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Unseen Recordings: Copenhagen Jazzhouse Launches New Web Channel for Experimental Music

Jakob Baekgaard By

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There was a time when MTV was the place to discover new music, especially in the world of pop, but since the heyday of MTV a lot of things have happened. Nowadays, web channels like YouTube and Vimeo are the places to discover new music and both listeners and artists upload their own videos.

In many ways this is the ideal situation, but there is a problem. The quality of the videos is often poor and they are presented out of context. Some artists decide to use time, effort and money to create beautiful videos, sometimes little documentaries, but this is a luxury that many experimental artists can't afford. This has provided a gap, but it is a gap that is ready to be filled by the new web channel Unseen Recordings, which was launched on January 21, 2014.

It is the team behind Copenhagen Jazzhouse that has launched the channel, but it shouldn't be seen as a way to promote the venue. Instead, it is an independent channel whose goal is to promote jazz and other kinds of experimental music in Denmark and around the world. The project is supported by the Nordea Foundation, which makes it possible to make the videos free of charge for all viewers everywhere. The web channel has its home on unseenrec.com, but is also available on YouTube and Vimeo. On the channel's own website, the project is described in the following way:

"Unseen Recordings is a web channel for experimental music. Every recording is unique, unfiltered, live and done in one take. The music here is boundary pushing and genre challenging, it is adventurous to the bone. Unseen Recordings will present 70 new recordings each year with Danish and international artists"

So far, there are 16 videos on the website, with plenty more to come. Highlights include experimental free jazz orchestra Fire! Orchestra and avant-garde blues man Bill Orcutt. Each video is an aesthetic delight and there are short interviews with the artists in the beginning to provide context. There is a dual purpose with the videos, which can serve as little artworks in their own right, but also be seen as a way to promote the artists and present their music and visual expression to venues around the world.

Unseen Recordings has made a short video about the project, which can be seen by following the YouTube link below.

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