In twenty years, electronic music has left the margins to become popular culture. At Caen, this translates to significant growth in the number of artists and gatherings and strong audience expectations. Shedding light on this scene, on its vitality and its difficulties.
A few weeks into the school year, and for more than twenty years, fans of electronic music have gathered on the freighter or exhibition center for the Nordik Impakt Festival, now renamed NDK. An unmissable event for many, it has brought in its wake many young artists and gatherings.
An overview with those who brought this culture to life (or brought it to life), each on their own level.
Mad Brains, Senary, Vunion, Super4, Ladacore… names that definitely mean nothing to you if you’re over 30 and for you, the 12 midnight hits are the time to go home. However, it is a sign of the incredible vitality of Caen’s electric scene, which also includes so many other players that it would take too long to mention here. From the first underground electric evenings in the 2000s to the many concerts and evenings given every weekend in recent years, in twenty years the Caen scene has evolved dramatically.
Today we are talking about the Nordic generation.. This festival, now called NDK, is an organized event that has led to the development of a whole scene. Today we have a very young, older, new scene. There are a lot of artists and groups and this is thanks to this special event.” Emmanuel Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture – Caen
“I lived in Caen until I was twenty, and that’s where I discovered electronic music, with Nordic Impact, it’s a city that has a history with this music” Superpoze – Musical – Paris
“There are a lot of groups that organize a lot of things. There are also signs appearing for the production of local artists. For our part, we try to provide high quality events and will release many records this year.” Thomas Franco – President of MAD Brains Group – Caen
When we see how many groups ask us to organize evenings in our room, we realize the liveliness of this scene.Gabriel Legrand – FC Portobello – Caen
“When we see how many groups ask us to organize evenings in our room, we realize the vitality of this scene. Unfortunately we are not a room that specializes in electronic music and we have to reject many proposals. Here we schedule electronic music once or twice a month.” Gabriel Legrand – FC Portobello – Caen
It’s obvious then, and no one would say the opposite: Caen’s electronic scene is in full expansion, but according to Zili Jane Le Gerne, part of the Vnion Collection, this effervescence is still fragile, due to a lack of mean. Especially.
If nothing is done, I’m afraid the momentum of the movement will run out.Zélie Jeanne-Le Guern – DJ / Producer – Co-President of the Vnion Association – Caen
“It’s not going well… There are a lot of artists producing electronic music in Caen, we have to grow it. But there is a real lack of places and means to distribute this music. If nothing is done, I’m afraid the movement will run out.” Zélie Jeanne-Le Guern – DJ / Producer – Co-President of the Vnion Association – Caen
Between the organization of the NDK (which is part of the Concert Hall specification), the nights out throughout the year, the training infrastructure and the support it provides to artists, Cargö occupies an important place in the development of the electric scene. But the structure that is at the heart of the municipal cultural policy must support all contemporary music and cannot devote itself only to electronic music.
For me, Cargö occupies a very important place, I went there first as a spectator, and then found a place to work, to experiment.
Superpoze – Musical – Paris
“Cargö is obviously open to electronic music groups, but our specifications require us to program all existing music genres. We must make room for all aesthetics. On the other hand, The Cargö is not only a concert hall, but also studios, an accompaniment to electro performers. We are also trying to connect local actors with national actors, and that too is a huge challenge.” Jérémie Desmet – Director of Cargö Festival and NDK – Caen
“Le quartier libre” in Rouen, the recent opening of “Club Calypso” in Le Havre proves that the emergence of independent venues dedicated to electronic music is possible in the cities of the region. However, such an initiative in Caen is sorely lacking when the liveliness of the scene is no longer in doubt. After the closure of many night bars, it has become difficult to find places to perform more regularly and in good conditions for different groups.A statement shared by all.
“There are a lot of groups that want to organize events, and there are a few places that can host them. There are many places that have closed in recent years. It’s a shame and it creates a traffic jam phenomenon. ” Thomas Aguirregabiria and Ludovic Jumel – Ladacore Collective – Caen
Today, the number one problem for us is the lack of a place run by people who truly understand our sector of activity and our technical issues.Thomas Franco – President of MAD Brains Group – Caen
“Today, the first problem for us is the lack of a place run by people who really understand our sector of activity and our technical challenges. Ideally, it would be a room that could accommodate between 300 and 400 people with a weekly opening. We asked the city council, and we responded to their request with a project proposal, But we have no news. Thomas Franco – President of MAD Brains Group – Caen
“Actually, there is a lack of a place dedicated to this music, and we are thinking about it. Why not on the Peninsula? It will remain a private initiative, but we can find an agreement to provide or rehabilitate a building. It is true that today we are far from the creative vitality of this scene and the possibility of expressing these artists. I talk about it regularly with groups, but we don’t have a solution at the moment. Emmanuel Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture – Caen
“In all consultations or discussions that may take place, the problem of place always appears. On the occasion of the municipal elections, the groups also sent a statement to the various candidates in which the subject was touched. Really there was no response. However, groups of artists will not be able to carry out the project of opening the hall on their own. We really need to develop a policy for Caen’s nightlife.” Jean-Claude Limnouil – Director of the regional music agency FAR – Caen
With a long history of alternative underground culture, we tend to think that music and electronic institutions do not mix. That’s not entirely wrong, as evidenced by the checkered history of the Nordic Impact Festival, but it’s an assertion worth mitigating. Today, technical culture is certainly outside the margins and the gatherings are exchanging more and more with the authorities.
Today, a dialogue has been established with some groups. The city can be a partner.Emmanuel Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture – Caen
“It is a spectacle that does not necessarily have a reflection on the dialogue with the establishment, given its importance, I wanted to meet with them. Today, a dialogue has been established with some. The city can be a partner. Today, all our money for current music goes through merchandise, and then we try Intervention ‘on the sidelines’, by making places available for example. Emmanuel Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture – Caen
From our side, the dialogue is going well. When you’re preparing for an event, you naturally have to do things right, setting up your security files well, for example. If we go to the chests, everything is possible, and we have never refused permission from the city council, nor from the county ” Thomas Franco – President of MAD Brains Group – Caen
“We can clearly see that there is some form of caring on the part of the municipal team, but to go from caring to understanding there is a first step to take and then moving from understanding to will to action. For me today, the work of the city council is lacking in concrete projects. Not preventing is good, but accompanying, helping, is better.” Jean-Claude Limnouil – Director of the regional music agency FAR – Caen
What is certain is that dialogue with the authorities is necessary. It’s still complicated, and we have to earn the trust of elected officials.Thomas Aguirregabiria and Ludovic Jumel – Ladacore Collective – Caen
We have never organized events in Caen, but what is certain is that dialogue with the authorities is essential. It’s still complicated, and we have to earn the trust of elected officials. It is a step that takes a lot of time, because at first the municipalities are often reluctant to welcome us, but when we make it clear who we are, and what we are going to do, there are no more fears or a priori and it will happen often. we will.” Thomas Aguirregabiria and Ludovic Jumel – Ladacore Collective – Caen
To move forward and find better solutions and support for artists and groups, Cargö has partnered with Technopol, a national association working to develop electronic music.
For 10 projects in Paris, there are 100 in the regions. Today we benefit from the recognition that allows us to accompany institutions, especially the Ministry of Culture. What we need today is to be as close as possible to local actors. When we open a local branch that we are trying to establish in Caen, we develop a program of training, support and representation for local actors according to their specific needs.” Tommy Vodekeran – President of the Technopol Society – Paris
In Caen, electronic music is still very lively, and there are many artists and audiences present during the various events. This also pleases the town hall:
“It shows we have a decent and innovative young man.” Emmanuel Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture – Caen
To learn more about Caen artists, take a look at the collective site Mad Brains and listen to the MBPM podcast, tune in to Radio 666 every Tuesday at 10pm or check out the Cave Caenem blog. To discover the musical world of Zélie Jeanne-Le Guern, it is here and the scholar of Thomas Franco known as Ethereal Structure, it is here.
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