Before COVID-19 dramatically altered our lives, Code Elektro’s Martin Ahm took his captivating solo synthwave project to the live stage in the city of Aarhus in his native Denmark, with the help of a skilled drummer-and-guitarist combo. The result was a fantastic show replete with kinetic performances that both rocked and were delectably synthy in all the ways Ahm’s cyberpunk-infused project deserves.
Vehlinggo covered it back in February 2020, and afterward Ahm set forth to release the show as a live album called Live at Radar Station. It’s finally out and the vinyl version has liner notes by yours truly that are excerpted later on in this article.
The live band, consisting of Ahm on keys, Niels Bach Storgaard on guitar, and Mikkel Norgaard on drums, absolutely lit up the stage at venue Radar with a tight-knit, killer set that expertly brought to life Code Elektro’s Carpenteresque, M83-nodding sound before 300 people. They played songs from all of Code Elektro’s albums: Superstrings, Wolf, Triads, and Never Mind the Solar Wind.
Check out a clip from the concert below:
Code Elektro On This New Live Album
Before we get to the liner notes, I’d like to share some thoughts on Live at Radar Station that Ahm had when I checked in with him and asked him why he wanted to do a live album.
It has always been a dream for me to do a live album. I can remember listening to live albums on vinyl as a kid, and they had this special kind of atmosphere. It was only the band and the audience. (For example, Jean-Michel Jarre or Iron Maiden. I had a very diverse taste in music as a kid — and I still have it).
Playing live is in my DNA and I wanted to do a live show with Code Elektro, and with a REAL live band. I have been playing in bands all my life, and I do miss that band feeling from time to time. Also, the band groove is hard to get only working on your computer.
And then there is the “Anything can happen in a live show.”And stuff usually happens. It did here, too. Sometimes my MIDI keyboard would suddenly start to use a wrong tuning out of nowhere mid show (A=438Hz). So I used my Moog synthesizer instead when that happened. Playing live is where you can test your gear and your music — How the audience reacts to it; how it works in a band setting…
If you ask me, I think everything worked out great in the end: from the idea, to re-arranging the songs to a band setting, to the rehearsals and to the live show.
This is also a special release for me since I’m releasing it on my own. No label this time. Which means greater creative freedom, and it opens the door to all kinds of new fun stuff that I have planned. So stay tuned!
Live at Radar Station Liner Notes
That’s all you get for now. If you want to read the rest, you can buy the record from the Code Elektro store. (And if you’re just a digital or streaming type of person, there are options for you, too. There aren’t liner notes, though.)
(Feature Photo: The live version of Code Elektro. Photo Credit: Rolf Meldgaard.)