Misantrop is Danish born Berlin based Nicolai Vesterkær Krog. In practice and theory, Misantrop’s projects are underpinned by a philosophy of radical self-expression: flawed perfection, perfectly flawed. The budding artist’s multi-disciplinary approach queerly and cleverly side-steps identity tropes in their diversified works that shimmer with noumenon.
Their debut album “Reproaching the Absurd” is due on Opal Tapes June 24. The album explores the thought processes of a depressed mind in Berlin’s club scene, observing different mental stages of a night and following day.
In other recent projects, Misantrop has been heard joining forces with Copenhagen producer Splash Pattern, and last year performed at Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art.
1. I don’t particularly enjoy dusk and I particularly don’t enjoy dawn.
2. Heterosexual behaviour is learned.
3. You left the water running.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Everyday life, psychology, identity politics, the dismantling of traditions, films and my favourite soap opera, music sometimes too.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
At 13. I borrowed this CD Rom at the local library with some long forgotten DAW on. It was full of euro dance loops but I was too cool for that and recorded my own samples on my minidisc – screeching bike stands, static from my TV and such. I thought it was very braindance, but in reality it was very noisy, very musique concrète.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
That’s a impossible one – but these five are a mix of some lasting favourites and others I found myself returning to a lot in recent years:
Associates: “Fourth Drawer Down”
Mica Levi: “Under The Skin”
The Beach Boys: “Pet Sounds”
Kid Natural: “Garage Magic”
Tricky: “Pre-Millennium Tension”
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
My house. Or my usual spot by the Spree.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Maybe be a librarian.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Several releases but Yvette Janine Jackson’s “Freedom” is the standout – incredible, powerful and urgent record.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Henry Cowell or Isaac Hayes.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I have a terrible memory with gigs but maybe Senyawa at Berghain in 2015, I think it was the first time I saw them live and Rully Shabara Herman’s vocal range and the fact that they didn’t use a microphone blev me away. That, or Lady Gaga in Copenhagen in 2012 – the stage design, wow.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It depends on the project. I don’t enjoy trying out new instruments. Instead I like to work with a small array of tools and go deeper with those. Some of my projects revolve specifically around exploring new ways to use my tools (such as the performance I did at KW Institute for Contemporary Art), and other times technology is just used to support other ideas (like on the album).
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
You would have to ask them.
Photo © George Nebieridze