and textural soundscapes. Herein sounds slowly wake, rise, breathe, fall and die against a dark horizon of silence.

 

Tapewind is a band from Oslo (Norway) whose diverse musical backgrounds span from pop and 60s beat to noise music. Tapewind’s signature sound is built on these very contrasts, combining pop melodies with roaring fuzz sounds and deep, earth-shattering bass notes.


Tapewind has released 4 singles and 2 music videos and are currently working on their debut album. Their music has both been given airtime on national radio and gotten solid reviews on international blogs:

"The more I listen to this track, the more I start to enjoy and appreciate some of the subtleties of the instrumentation and individual sounds. I love the big contrasts of 'light' and 'dark', and I hope we hear more of that in the future."

https://www.nordicmusicreview.com/

© 2020 Bernt Isak Wærstad // berntisak@gmail.com // +47 95920349

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