Broke is a Danish band that seems to be growing out of its own shoes at a rapid speed. The trio have the uncanny ability to clear the mind and body of everything except the intense pulse of the beat, which induces a desperate bodily eruption.
Their concert at Spot Festival 2014 was the pinnacle of the highly regarded, up-and-coming Scandinavian music festival. At two o’clock in the morning on a Saturday night in a hazily intoxicated room, the perfect amount of stamina and energy remained for this concert. Broke’s music is like an enduring orgasm on a drug-induced trip, and I wasn’t leaving until I got my hit.
The level of intensity the concert began on was promising right from the start. The guys, who had apparently literally just flown in from China, took their places on the darkly lit stage as though they were about to perform a ceremonial execution. Simon Littauer on the synths, entered with a big black cape-like jacket, his face hidden behind a hood as they began billowing the powerful beats to our impending doom.
The Broke boys possess an intriguing presence when on stage which is a mixture between arrogance and abrasiveness. They simply don’t give a fuck what people think, which in my opinion is always a sign of well-formed art. This front is the perfect complement to their music, and due to their evidently profuse talent, the arrogance actually becomes endearing. Simon Littauer is the most elusively captivating performer I’ve ever seen on a synthesizer. His seemingly introverted persona possesses a distinct level of intensity that reveals the true genius behind his facade. He was like a crazy artist completely absorbed in the act of creation, moving aggressively to the beat in a contagious transcendence.
Guitarist Mads Bergland’s subtle level of extroverted obnoxiousness was an entertaining addition to the sensory feast. Slowly emerging from the shadows, he made his way to the forefront of the stage peeling away layers of clothing, until bare and exposed in his seemingly inebriated state. At the end of the concert, as the music reached an ultimate climatic intensity, Bergland made a few failed attempts to jump into the crowd, until the persistent hands finally caught him and took him on what was perhaps an unnecessary and somewhat passé ride through the scrupulous sea of followers.
Destructively jubilant, Broke’s sound is a walking contradiction for all the right reasons. The underlying repetitive looped drones of sound take you to a distant reality, down into the darkness of the mind. The sound is all consuming. They create a place where it’s ok to explore darkness, to feel darkness, and to be darkness. Perhaps that’s because the darkness of the music is harmonised by a boundless sense of light that seems to penetrate through it all. The heavy electronica melts with a nostalgic rock vibe; creating a distinctively impressionable sound that seems familiar, while simultaneously groundbreaking.
The fusion of Broke’s sound is quite hard to put your finger on, but it certainly leaves an imprint. Although the music is an equally enjoyable experience through headphones, there is an absence of the required environment that endorses expressive insanity, which their live shows provide very successfully.
Broke creates the anthem to your waking state. It is honesty in music, an artistic expression that you will probably only relate to if you’ve been lost in the dark at some point in your life. The harshness of life is infused with an encompassing sense of hope. It is the light of a waking dream in the midst of an eternal nightmare; so, if you’re not afraid, dive in.