This Fall, Danish Cyberpunk Martin Ahm Nielsen - AKA Code Elektro - released his first live album Night Train Live 2020, and in contrast to his acclaimed studio albums, this time features additional musicians to make it more of a live experience.
We catch up with Martin during 2020's Covid lockdown to find out how it all went down.
Future-Rocker: What made you decide to make Code Elektro a live experience?
Live is where the magic happens. I have always played live shows but only in other bands. And sometime last year I felt that it was time to take Code Elektro live. And it was so awesome!
Is Radar a local venue, and therefore a hometown crowd? What was it like, bringing it to the stage.
Radar is a local venue here in Aarhus (Denmark). It’s a really awesome place with great sound and gear (lights etc.). So yeah it was a hometown gig – beforehand I didn’t know if that would be an advantage because when I look at my Spotify data my fans are from all over the world. Thankfully a lot showed up and it was a great night!
What made you want to add a live guitarist (Niels Bach Storgaard) and drummer (Mikkel Nørgaard) for the live Code Elektro?
I wanted to have the live grooves that a guitarist and drummer gives - I wanted that feel with me on stage. I think you can hear the groove in the tracks. It really gives something extra.
They give the music an added dynamic and 'urgency'. The logical progression might be to add a vocalist. Have you ever thought about it? Male or female?
Absolutely (and thanks!). I am thinking about moving into that area. Male or female is not that important…. whatever fits the song best.
I would love to see this music on a movie soundtrack... as a sound designer you must meet film-makers all the time. Do any motion picture opportunities ever come up?
There’s has been a few opportunities and talks about Code Elektro and soundtracks…maybe in a near future.
How has lockdown been for you? Productive, or a bad interruption?
It has definitely given me more time. Since the live show in February I have been busy working on the releases – so I have had enough to do. But I know people that have been struggling financially and with the isolation. I hope things will clear up.
I'm really intrigued about your side project Telestation Alpha. Those analogue synths sound really beautiful. What inspired the music? I love the feeling of an 'Old Future' that they evoke. In my memories we used to have a late night series of TV programs called 'The Open University' where some really crusty-looking 1970s physicists would talk about particles. It reminds me of that..!
Thank you so much! The inspiration comes from my interest in the Cold War, spies and all that stuff. And also, the electronic pioneers from when electronic music started: Laurie Spiegel, Else Marie Pade and Edgar Froese etc.
I think I know what you are talking about regarding the physicist haha! I also got some of my inspiration from when I visited the Thule Airbase in Greenland with a band I played in. It’s an American military base and it totally had these Cold War vibes, but also reminded me of the Dharma Initiative from the series LOST.
Any plans to expand the Telestation Alpha concept? How about write an actual screenplay around it?
That would be a really awesome idea! And I have thought about it. Right now it’s just these albums that I will release from time to time. But maybe at a later point I will work on a bigger story around it.
Telestation Alpha - The Number Station (Audio Drama)