Every year thousands of ravers assemble under a highway overpass in Copenhagen. They are here to worship electronic beats organized by Ohoi! – Copenhagen’s original sound killers and bass pirates. They call it ‘Bas Under Buen’ – Bass under the Arch (in this case an extremely photogenic highway overpass that will surely fall down one day from the bass!). The event showcases Danish electronic artists with sub-bass as the common thread that threatens to awake the Kraken from the icy Nordic depths. The theme is music by the people for the people. The DJ is on street level with the crowd. There are no special lights. And everyone plays an equal amount of time.
I have photographed almost every Bas Under Buen event since 2012 for the amazing Ohoi! crew. There is a story of the 2013 edition here on my blog and a story on the KAGE Collective – (which I stole the opening paragraph from but hey, it’s my story!). I missed the 2015 editions so I was super happy I was able to make the 2016 Bas Under Buen in Frederiksberg in Copenhagen.
Warning – fishing for sympathy: I had just shot Roskilde Festival and arrived at Bas Under Buen exhausted and with a special extreme case of the man-flu that I think only music photographers get. Maybe only me! I can tell in my photos that I was lacking energy to keep up with all the antics but fortunately the bass and the energy from the crowd and awesome artists playing brought me back from the abyss, back to life and back in action. I had a brilliant time, and Bas Under Buen continues to be one of my very favourite events. It really is also where my music photography career started many years ago, so it holds a very special place in my heart.
Maybe nostalgia is one of the reasons I like to shoot this event in my favourite old-skool style (heck I would shoot every event like this if I could). I only use 2 prime lenses, the Fujinon 16mm and 35mm F1.4 and mostly manual focus and loads of crooked horizons. I want a gritty and imperfect look to my images at Bas Under Buen, something to match the street level raw energy of the event itself. After the many limitations imposed on photographers at Roskilde Festival, it was such a massive joy to shoot freely again with full access.
Roll on Bas Under Buen 2017 and give me bass, we are only 6 months away now.
PS. That panorama at the top of this blog post? It was a whole bunch of vertical shots stitched in Lightroom. Amazing stitching, there were lots of people moving from frame to frame and Lightroom pretty much managed to make a perfect panorama out of it. I have not retouched anything on the panorama and am rather amazed it worked, did not think it would when I shot it!
Oh, Before you dive into this gallery, put on your best headphones and play this Tim Driver of Ohoi! crew mix LOUD. Enjoy!