Categories: Blog, News
In light of the current situation, we have decided it is in the best interests of all our staff, customers and events to close our doors until further notice.
Look after yourselves, each other, your nearest and dearest and, perhaps most importantly, stay safe!
p.s. may come in handy:
Tags: All Back To Mine, ambient, andrew weatherall, Aphex Twin, Boiler Room, Bongo Club Closing, brian eno, calm, chill out, Coronavirus, Covid-19, DJ Mix, Essential Mix, Hobbes, Hobbes Music, i-D Magazine, Jan Jelinek, JD Twitch, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Loop Finding Jazz Records, LTJ Bukem, massive mellow, MC Conrad, mix, music for airports, nightmares on wax, Optimo, Radio One, Sakura, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, Susumu Yokota, The K&D Sessions, the klf, Tranquility Mix
We’re stoked to be welcoming Bristol’s mighty Pinch for what will (somewhat astonishingly) be his Bongo debut, courtesy of Overground, this friday night. Well overdue!
If you’re not familiar with his work, Luke Ballance’s interview with him (taken from the Once Upon A Grime website), from the Love Saves The Day festival in 2018, is a pretty good primer. See below.
Pinch. © O. Bailey Photography / Olly Bailey
Rob Ellis, professionally known as Pinch, has been at the forefront of the dubstep scene for well over a decade now, but his music is far from easy to describe. Known for being the mastermind behind Tectonic and Cold Recordings, plus for his innovative instrumentals and DJ sets, he’s long established himself as one of the titans of Bristol bass music.
Well, I think anything that you listen to growing up is a major influence on your direction. My older brother was into dub music and psychedelic rock and all sorts of stuff. He used to make me tapes and compilations. And then in my early teenage years, I was very into what was called the Bristol sound. The trip hop thing: Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky.
Drum and bass. Jungle. Techno. All these things fed into my tastes. I’ve always liked sitting in between boundaries wherever possible.
I tend to just get sounds and fuck ’em up. That’s more of a general approach. But I have made some field recordings in the past. There’s a holiday I went to in Marrakech years ago and I’ve lived off a few minutes of recordings from there. [laughs] That’s made it into a lot of stuff. But I do use a lot of foley-style sound effects recorded as well. So it could be taken from films, TV… it’s definitely all sample-legitimate stuff, of course, but if it’s pretty obscure, no one knows it.
Do you use a lot of analog gear in your tracks? I know Joker does, and was wondering if that’s some common ground between the two of you?
Not really. I’ve generally been much more inside the box: VSTs. I do have an analog desk and a couple of analog outboard bits; I use a Distressor compressor and some weird shitty guitar pedals. But, mainly, I like the convenience of being able to open up the program and have everything how it was. With analog, you’ve gotta capture it right that first time round.
I do a live set when I’m performing with Adrian Sherwood as Sherwood and Pinch. Adrian runs an analog desk with analog delays, reverbs, effects. I run the digital aspect of it through Ableton and it plugs out of a sound card spread across the desk, so each separate sound’s got its own channels and can be effected differently. We use an SPD drum pad, lots of sound effects, and some processing pedals.
When I’m performing as Pinch… I did do a live show. I literally did it twice: in Montréal for MUTEK and at Fabric for one of their birthday celebrations. I tend to prefer to just DJ when I’m playing as Pinch. So, a different approach.
I make it up as I go along. That’s the truth of the matter. I’m not the most precious about things. Sometimes songs will catch a mood which resonates with a certain label imprint a bit more, or it might just be that I pass some tunes out to people I know—like Loefah—and they’re like ‘can we have this one?’. There are lots of different reasons. I mainly tend to focus on releasing with labels that I have a lot of respect for and that I feel contribute something worthwhile to the scene in general.
Pinch. © O. Bailey Photography / Olly Bailey
You recently celebrated Tectonic’s hundredth release with Riko Dan’s ‘Hard Food’ EP. How did that come about, and how much of a say did you have in the project?
The timing, as we were approaching the hundredth and this whole EP was coming together, it was like ‘this has to be the hundredth release, it makes a lot of sense’. Riko represents an individual who’s been through a lot of the transformative periods in dance music and UK sound system culture. He was there for jungle; he was there for garage; he was there for grime. You know? He’s still around and he’s still bussing lyrics and bussing dancefloors and absolutely fucking breaking down sounds.
Absolutely. And maybe even carrying sound system culture into new pastures.
There’s a four-track EP from Hugo Massien, on a kind of breaky, techno-y crossover space. Really solid tunes I’m very excited about. Following that, we’ve got the Walton album which is absolutely off the chain. That’s one producer I find myself coming back to more and more. When I’m digging through the record bag, his plates are the ones that come out most often. It’s a really cool album. Following up from that, we’ve got a very exciting remix plate, which I will not give you any more information on for the moment, but around about September time that’ll be a definite big hitter. I’m absolutely confident on that.
Luke Ballance (left) & Pinch (right). © O. Bailey Photography / Olly Bailey
Sounds like you’ve got an exciting few months ahead for the label. What’s next for you personally?
• • •
Find Pinch on Twitter (@TectonicPinch) and Facebook (@PinchTectonic).
Find Tectonic Recordings on Twitter (@TectonicRecs) and Facebook (@TectonicRecordings).
Hugo Massien’s Advanced Aerial Threat EP dropped Friday 15 June via Tectonic. Order your copy here.
Tags: Love Saves The Day, Luke Ballance, Once Upon A Grime, Pinch, Tectonic
We’re buzzing to be welcoming Steve Stamp aka DJ Steves (Kurupt FM) from genius BBC comedy People Just Do Nothing to the building on Thursday 5th March, not least as he’s co-headlining with jungle legend Randall!
Promoters 23 Degrees caught up with him for a quick chat before the gig.
How old were you when you first started learning to mix? Which DJ’s inspired you to start?
Around 15 I think. I had some basic belt drives and me and Beats would go back to back after school. We were inspired by the West London pirate radio DJs. A lot of the time I didn’t really know who they were but I remember people like Oxide were playing the darker stuff that I was most into. I also had one tape with Deekline where he was scratching over garage, that was the maddest thing I’d ever heard. Blew my tiny mind.
Your sets are on ode to the Garage sound, what are your top 3 Garage slammers?
It’s hard to pick but there’s a few that have stood the test of time. Stuff like Roy Davis Jr ft Peven Everett – Gabriel, Active Minds – Hobsons Choice, Groove Chronicles – ‘Hold On’. They always existed on the classier end of the garage spectrum, very sexy production. They’re not tracks you’ll normally hear in a rave though, what I hope I can do with my sets is introduce some of the less obvious party tunes and show people some classics that they might not have heard before.
With Garage fully back on the map right now, which of the new school producers are you feeling?
Ah there’s loads of people making good beats. Conductah, Murlo… In terms of new stuff I’m more into grime: Sir Spyro, Swifta, Rudekid, Spooky. What I love about the scene is that a lot of these guys are selectors and their music emerges out of the radio and rave culture. It’s all connected and that’s what keeps it so authentic.
You’ve played in Edinburgh before with the rest of Kurupt FM, how was it? Are you excited to return?
Scotland is always messy. Weird shit seems to happen every time I’m there. DJs ending up in ambulances, McDonalds lock-ins. I blame the Buckfast. Need to add that to my rider actually…
We had Danny Rankin aka Decoy perform back in 2019, he had some serious Jungle music up his sleeve, do you ever sneak in some Jungle/DnB into your sets?
I’ll leave that to the pros. We’ve got Randall on the lineup with me and he’s told me that I’m not allowed to go beyond 140bpm. I mean he hasn’t actually said that, but he’s a legend and I know my place.
Any dubplates/suprises up your sleeve?
At some point during the set I sometimes like to surprise the audience by going briefly into character as Steves and doing a bad mix. So if you hear that then that’s why. And you’re welcome.
Finally, taps on or taps aff?
Taps aff. Trousers down. Red Stripe in each hand. Eyes closed.Categories: Blog, News
Tags: BBC, Comedy, dnb, drum n bass, garage, grime, jungle, Kurupt FM, People Just Do Nothing, Randall, Steve Stamp, Steves, UK Garage, UKG
Flexout Audio boss Tom Bassi (DJ/producer/A&R/label mgr) and Charli Brix (DJ/producer/vox) make a formidable duo, with a smooth, polished sound that combines deep, dark moods and techy production. It’s a style of drum ‘n’ bass with a broad appeal just now and has unsurprisingly been peppering the sets of countless DJs in the scene.
So, we’re well pleased to be welcoming them to Scotland, as they make their combined Scottish debut for Midnight Bass, and excited to hear what they’ve gone in store for the Bongo on Tuesday 11th Feb. The Midnight Bass crew had a wee chat with them, to see what’s what in their world…
How does it feel to be debuting in Scotland? Have you been before?
Bassi: Amazing. We’ve both never been to Scotland and are so happy to be asked to perform at The Bongo Club. I’ve always loved all the Scottish people I’ve ever met so I’m sure it’s going to be wicked vibes.
Charli: I’m so excited, I’ve never been to Scotland! I have a friend studying in Edinburgh who I haven’t seen in ages so she’s gonna roll through so that’ll be lush. I’ve had a few punters hit me up on insta telling me they’re excited to see us perform which is always lovely. I can’t wait!
What/who would you say is a key influence in getting you started with your musical journey?
Bassi: For me, it was going to Fabric nightclub for the first time when I turned 18, I knew from then on all I wanted to do was be a DJ
Charli: Watching Sister Act when I was 11 and developing a passion for singing and then again on stage at Fabric in 2015 during the ‘Rituals’ Album launch – I realised then I was never going back to a 9-5!
Best party you experienced / performed at in 2019?
Bassi: That’s a tough one for me but I’d have to say our Boat party at Outlook festival as it was so intimate and the energy was just unreal.
Charli: I agree with Tom, either the Flexout Outlook Boat Party or my Kintsugi EP Launch – both were utterly outrageous.
At the turn of a decade, what can we expect from you in the (20)20s?
Bassi: A lot of my focus is on Charli’s album at the moment but as well as that we have exciting projects from the Flexout gang including an LP from Arkaik which is going to be very special.
Charli: So I’m pretty much on lock for the album this year. I have a few releases coming with some regular collaborators, and my Kintsugi EP has been flipped so that’s coming out over the next six months or so. It’s all incredibly positive and moving fluidly which i’m happy with, I feel like 2020 is going to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
We’re excited to see you DJ and of course showcase your vocals with a live PA set. We’ve read that you’ve been DJing just a few years. Do you enjoy DJing as much as performing vocals?
Thank you! I’m hyped to perform. So I’ve only been DJing 18 months, which is mad when you think about it! DJing & performing give me a very different high. When I write or sing it’s for me, and it’s a bonus if the crowd is vibing and can relate, but when I DJ it’s for the crowd, and my happiness or love of a mix is secondary – does that make sense?
Charli, we’ve read that you work for Glastonbury, write for In-reach magazine, play with the female super-group KCDC, all the while laying down vocals for so many tracks AND maintaining a busy gig schedule. How do you fit it all in and manage the creative flow? Any tips for anyone working on multiple projects at once?
In all honesty, I took on too much last year. I had to step back from a few projects and commitments, but all for positive reasons. I essentially didn’t give myself enough credit or realise how much would change in 2018/19 and just assumed I’d have to do the ‘broke musician holding down 5 part time jobs’ life forever to facilitate my music.
I spent a lot of years laying good foundations, professionally and personally, and that has allowed me to work as a freelancer, and be more particular with how I spend my time and who I work for – not only in music but my other creative endeavours.
If you’re flat out all the time, just have common sense. Eat, sleep, drink water, make sure you’re looking after your mental health. Get rid of toxic people who hide under the guise of ‘supportive’ during the highs and add to the lows, and most importantly – learn to say no.
What has been your favourite project to date, with who and why?
Charli: It’s gotta be my ‘Kintgsugi’ EP 🙂 It’s such a trip being able to google it (haha) because it still doesn’t seem real. I’ve been doing collabs for so long and despite adoring all the producers i’ve worked with, it’s just different when you’re the one in control and it’s your ideas and your vision. I couldn’t have done it without Tom and Flexout, and I honestly still don’t think he knows how happy it makes me.
Bassi, along with a solid back catalogue of releases under Flexout, we’ve seen you’ve started producing too (we’re a big fan of Reflections). Is there anything in the pipeline that we might catch a sample of at the upcoming show?
In terms of my own production, it has taken a back seat for the time being but I am actively involved in the writing process with Charli and her new album so you’ll hear some new material from that on Tuesday for sure.
Flexout Audio was founded in 2011 and has since become a highly consistent and widely respected record label. Is there a highlight moment or milestone for you in the rise of Flexout Audio?
Yes and most have happened within the last 12 months to be honest. Having Flexout at Star Warz in Belgium was huge, incredible venue and an amazing drum and bass event that has been going for 20 years. Our boat party at Outlook festival was amazing, I’d always wanted to do that and so glad that it happened before they moved away from Pula. Other than that hosting Room 3 and then more recently Room 2 at Fabric was incredibly special for me as that is the club I went to the most when I first started going clubbing.Categories: Blog, News
Tags: Bassi, Charli Brix, dnb, drum n bass, Flexout Audio, interview, Midnight Bass
We’re excited to be welcoming jungle & drum n bass champs Serial Killaz to the Bongo this weekend. Here’s a wee interview courtesy of the We Love Jungle website where they talk about their love for the sound.
What does Jungle mean to you?
A 20+ year-old sound that encompasses many styles of music due to the history of sampling and borrowing from other genres of music and working it into a different, faster tempo. It is the origin of what is now known as Drum & Bass. It is a vibe. It was always about the samples and vibes already captured in the music. Now all these years on, artists are writing original works with Jungle and the goal is always to capture a vibe that has soul to it, just like all the samples have.
Has your approach to DJing changed since you first started out?
Yes, when I first was DJing many moons ago now, I used to prepare all my sets and want everything to go perfectly. With more experience of different clubs and set-ups, I realized it was far better to freestyle and go with the flow of the club system and crowd. Some systems don’t produce enough bass, so certain tunes just don’t sound the same and my sets are adjusted to the sound system. I also like to be able to play the odd request, especially if it’s one of our own productions being requested, as I feel that gives a great connection to the fans. Ten or so years ago, I was playing out under my solo name, Vital Elements, a lot. When the Serial Killaz bookings came in, I would change the style I usually played, and I really saw a change in the vibe of the dance floor when incorporating more Jungle style and vocal lead tracks. This was a big influence in the sound I wanted to push more, as that certain vibe captured by Jungle really does make the dance floor a nicer place.
Where in the world do you think the best Jungle crowd is?
I’ve played to so many great crowds over the world, it would be unfair and too difficult to choose.
What’s your top Jungle tune to play out at the moment?
Our remix of ‘Professional Ganja Smoker’ has been getting a great reaction for some time, as is our yet-to-be finished collab with Jaguar Skillz (that) we’ve been testing, but I still think the most powerful track has to be Congo Natty’s “Code Red.” in any of its various forms. We’ve been lucky enough to remix it and have recently updated it too, they always go off, as does the original 20 years on.
What up-and-coming DJs and producers are impressing you?
Upgrade and his brother Limited have been very impressive. And of course our young mentees RunTingz, who have come on leaps and bounds since we took them on and got them in the studio for some vital training.
Describe your creative process in the studio?
It depends on what we are working on but it can usually be boiled down to catching that elusive vibe I keep mentioning: you gotta find the hook, be it a vocal, melody, rhythm, or groove.
How would you describe your sound at the moment?
Modern day Jungle
What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Classical and differently tuned world music.
If DJing wasn’t your job, what would it be?
A chef, like I used to be.
Any new projects coming up?
Stacks, collaborations, remixes, original works…too many to mention. Just keep an eye out for any release with the name Serial Killaz in it – there will be plenty.Categories: Blog, News
Tags: drum n bass, interview, jungle, Serial Killaz, T>I, We Love Jungle
Tags: bass, DJ Storm, dnb, drum n bass, Goldie, jungle, Kemistry & Storm, Metalheadz
We’re mighty excited to be welcoming (amost) the entire Livity Sound crew, from Bristol, for Headset’s 5th Birthday Party this Friday night. Should be more than a wee bit special, not least as our festive 5am licence kicks in as well!
Peverelist on Livity Sound and Bristol techno
This month we take our label series outside of Scotland and look to Bristol’s Livity Sound ahead of the label’s showcase at The Bongo Club for Headset’s fifth birthday party
Edinburgh club night Headset has long been a champion of the Bristol electronic music scene, with previous guests including Peach Discs’ co-founder Gramrcy, Idle Hands’ boss Chris Farrell and DJ/producer Hodge (pic. above). It feels fitting, then, that for the party’s fifth birthday they would celebrate Bristol’s burgeoning scene with a showcase of one of its pivotal labels.
Livity Sound was launched by Tom Ford, aka Peverelist, in 2011 and over the last eight years has been responsible for releasing music by some of Bristol’s most exciting artists. In its early days, many of the label’s releases came from Ford himself, as well as Joe Cowton, aka Kowton, and Craig Stennett, aka Asusu – both of whom played crucial roles in the label’s formation. “I’d been working at a record shop called Rooted Records for ten years, where I founded a label called Punch Drunk which focused on documenting the music around the Bristol dubstep scene,” says Ford.
“Unfortunately the record shop was forced to close and I decided it was time to do something more focused on my personal interests,” he continues. “I’d been working on music with Joe [Cowton] a bit at the time and he encouraged me to start the label. In those early years I worked closely with Joe and also Craig [Stennett] to create the aesthetic of the label.”
Since then, the label has maintained a focus on releasing music by Bristol-based artists, but its growing success has also seen it attract interest from further afield, with releases from Simo Cell, Toma Kami and Laurel Halo. “I’ve always worked closely with Bristol artists and given support to other Bristol labels when they’ve asked,” says Ford. “It’s a cool city for music, although I’m not quite as involved now as when I was working at the record shop; that really acted as a hub for the scene – I miss it.”
Having previously performed at Headset himself, Ford will be making a return to the night as part of the label’s showcase alongside other returning guests Hodge and Roska, in his Bakongo guise. “Hodge is a label regular and my promotion partner for when we run our parties in Bristol – awesome DJ and producer to boot,” says Ford. “Bakongo has just had a release on the label and is a bit of a legend in my eyes for a decade of killer underground releases under his Roska alias.”
Fast-rising DJ and illustrator Danielle Doobay will also be making a return to Headset, having played three times before. Doobay is one of the co-runners of Mix Nights – a DJ workshop series for women launched with the help of Shanti Celeste and local organisation Bristol Women in Music – with Daisy Moon and Em Williams. Meanwhile, Anina (pic below) will make her Headset debut and is proving to be one to watch through her slot on independent Bristol radio station Noods Radio and releases on labels like Tape Echo.
“Danielle is a good friend of the label and a regular at our parties – amazing DJ who’s been really busy this year playing some of the best parties in the world,” says Ford. “Anina is one of Bristol’s most in-demand DJs – always plays a belter. A lot of people will know her from her blinding set at this year’s Freerotation festival.”
If Bristol isn’t a city currently on your musical radar, then Livity Sound’s showcase is sure to prove exactly why it should be.
Headset’s 5th Birthday: Livity Sound Takeover, The Bongo Club, Edinburgh, 20 Dec
Categories: Blog, News
Tags: Anina, Asusu, Bakongo, bass, Bristol, Chris Farrell, Craig Stennett, Danielle, Danielle Doobay, dubstep, Freerotation, Headset, Hodge, Idle Hands, interview, Joe Cowton, Kowton, Laurel Halo, Livity Sound, Mix Nights, Noods Radio, Peverelist, Punch Drunk, Roska, Shanti Celeste, Simo Cell, Skillis, Tape Echo, techno, The Skinny, Tom Ford, Toma Kami
We’re more than a little bit chuffed to be hosting this one at the Bongo. Hard to believe Axel Boman hasn’t played Edinburgh before. Even more exciting that he will be making his debut here at the Bongo.
He’ll be well known to any seasoned clubber and music fans, due to his work as Talaboman (with John Talabot) and his record label (the wonderful Studio Barnhus, which he runs alongside Kornél Kovács and Petter Nordkvist) but for the uninitiated, this 2015 interview with The Ransom Note’s William Wasteman is a very good place to start…
If you’ve ever been out partying with me, you’ll notice that similar patterns emerge in the way I like to enjoy my after party. Firstly, I’ll buy more tinnys than is humanly manageable to drink, because beer is your friend, forever and ever, amen. Secondly, I’ll change into a pair of tracksuit bottoms, because I need to be comfy when I’m dying from beer overdose. Thirdly; and this is the only relevant bit, I always play ‘Hello’, by Axel Boman. It’s one of the most beautifully soothing tracks I’ve ever heard, with its haunting, catchy vocal sample and bassline deeper than talking to Carl Sagan on acid. It’s basically the musical equivalent of a nice, warm bath, which is good because it’s the closest thing I get to washing (if you notice from after party points one to three, hygiene isn’t on the list).
So from that track I became a fan and have been listening to his unique brand of ephemerally melodic house ever since. Then when I heard of his new project ‘Talaboman’; with top producer John Talabot, I was intrigued to see how the tracks would sound. On hearing their first single ‘Sideral’, I wasn’t disappointed. So, ahead of their headline sets at Corsica Studios on the 27th and 28th of this month I sat down with the Swedish born producer to talk about the creative process, his label Studio Barnhus and his favourite purple drank:
Hey man, how’s it going?
Axel Boman: Hey! I’m good man! Really good.
What you up to at the moment?
AB: Just working on a remix at the moment, for a band Hunter & Game a bit like Darkside so like really synth heavy, kinda darkish pop stuff.
Fair play. I saw the last remix you did was Maribou State one, do you push to do them yourself or do people commission you? How do you choose what remixes to do most of the time?
AB: Most of the time, its people just asking me, and offering money! But I do also feel like the tune has to be something I relate to as an artist, I can’t just take any ‘trap’ song off the radio and do it, it has to be something I can work with.
Do you feel more responsible over a remix than your own stuff?
AB: Yeah I feel like sometimes I can’t just strip back a track to just the basskick and hand it back to them and say “Here is what I thought was good of your tune”. Like there was that amazing story of Aphex Twin doing a remix for Bjork in 20 minutes, where he had obviously just done nothing with the original track but just sent over something he had already done, but I don’t think I could do something like that. I think DJ Koze is a remix genius and makes everything better, like “What the fuck was the original? This is shit compared to the Koze remix”, but I do feel more responsible over someone else’s tunes than I would do my own because you have a responsibility toward the original song. I feel that I owe it to the original track to use parts of it in the remix that you can hear, to pay my respect that way.
What your fave remix that you’ve ever done you think?
AB: It was the one I did a while ago for Agaric, called ‘No way I Know I Feel’. I felt I got the melodies really well placed with the original song and it just worked. I added a sample from a completely different track that worked surprisingly well with the original I think. That’s my favourite remix for sure.
I’ll definitely look that one up. So apparently during the second half of June it barely ever gets dark in Stockholm during some weeks due to the midnight sun. What kind of parties do you guys have when it’s always light?
AB: Yeah we have parties in the woods like, every weekend. You just get a text from a friend saying “there’s a party in the woods”, then you get there and just follow the sound of the kick drum, but people can’t last too long cos they drink so much. Like obviously everyone is on drugs but we just drink so much we usually don’t last past the next day.
Is it not like Berlin?
AB: No, not at all. Berlin doesn’t have the same drinking culture, they are sipping on water and stuff, whereas we just get really hammered. We have a natural drinking affinity with the English, for example last night I was drinking 6 or 7 pints of beer, which is quite a lot of beer when you think about it.
And if it was Italians they would be like *puts on Italian accent* “What is this giant beer?”
That’s true! But even though you guys drink the same as us you know that Swedes have the longest life expectancy in Europe whereas in the UK we have one of the lowest?
AB: Oh really I didn’t know that. Well it’s got to be the diet. I’ve seen the full English breakfasts and stuff like that you eat whereas we have rye bread and a lot of fish…
I think we’re just becoming really Americanised with all the fast food that’s coming in…
AB: Yeah but then everywhere is these days, like in Stockholm it’s just getting Starbucks after Starbucks.
Yeah it’s shit. So your album Family Vacation was well received for how diverse it is, how did that kind of sound come about?
AB: Well I actually think it all sounds quite similar, which is like this playful house that has pop melodies throughout. I tried to keep a theme running all the way through the album which I think I managed to achieve. Now there is some distance from when I first released it so it’s easier to look back and think about it more objectively.
But when you are making music do you sample a lot, or is it more live music you use? Some of your music has a live feel to it, like you’ve been jamming as a band when you made it. So do you play as a band or solo and build it organically or does it always have a certain structure?
AB: Well I always have a synth melody in my head for days, and I’ll try and build it around that. I’ll also have about five or six samples that I want to fit in, so it’s a mixture of both.
Yeah like I feel that some of your tracks, like ‘Hello’ can drift in and out of melodies, is that something you are conscious of or do on purpose?
AB: Well I’m not a classically trained artist so I don’t always look for a melody and a harmony. I think it works to my advantage because whereas some people are always looking for the hook that fits a track I can just experiment with different samples and ideas until something clicks.
So are you a perfectionist do you think?
AB: Well I think that some people can be comfortable to put a bassline together and a sample and just think “that’s fine” but for me it’s almost never fine. Whenever I first put something together I never accept the first edit, because I know that if I add different things to it, it can make it into something much more than it originally was. So I keep going at it with different samples or different angles until it becomes something more that I like. Like I love Moodymann and the way he’ll have samples that just don’t quite fit together, y’know? You can hear that they don’t fit but it still works. I love that whole Detroit sound.
Is he a big influence on you?
AB: Oh absolutely, although I’m not just a house-head, I’m just as much of a fan of ABBA as any of the Detroit house guys too.
Are you a fan of Three Chairs?
AB: Three chairs not so much but individually much more. I feel like the expectation of those three together can never live up to anything they produce by themselves.
Yeah I know what you mean, like it’s expected that all three of them together will combine to make a better sound somehow.
So carrying on with your creative process, what about creative blocks, how do you deal with them?
AB: Inspiration is for amateurs!
No well I do a lot of smoking weed and drinking wine. I also go for runs. Also we like to laugh and joke around in the Studio so it can come naturally, but it’s just as likely to pop into my head on a run than when I’ve been smoking or drinking. I just think it’s a matter of persistence. Like, I will just keep going at a track until something comes to me most of the time. But then some of the time I can be really lazy and if something doesn’t instantly come at me I’ll just forget about it but then other times you just have to keep going at it over and over until it works. I know there are some people who are just perfect like Roman Flugel, who just make one perfect track every day, but that’s not me; I have to work at it. It SEEMS that Roman does this.
I’m sure he puts in just as much effort as you behind the scenes though?
AB: No Roman Flugel is just one of those perfect people that does Ashtanga yoga, eats well, looks healthy and im sure he’s a fantastic lover. Every tune he makes is perfect, no matter what. He is just one of those sexy, perfect people.
Sounds like maybe you should try and get with Roman Flugel?
AB: No I am not perfect enough for him. He’s probably think I was too fat or something like that, plus I think he is into girls.
So why was the album called Family Vacation? Is about a family vacation you went on?
AB: No it’s not really about anything that happened in real life or any family vacation I’ve been on, I just like the way it sounds, like some kind of tragic sounding event,
Like a family vacation that went wrong?
AB: Yeah, like some eerie tragic story.
So you aren’t actually the son of a plumber either?
AB: No it’s the name of a Per Gessle album, the master mind behind swedish pop sensation Roxette
AB: Well they are really famous in Sweden, I just stole it off one of their album titles so I wasn’t actually a son of a plumber or anything like that.
Ah OK fair enough. So obviously ahead of your shows I wanted to talk a bit about Talaboman. How did the partnership with John Talabot come about?
AB: Well he is a friend with (Barnhus label mate) Petters, and I always really liked his stuff and when we met we got on really well. I think the Spanish and Swedish have like, this natural affinity so we instantly connected.
Will you be releasing more stuff than the Sideral tune you did?
AB: Yeah we are actually working on an album right now. We have about eight tracks, not really sure if I should be talking about it as an album because it isn’t really that yet, it’s just a collection of tracks, but most of them are finished but like in a raw state.
When will it be coming out?
AB: Early next year, I think John has an album he is working on to release later on in 2016 so we want to get something early next year because I don’t want to get in the way of his album launch and stuff like that.
Will it be more stuff like Sideral?
AB: It will be a lot bigger, it will still have the emotional element that Sidereal has but we have been working a lot with synths so we have been trying to make bigger…
More, epic tracks?
AB: Yeah! Like stuff that is more expansive than some of the stuff I have done before.
So is it going to be like, big lights flashing, eyes closed, hands in the air kind of music at the raves?
AB: I hope so!
Are you going to be playing a lot of the tracks at the shows at Corsica Studios?
AB: Yeah of course! It is the perfect place to do it, I love Corsica and I love the system there and it’s very intimate too which I like so I can’t wait for the shows.
Do you prefer to play in the more intimate venues or bigger mega venues?
AB: Well I am not really used to play in these bigger gigs like John is so he has been giving me advice on it. But I have also been getting advice from DJ Koze, he gives me these classic one liners about handling it; like the best one he gave me was “play songs with less information”. Which I think is so perfect because it’s totally true in those situations where you have thousands of people to play to.
Like maybe the subtleties of some of your music can get lost when playing to bigger crowds?
AB: Yeah, exactly.
So I know you graduated from the Valand School of Fine Arts in 2010, what did you study?
AB: Well I was one of the last people to do the five year degree at the Uni, where they just gave us a studio for five years and let us get on with it, and check in every six months to see if we were OK. Now they only allow three year courses so I was one of the last people to do it.
What kind of stuff did you do?
AB: Well it was everything from painting, to sound, to film. By the end it was purely conceptual, like if I had an idea I would just build around this idea whether it was sound or film.
Do you have any of the stuff to show us?
AB: Hold on a sec…*checks computer for a while* No I don’t think I have any stuff. I think it may be somewhere on my dad’s computer. If I have any bit of advice it’s keep a hold of everything you used to do, keep every scrap book, every file on your computer.
I read an interview with you where you said lost a laptop with all your stuff but you felt it was quite cathartic?
AB: Yeah I had to start completely again. It was kind of like losing your phone though, with all the numbers of everyone you love.
So how did Studio Barnhus come about? And is it better releasing under your own label or just easier letting someone else handle it?
AB: Well we have been living together and working in a studio space, so we just naturally became friends and started making music together. So we moved into this studio which is on Orphanage Street (Barnhusgaten) in Stockholm, and the Swedish for orphanage is actually Barnhus.
In English the closest translation to it means like a shed or outhouse where farmers keep their tools and livestock…
AB: Really? I never knew that. In Swedish it’s less negative than orphanage though, like it’s a fun thing to do with youth, because I know orphanage is more a negative thing in English but in Swedish when a place is fun it can be described as a Barnhus. I’m actually releasing a lot of stuff under my own sub label Barn-Barn which means grandson in Swedish which is funny because that’s kind of how it is to me and the label.
I’ll definitely be looking out for that. So your breakout tune Purple Drank was a banger, so I had to ask, what is your favourite kind of purple drink?
AB: At the moment I really like ‘Sanalepsi’, which is like Swiss anti-histamin drops. But there’s also another American drink I like, it’s kind of like this powder shit…
*asks his mates in Swedish*
Kool Aid! Yeah we got a lot of Kool Aid going on at the moment.
So finally; as your name is Axel, who is your favourite Axel: the Streets of Rage character, Axel Rose from Guns & Roses or Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop?
AB: What is Streets of Rage?
Like the old Mega-Drive game!
AB: Let me Google it…Oh yeah this game kicks ass!!! I used to love this game. That guy is called Axel?
AB: Well I’d have to say even though he is a woman beating psycho crazy motherfucker Axel Rose is still my favourite. But if I have to choose they are all number one!
So Axel Rose is first, then Axel from Streets of Rage?
AB: Axel Rose first, then Axel Foley from Beverly hills cop then Axel from Streets of Rage because I don’t know him as well.
Thanks Axel, can’t wait for the shows!Categories: Blog, News
Tags: Axel Boman, Studio Barnhus, Talaboman, The Ransom Note