Den Sorte Skole


Den Sorte Skole is a sample-based producer and composer duo from Copenhagen, Denmark, founded in 2004 by Simon Dokkedal, Martin Højland and Martin Fernando Jakobsen (on leave since 2011).

By sampling obscure records from all over the globe, all possible genres and all times, Den Sorte Skole takes the listener on a trip through time and space. Imagine a parallel world where ancient ghosts and future robots communicate through heavenly spirituals and poisonous rhythms.

Their aim is to open new worlds of sound and music to people. Celebrating our cultural differences, but also finding the interconnections between them. They are driven by a fascination of the unknown and place themselves in between mainstream and avantgarde. Den Sorte Skole’s work could be described as a prism or kaleidoscope in continuous dialogue with our forgotten musical treasury.

Live, their performances unfold as dark symphonic trips through samplers, turntables and effect-machines. They usually perform as a duo, but also compose classical symphonies, work with choirs and live musicians from around the world. For many years they have been pushing boundaries for audiovisual performances together with acclaimed Danish visual artists like Dark Matters, Obscura Vertigo and Steen & Hejlesen.

In 2017 Den Sorte Skole was awarded the Crown Prince Couples Cultural Award by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. This award is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in Denmark.


Indians & Cowboys, 2015
Album of the Year Lists:
LA Times (US), Outlet Mag (AUS), Gaffa DK & SE
Passive/Aggressive (DK), Information DK
Berlingske (DK), Music is Good (US) (US)

Lektion III, 2013
Album of the Year List:
The New Yorker (US)

Lektion #2, 2008

Lektion #1, 2005

Orchestral Works

Symphony #3, 2019
Den Sorte Skole x Copenhagen Phil
January 31, 2019
Conductor: Hans Ek
Composition: Den Sorte Skole & Karsten Fundal

Symphony #2, 2016
Premiered together with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra in the Radiohouse in Copenhagen. The symphony was built around the universe of Indians & Cowboys with new arrangements as well as completely new compositions.

Symphony #1, 2014
Premiered together with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra in the grand DR Concert Hall. It takes its departure from the universe of Lektion III with new arrangements of selected tracks, but also completely new compositions.


The Crown Prince Couples Cultural Award (Kronprinspaarets Priser), 2017
by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary and Bikuben Foundation

Carl Prisen ("Composer Talent of the Year"), 2016
by the Danish Association of Music Publishers
Danish Music Awards World (Best Album for Indians & Cowboys), 2016

(The Danish Critics Award as "Composer of the Year" for Lektion III), 2014


Nattergalen, 2020
Danish Dance Theater
Choreography: Alessandro Sousa Pereira & Sebastian Kloborg
Dancers: Danish Dance Theatre’s dancers
Set Design: Sergei Sviatchenko
Costume Design: Maria Ipsen & Sergei Sviatchenko
Music: Den Sorte Skole
Light Design: Raphael Frisenvænge Solholm
Dramaturgy: Sosha Teperowska & Amanda Linnea Ginman



Den Sorte Skole & Vertigo

Ghosts & Robots is Den Sorte Skole's latest audiovisual project. An experimental, dark and beautiful piece of art combining music, sound, light-installation and laser mapping, made in collaboration with acclaimed Danish visual artist group Vertigo.

The music is built from samples lifted off releases from the last seven decades, combining everything from old field recordings of indigenous tribes and orthodox religious chants to samplings of new contemporary electronic, noise and classical ventures. The result is a parallel world, where ancient ghosts and future robots communicate across time and space.
On stage, Den Sorte Skole work live with samplers, turntables and chains of effect machines. On the visual side, Vertigo combines LED-installation, video-projection and laser mapping with live generative coding and triggering.

Every show is built and designed specifically for each individual location. All Ghosts & Robots shows are different.
Ghosts & Robots premiered in Denmark with three showings at the iconic Old Stage at The Royal Theater in Copenhagen, May 2018. Following this, it was part of the official opening of Beijing Design Week in September 2018 and the opening concert of the 100 Years of Copyright Festival at the auditorium in Haus Der Kulturen in Berlin in October 2018.

Latest showings include the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in May 2019 as part of Hyper! Exhibition.

Press quotes:

“A complex “gesamtkunstwerk” that showed how music - like life itself - can be violent, silent, beautiful, crazy, ugly and enchanting at the same time. Without compromises Den Sorte Skole gives us a perspective on ourselves and the world we live in and should be considered the most important music project in Denmark at the moment.” (Soundvenue, The Royal Theater, Copenhagen, May 2018)

“The result was a unique and sublime piece of art, that left the audience blown away. Den Sorte Skole creates something that is much more than music - they are like nothing else in the Danish music business.” (Gaffa, The Royal Theater, Copenhagen, May 2018)

“It was the ultimate overwhelming, as if Dante landed in the world of Blade Runner with his Inferno.” (Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, October 2018)



Composed by Den Sorte Skole
Choreography: Alessandro Sousa Pereira & Sebastian Kloborg
Danish Dance Theater

‘Nattergalen’ (The Nightingale) is a double bill created by two of Denmark’s most sought after contemporary choreographers - Sebastian Kloborg and Alessandro Sousa Pereira, both of whom have recently received the Knights Cross of the Order of Dannebrog (2018). Den Sorte Skole have composed the music and the Danish/Ukranian artist Sergei Sviatchenko has created the set design.

January 21/22/23/24/25/31, 2020
February 1, 2020 (2 performances)