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!

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