As Ditlev described in his interview with me, we had writer's block at the same time. I suggested we interview each other to get back into the swing of things and he happily agreed!
Being a Danish citizen, Ditlev is fascinated both by the culture of his country AND experimentation worldwide. He brings a lot of eclecticism into what he does; everything from strange audio art to melancholy singer-songwriter stuff (or maybe it isn't and i just think it is due to the language barrier) to hilarious jokey songs (all released on his own label, Stilletid), as well as his writings and films. Even with this range, everything he creates is 100% original and one of a kind. A kind and agreeable sort, he enjoys meeting people from all corners of the world and getting their unique takes on life, art, and everything in between.
Adam: Growing up, did you ever expect to become so involved with art? What first sparked your creativity? What was the first music you got into and what is your favorite music now?
Ditlev: I knew pretty early on i wanted to create things. At first it was simple comics and short stories. In elementary school i wrote a comicstrip about a cat, that was called Mis. Translates to kitty. The other children in the class didn't understand why i did it, because it involved words on a page. Seemed like homework to them. The first music i heard and liked was probably some of my dad’s records. He liked Patsy Cline, Roger Miller, those kinds of people. But what made me want to start a band was the first Black Sabbath record, Even if i didn't actually play with any other people until much later. Then i discovered that if i played acoustic guitar i could do it all alone and not need to have a rehearsal room and all that.
Adam: We've had a lot of discussions about the culture (and pop culture) of our respective countries. What is it you enjoy most about Danish culture? What do you like the least about it? Does a lot of the culture go into your works?
Ditlev: I like that we have a society where a garbageman might live next door to a millionaire, and neither one of them will feel out of place. Its called Jantelov i guess. Jantelov means that no one is any more special than anyone else. I like that, but unfortunately what i don’t like is that a lot of people (mainly the really young) are getting a bit self absorbed because of the selfie-culture. But i think that’s a global problem, not just a local one. These are narcissistic times.
Adam: I've seen you describe yourself as an outsider. What makes you consider yourself as such? Would you agree we're all outsiders in a way on EC, brought together by a sense of camaraderie and be appreciated for who we are by like-minded folks?
Ditlev: I think we all are somehow. It’s great that EC came into existence, since its a treasure chest of parallel culture from around the world. There used to be a website in danish like this, but more centered around punk rock than experimental music. The problem was that no one really looked at it because it was so localized that people just learned about gigs and records elsewhere.
Adam: Have you traveled much outside of Denmark? Is there anywhere you haven't been that's on your bucket list? If so, for what reasons?
Ditlev: Ive been to Belgium and England, and some of the surrounding countries like Sweden and Germany, but i guess i’m not much of a tourist. I like to go to a small island called Langeland once in a while. Its very inspiring there. The light falls in such a beautiful way because there’s water on all sides.
Adam: How much contact did you have with musicians and artists from outside Denmark before Electronic Cottage? I find it fascinating that Hal is giving us a forum to meet on a more personal and artistic level via this great community.
Ditlev: I sent alot of mail before EC too, and sent my music to radioshows like Swami Loopynanda’s Deprogramming Center and Little Fyodor’s Under the Floorboards, but only talked to a few people online. I have definitely made a lot more acquaintances since EC started
Adam: In closing, would you like to link to anything of yours or suggest something for the community that they might not be familiar with?
Ditlev: I guess it would be this album i made with the Danish/Azerbaijani artist Nargiz Andersen. Instead of her illustrating the music, i scored her drawings. Was a fun project for sure!
To hear Ditlev's work, start with his track from the Electronic Cottage Compilation 004!
After that, go check out more of his great works on