M C Hansen - 3
We’re told every day that the music industry is changing. If we’re to believe every report it’s dying, a victim of piracy and manufactured TV talent shows, facing an uncertain future. Sales are reportedly shrinking whilst every person you walk past in the street is sporting a set of headphones and an inability to know what acceptable levels of volumes are. And yet and yet... Live music seems as vibrant as ever. Is the truth out there?
So you’re an artist looking to release a new album. Even the name “album” is anachronistic of a dead physical format. How are you supposed to find an audience? In M C Hansen’s case the answer was to release 3: three albums in one, placing many of the same tracks in different musical contexts.
Hansen has travelled out from Denmark on a folk-tinged odyssey performing hundreds of shows a year either under his own banner or with peers from the Scandinavian music scene. He describes himself as being “9 years down the road from where he took off and what was once a one-way street is now a crooked highway with several lanes to choose from”. As an artist he has split musical personalities, rooted in folk but sometimes traditional and other times experimental. He's comfortable in a band setting and also as a solo artist. He describes them as his three musical personalities: “The part he understands, the part he makes up and the part he didn't know existed”.
The number three resonates through this album. The three parts were recorded in three different places with three different bands. The first part is a traditional folk offering. The second part features his Danish band and recorded as live. Part three is on a more experimental footing. This offers a genuine choice to the listener. Want traditional country folk fayre? Play part 1. Maybe you like the song but would like to hear it with folk stylings but without the Americana stylings? Play part 2. If you’re a experimental indie kid dabbling in folk then part 3 has your name written all over it. At their core, these are a collection of songs that take hold, regardless of their musical stylings. For this reviewer, it was part 3 all the way, but for you dear listener, the choice is yours.