Club Reg­u­lars 002: Niko­laj Jakobsen

The former punk is a figurehead in Copenhagen’s principled techno scene.

Wel­come to Club Reg­u­lars – The Face’s series spot­light­ing the DJs, pro­mot­ers, per­form­ers and activists with love for their local scenes.

For Niko­laj Jakob­sen, intense music has been a cen­tral part of his life since he start­ed play­ing in punk bands aged 15. All that punk shit is rav­ing, too,” he argues. It’s all about cre­at­ing spaces togeth­er with like-mind­ed peo­ple where you can ful­ly express your­self.” He’s car­ried the spir­it of that punk shit” into Fast For­ward Pro­duc­tions – a team ded­i­cat­ed to set­ting up raves while nev­er com­pro­mis­ing on the qual­i­ty of sound, light or venue. Along­side releas­ing melod­ic 140 BPM tracks as Sug­ar, Jakob­sen is help­ing main­tain Copenhagen’s tech­no scene as an all-lov­ing, all-inclu­sive space for every­one to enjoy.

Tell us about the club night you hold.

Fast For­ward Pro­duc­tions is an off-loca­tion DIY rave con­cept found­ed in 2015. Our raves are run by our own activists and staff who take care of the door, bar, light, sound and every­thing in-between. We build the venues from the ground up every time and make use of big ware­house spaces, pre­sent­ing care­ful­ly curat­ed line-ups and bring­ing our own equip­ment to focus on qual­i­ty sound and visu­als. One of our main goals is active­ly work­ing to cre­ate safer spaces at these venues we use. Our staff is cho­sen care­ful­ly in order to work togeth­er to erad­i­cate sex­ism, homo­pho­bia and trans­pho­bia, racism, and any oth­er harm­ful behav­iour. We cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where it is safe and approach­able for peo­ple to come to us, be tak­en seri­ous­ly, and know that we will take action if any aggres­sions or dis­re­spect­ful behav­iour is experienced.

Our crowd is super devot­ed to the events and we have a very ded­i­cat­ed fol­low­ing of peo­ple that have been com­ing to the raves since day one. Young diehard ravers, old-timers, new­com­ers, freaks and weirdos who don’t fit in, those who do fit in and peo­ple who don’t nor­mal­ly go to raves come out to expe­ri­ence the vibe – it all comes togeth­er nicely! 

How did you first devel­op a pas­sion for rav­ing?

I start­ed play­ing in punk/​hardcore bands when I was 15 and did so for 12 years before ded­i­cat­ing my time to tech­no music and organ­is­ing raves full time. But all that punk shit is rav­ing, too – in my opin­ion. It’s all about cre­at­ing spaces togeth­er with like-mind­ed peo­ple where you can ful­ly express your­self, be cre­ative, go crazy and escape just for a moment from all the mad­ness going on in the out­side world.

What’s spe­cial about your local club scene?

It’s such an excit­ing time to be involved in the elec­tron­ic music scene in Copen­hagen – not just what’s going on in tech­no, but in gen­er­al. So many amaz­ing artists, col­lec­tives, labels, record shops and ini­tia­tives have sprung out in the past 10 years. Peo­ple real­ly devel­op their skills and instead of com­pet­ing with each oth­er, peo­ple are real­ly down to help each oth­er out.

What chal­lenges does your scene face?

The biggest chal­lenge of all was the lack of spaces to cre­ate venues and have events. Every emp­ty build­ing or pos­si­ble space is being torn down and made into apart­ments or big steel and glass office build­ings, or fan­cy neigh­bour­hoods where no noise what­so­ev­er is accept­ed. I think every Euro­pean city is expe­ri­enc­ing this right now. I believe that the peo­ple mak­ing all the plans for city devel­op­ments for­get that it’s not just eco­nom­ic growth and real estate busi­ness that make a city worth liv­ing in.

Photography Daniel Hjorth

If some­one is vis­it­ing your city for a week­end, where do you rec­om­mend that they go?

For rav­ing go to Ved Siden Af. For chill­ing out­side in the sum­mer, go to Chris­tia­nia, Assis­tens Kirkegård or Ref­shaleøen. For record shop­ping, go to Insu­la Records and Per­cy Records.

Of all the stuff you’ve achieved so far, what are you most proud of?

Being a part of such a thriv­ing scene with so many amaz­ing and tal­ent­ed peo­ple and being able to tour the world play­ing music. Also, most impor­tant­ly, to be able to share the music I’ve made myself to all the peo­ple who appre­ci­ate it is one of the great­est gifts of all.

Any oth­er DJs/​promoters/​performers from the scene you’d like to shout out?

Yes! Cour­tesy, Sebas­t­ian & Tho­bias (Ved Siden Af), Anders Marc (my boss and col­league in FF), Frederik2000F and the STRØM crew, Bunker­Bauer, the Fast For­ward fam, Repro <3, Lukas Højlund, Troels Hass (Per­cy Records), Posh Iso­la­tion and all the oth­er amaz­ing artists and ravers mak­ing the scene so great to be a part of!

00:00 / 00:00