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Aron Dahl (Denmark) – Ficken 3000 (single)

There are certain subjects, and artists, I tend to stay away from. As a lifelong straight bloke I don’t feel I have the qualifications to comment on gay, bi- and trans-sexual matters in songs. I haven’t been there so how would I know?

Take the background to this particular song for example. When he released her debut album she was Danielle, if I’ve got my grammar and syntax correct. Now Aron Dahl as she has become is ready with the second single release from his forthcoming album, the first after the ‘transition.’

What the transition amounted to in this case was Aron going from living as a straight woman to a gay man.

He’s even had hormone therapy so that his voice has dropped almost two octaves. It isn’t Lee Marvin yet but it’s working.

Just what all that involved is so far beyond my orbit that I’d normally move swiftly on to the next PR email and have done with it.

But then I read that his latest single, ‘Ficken 3000’, shares its title with a notorious gay club in Berlin. Fuck 3000 what? All at once?

Now I’ve got a thing about Berlin. I’ve never been there but I get the impression it’s still every bit as decadent as it was in the 1930s, whatever your orientation.

And then you think of all the artists who have lived there, from the many classical composers to the likes of Bowie, Iggy Pop, Siouxie Sioux, Depeche Mode, and U2, through to the legions of Nordic artists who hang out there today.

It must be something in das wasser.

So I thought I should at least give it a hearing. And you know what? It’s pretty good.

According to Aron it is “a kind of love song” one concerning “the fear and excitement of cruising for the first time.”

Now when I was his age, cruising meant doing what Mungo Jerry advised in ‘In the Summertime’ –

“In the summertime, when the weather is high/You can stretch right up and touch the sky

When the weather’s fine/You got women, you got women on your mind

Have a drink, have a drive/Go out and see what you can find”.

Love didn’t come into it. Lust did. And fear was totally absent.

How times have changed. Or have they? Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose but now the boot is on the other foot.

Anyway, “the main character meets a guy, and maybe that guy is actually a jerk. But it doesn’t matter, in a fleeting moment there is a shared intimacy and a kind of fleeting love that feels expansive and almost turns into a spiritual experience for the main character”, says Aron.

Really, all it amounts to is a latter day version of the boy meets girl stuff from the 1960s but he has such a beguiling way of singing the story – or rather talking it, a la The Streets, or Badly Drawn Boy – with his quirky little lines that don’t quite scan over a semi-Reggae beat, that it hooks you in.

It’s a slow burner which builds to a climax (literally I suppose), with a graphic description of a coming together and while hung on a synth melody that gets under your skin together with a very clever line: “A quiet tenderness seeping through the cracks of temporality (alt: masculinity)…holding us briefly” before it ebbs away into a synthesised sound that might accompany the crowning of a monarch or the Canonisation of a Saint.

That is exceptionally good writing and I wish that final passage could have continued a little longer.

‘Ficken-3000’ is the second single from the forthcoming album ‘Moth / Flame’ which acts as a diary or documentation of his transitional journey; physically and sonically represented in a new and ‘unfinished’ ever-changing voice, and thematically in the lyrics in their exploration of masculinity, intimacy and sexuality.

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(Aron has a sense of humour clearly and he currently has 666 followers on Facebook – I’m sure that’s a devilish joke).

Photo by Jason Jackson.

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