Dai Fujikura, Erik Honoré, Jan Bang. Photo: Ruben Olsen Lærk.
The IMI 27th Jun 2022

Jan Bang and Erik Honoré are launching a new label. Here’s the inside scoop

Linked to Norway’s Punkt Festival, and a sub-label of Jazzland Recordings, Punkt Editions is set for launch in September and billed as a brand-new platform for Punkt related music past, present and future…

Back in April, Norway’s ‘live remix’ Punkt Festival announced its return, with the event’s 18th edition, set for September.

Punkt is the brainchild of musicians and record producers Jan Bang and Erik Honoré (pictured), who pioneered the method of the live remix in 2005 at the inaugural Punkt Festival.

The annual three-day music event, held in Kristiansand, has attracted a cult following by featuring celebrated Nordic musicians, as well as some of the most cutting-edge artists in the world such as Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Laurie Anderson, John Paul Jones, Daniel Lanois and Thurston Moore.

This year’s schedule will include a tribute concert to Norway’s groundbreaking artist Sidsel Endresen, and appearances from Bugge Wesseltoft, David Toop, Solveig Slettahjell, Dai Fujikura, Nils Petter Molvaær, and indigenous Sámi project Avant Joik.

Interestingly for 2022, the festival will also see the launch of a brand-new label: Punkt Editions. A sub-label of Jazzland Recordings, Punkt Editions is billed as ‘a brand-new platform for Punkt related music, artwork and literature, encompassing an archive of 18 years of sonic experimentation, as well as a future-focussed label and arthouse.’

Speaking to The IMI, Bang and Honoré discussed the strategy for Punkt Editions and their ambitions for the label going forward…


What’s the vision for Punkt Editions and why did you decide to launch it now?

Jan Bang: Punkt has four pillars: the festival, of course, but also Punkt International, where we export Punkt internationally as a touring concept. Punkt Editions is the third pillar and the fourth is Punkt Futures, which wraps together the educational and talent development activities that we have been doing for some time.

Punkt Editions is an outlet for Punkt related music, artwork and writing, organised as a sublabel under Jazzland Recordings. The Punkt Editions label will release live and studio recordings from the vaults, as well as brand new recordings. There will also be audio-visual installations, visual design and book publications.

Jazzland Recordings founder Bugge Wesseltoft, a high-profile Norwegian keyboardist and musical innovator, asked us if we would be interested in starting a sublabel. As we approach the Punkt 20th anniversary year in 2024, we wanted to make a series of Punkt announcements in the lead up. So we launched the label this year together with the Festival lineup announcement, with more to come.

Wesseltoft knows the Punkt Festival well, as Jazzland Recordings has previously released both our own albums and various collaborations, and he believed that we have a strong enough concept and sufficient material to justify a separate label.

"The Punkt Editions label is the missing piece of an infrastructure which will enable us to make our musical ambitions become reality: produced and packaged in the way we would like to see it, and presented to a relevant audience."

What’s your strategy for the archive material Punkt Editions will look after? What’s the aim there?

Erik Honoré: We will release two categories of historical material: The first category is studio and live material that has been previously released, but isn’t available anymore, for various reasons. There’s a couple of albums out of print that we think deserve a re-release, for instance. Also, there’s previously released material that could be better compiled and presented.

The second historical category is previously unreleased material, mainly recordings of the live remixes that are the Punkt Festival trade mark: All concerts at Punkt are immediately remixed by other musicians at a separate stage, and this has resulted in many memorable moments.

Although a few albums based on recordings from Punkt festivals have been released on other labels (Uncommon Deities, for instance, released on David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label, and Jon Hassell/Sidsel Endresen/Jan Bang/Erik Honoré’s live remixes released by Jazzland), we wanted to have a dedicated label to act as a platform to release Punkt recordings from now on.

In terms of the new material, what can we expect there?

JB: The main focus of Punkt Editions is to create, curate and produce new recordings by musicians connected to the Punkt network, and also to expand that network, and record and release projects with new acquaintances.

EH: The first release will be Dai Fujikura and Jan Bang’s album ‘The Bow Maker’, which will be pre-released in Tokyo on 15 July marked by a concert at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in connection with Punkt’s visit to the Born Creative Festival. The official release will be at Punkt 2022 in Kristiansand on Friday 2 September, with a special Punkt Editions Launch Concert featuring Fujikura/Bang, Simin Tander, Eivind Aarset, Nils Petter Molvær, Erik Honoré we’ve also confirmed Benedikte Kløw Askedalen and Anneli Drecker and there will be a Punkt Editions related Live Remix.

Through the ‘mothership’ festival in Kristiansand and our touring with the project, we have built a substantial pool of musicians within our genres. This pool also includes young talent that’s been identified through our education work, which has seen Punkt develop a new brand of electronic music education in collaboration with the University of Agder. This consists of bachelor studies in live electronic music, and includes workshops and seminars by pioneers like Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Laurie Anderson and David Toop. Some of the students are now involved in our live and recording projects.

What are your medium and long-term ambitions for the label?

EH: We will start like we started the festival in 2005, with our closest musical family, and gradually expand from that. The first release is the already mentioned ‘The Bow Maker’ by Jan Bang and Japanese composer Dai Fujikura, which will feature trumpeters Nils Petter Molvær and Arve Henriksen and guitarist Eivind Aarset, Finnish cellist Kati Raitinen and Japanese sho player Tamami Tono. We are also in the process of finishing several solo and collaborative projects to be announced later this year.

JB: A main ambition for the years ahead is based on the opportunity we now have to produce projects from inception to release:  From commissioned work for the Punkt Festival, via live performance and post-production, and ending in a release on Punkt Editions.

So in many ways, the Punkt Editions label is the missing piece of an infrastructure which will enable us to make our musical ambitions become reality: produced and packaged in the way we would like to see it, and presented to a relevant audience.