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ON THE RADAR – Fires of Denmark Album Release Show With Dreamspook and Mottle

Fires of Denmark's Mike Terrill sings into the microphone
Fires of Denmark by Renee Jones

Fires of Denmark is a dreamsynth/synthpop solo band out of Rochester, MN. The music sparks the interest of many because of its electrifying songs and creative live performance. 

Album release shows are my favorite kind. The night is filled with electricity. It’s an achievement to celebrate and the band wants to play their best. Fires of Denmark is celebrating the new album, Interference, by having his favorite bands play with him.

Mike Terrill, the solo musician of Fires of Denmark, walks around the studio with a friendliness that fills the place with warmth. This concert leans more toward a chill gathering of people, and Carpet Booth Records is a great place to host such an event. Located just outside Rochester, it’s a recording studio inside a former church. It is decorated with a fantastic mural by local artist Luke Austin. There are snacks and wine near a sofa facing the mural all to make the event extra cozy.  

Mottle plays guitar
Mottle by Renee Jones

Mottle starts off the show. His ambient music is paired with the atmospheric effects of a reel to reel recorder, and an old tube TV showing nature images and otherwise delightfully static footage. He plays guitar while singing into a distortion mic. It is wonderful.

Dreamspook plays his synthesizer and sings into the microphone in a smoky venue
Dreamspook by Renee Jones

Next up is Dreamspook. People are very excited and we rush in, not wanting to not miss a second. Immediately, I am very intrigued by the music and surprised by the smoothness of his voice. It blends well with his music. It is like magic. The effect is mesmerizing. In fact, everyone in the audience is under the spell of Dreamspook. He uses the same serene vocal styling over songs with a fast beat and songs that are slower and overarching.

Dreamspook is seated in front of his stacked synthesizers and keyboard. Everything is executed smoothly. It is such a great experience and I’m so grateful to see it before he relocates to Austin, TX. After the show, I end up talking to him and find him to be a pleasure to meet. I buy his album but I have a feeling no can exactly capture that live concert experience. 

Fires of Denmark Mike Terrill sings into a microphone and plays guitar
Fires of Denmark by Renee Jones

Fires of Denmark’s Mike Terrill wastes no time starting up. The mood is set and spirits are high. Terrill has created a set up of two stations with synthesizers and keyboards. With so many knobs and pieces connected together, each show has an element of surprise with a bit more risk than an average band. This all adds to the fun. It looks difficult to play but he has very little trouble switching back and forth between the stations, guitar, and mic.

Terrill plays his typical set first and then talks a little about the album. He disappears and we are treated to the recording of the new album timed to original video footage created by Tyler Aug. It’s very abstract and goes well with the music. I am amazed by the work and editing that had to go into the video. 

Fires of Denmark bends over his synthesizer to play a song
Fires of Denmark by Renee Jones

Terrill returns back on stage to play more live songs. His music is a unique mix of looping sounds created on the spot with bold, emotionally charged vocals layering over the beats. As one set of vocals is in place, he sings with it as it loops. He also grabs his electric guitar for occasional exhilarating solos, which add a vital part to his sound. We watch one more round of a few recorded songs off Interference, this time to a way more intense video. Volcanos spouting lava and random footage of people accompany the explosive guitar and vocals.

He ends the night with an encore of a special song for his friend and often-musical-partner, Nick Truxel, and a fun cover of the Talking Heads song “This Is Must Be the Place.”  It is a great ending to a very cool concert experience. 

Author: Renee Jones

Written by Renee Jones

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