Tag: Hiltipop

Lost Albums: ALISON Duality

It’s 2008 and YAZOO have reunited for a concert tour of the UK, Europe and North America.

While the duo of Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke only released two albums before disbanding in 1983, their style of electro-blues had become a blueprint for many in the art of soulful synthpop.

Around this time, acts as diverse as DJ producer REX THE DOG and girl groups like THE SATURDAYS and RED BLOODED WOMEN were mining the YAZOO back catalogue for samples. Meanwhile the resurgence in synthpop had seen the independent market saturated with girl/boy pairings clearly influenced by Moyet and Clarke.

One of the better but lesser known of these acts was the appropriately named ALISON from Gothenburg in Sweden. The union of Karin Bolin Derne and Magnus Johansson had been intended to be for only one show in the summer of 2005. Derne had somehow talked her way into getting a support slot with SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN, the solo project of Svensk synth mästare Eddie Bengsston from PAGE, by cheekily making up a story that she fronted a YAZOO covers act!

Now needing her own Vince Clarke, she contacted Johansson who was a veteran of bands such as ANTON WEBER, UZIEL 33 and TOPGUN but significantly a member of 101, a DEPECHE MODE tribute band with members of S.P.O.C.K whose concept was to imagine what would have happened had Vince Clarke not left Messrs Gahan, Gore and Fletcher to their own devices.

After playing a successful show comprising of YAZOO songs including ‘Too Pieces’ and original material, ALISON became an entity as Derne and Johansson found the collaboration just too interesting to let go. The end result was an album ‘Duality’ released in early 2010.

Opening with what was ALISON’s second single in 2008, ‘No No No’ was a defiant Europop number celebrating empowerment with Derne happy with no longer having to play second best. Johansson provided a suitably synth brass laden backdrop.

Adding syndrums and pizzicato violins, the anthemic ‘There Was A Time’ lyrically referenced ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ while Derne gave a particularly spirited vocal performance.

A duet between Derne and Johansson, ‘Disco Dolly’ was a delightful homage to ‘Sweet Thing’ and ‘Nodisco’ in the first truly YAZOO aping moment of ‘Duality’. But cutely “la-la-la”, the raw deeper toned but heartily positive ‘Okey’ actually came over more like OMD, although it should be remembered that Vince Clarke’s entry point into synths was Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys’ ‘Almost’.

The slightly distorted ‘Dance Floor Killers’ sounded like it was about to burst into ‘Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I)’, but these YAZOO stylisations could only have been produced by a fan like Johansson who studied and understood Clarke’s sound design philosophy.

Again taking a leaf from OMD, ‘Give It Up For The Broken Hearted (Mr McCarthy)’ was wonderfully motorik electronic pop driven by a hypnotic synthetic engine room and while Berne wasn’t Alison Moyet, she delivered her own strong style of Nordic soul!

Actually sampling the rhythm track of ‘Ode To Boy’, ‘Where This Road Goes Down Tonight’ was more moody, borrowing the swishing, plucking and pulsing of EURYTHMICS ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’ but slowing the pace down.

Closing ‘Duality’ was ‘Love Fool’, their feisty first single from 2007 which was basically a kind of percolating ‘Upstairs At Eric’s’ medley; Johansson’s programming in the sequence and rhythm department was superbly authentic while Derne gave it plenty of determined passion and grit.

The blatant YAZOO references polarised listeners by either charming or infuriating them, but over a decade on, what stands out about ‘Duality’ are its songs. And that, despite all the electro-blues accolades that were bestowed upon Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke, was what YAZOO were ultimately about.

There is still talk of a second ALISON long player but with Johansson having launched HILTIPOP and Derne working on solo material, that might be a while yet… but whatever happens, they left an enjoyable and fun album that captured the ‘Duality’ of YAZOO in the absence of the much-missed real thing.


‘Duality’ is still available via Electric Fantastic Sound as a download album

https://www.facebook.com/alisonsweden

https://soundcloud.com/alisonsweden/sets/duality


Text by Chi Ming Lai
29th July 2020

A Short Conversation with HILTIPOP

HILTIPOP is a comparatively new name in electronic pop but the man behind it is something of a veteran in the Swedish music scene.

Magnus Johansson cut his teeth as a member of ANTON WEBER, UZIEL 33 and TOPGUN but was also a member of 101, a DEPECHE MODE tribute band with members of S.P.O.C.K which reimagined what might have happened had Vince Clarke not left. But Johansson’s best known project internationally has probably been ALISON, a duo with Karin Bolin Derne that naturally paid homage to YAZOO.

Following their album ‘Duality’, ALISON went into hiatus and Johansson began working on solo material under the HILTIPOP umbrella. A triumphant early afternoon slot at Electronic Summer 2015 in Gothenburg showed great promise, but it would be 2018 before ‘The Pattern’ emerged, showcasing Johansson’s sombre darker-tinged pop style fused to a backdrop reminiscent of KRAFTWERK circa ‘Computer World’.

Two new singles ‘For Love’ and ‘Agogo’ have just been released, so Magnus Johansson took time out to kindly chat about HILTIPOP and his influences…

You first became known to some in the UK for your YAZOO-influenced duo ALISON who released an album ‘Duality’ in 2010; so what led you down the path of HILTIPOP?

HILTIPOP started out as a wordplay of my middle name, Hilti, back in the days when I did TOPGUN. TOPGUN was initially an electroclash quartet with ‘hits’ like ‘Star’ and ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmuzik’ ending up on different compilations in 2003-2004.

During the recording of the first album 2005, the band transformed into my own solo project and as such, the music turned a lot darker and heavier, like a mix between industrial electro and EBM maybe… and with tracks like ‘Honey’ and ‘Alive’, the ‘TopGun Vs Hiltipop Rewired’ album emerged from that. And ever since, I kept the name for myself when not doing TOPGUN stuff.

ALISON also started out during this period in time with the obvious blueprint of YAZOO, hence the name. In Spring 2015, five years after the release of ‘Duality’, Karin and me got back together with an outspoken ambition to create new songs for ALISON. I demoed instrumental versions of ‘The Pattern’ and a couple of other songs, but they didn’t really fit the ALISON-formula so I decided to finish them on my own.

The thing is, since I had Karin’s voice in my head doing some of the demos, I ended up trying to sing like her, which I obviously can’t, but I guess it kind of works…

What have been the main differences in approach for you?

The main difference is that Karin can come up with spectacular melodies and vocals to any music, and I can’t, so as a result – when I do decide to sing – my melodies and vocals are more like an extra instrument, not so much a lead singer doing what he or she does best. And the song structures are worlds apart. ALISON is classic synthpop with really catchy choruses to sing along with, HILTIPOP most definitely is not.

‘Duality’ really still stands up after 10 years though!

I’m still proud of it and listening to it now, it makes me wonder how we got it all together sound wise… obviously by listening too much to ‘Upstairs at Eric’s’ but so much more to ‘Speak & Spell’, and then trying to make my Pro-One sound like Vince Clarke’s, which never happened so I did most if it by sampling my Yamaha gear 😉

Who are the main electronic pop influences in shaping HILTIPOP?

John Carpenter, without a doubt! And all the old rockers trying to make it on the disco scene in the late 1970s, like Rod Stewart with ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ and EXILE with ‘How Could This Go Wrong’. Amazing stuff!

But the first track I recorded was ‘The Pattern’ and it really started out as an idea to make a dancefloor killer like ‘Jungle Love’ with Morris Day and THE TIME. Other than that, nowadays it´s not so much ‘electronic pop’ that influences the shape of HILTIPOP… it’s more about the electronics, the gear, the synths and the drum machines! That’s my main source of inspiration.

I love buying used gear, especially old drum machines. Going through the former owners’ patterns and finding completely weird and seemingly useless stuff that I can mix with the beats I want is always rewarding!

Apart from that it always comes down to one band and one track: SIMPLE MINDS and ‘Theme For Great Cities’! It´s the most perfect track ever recorded. And everything KRAFTWERK of course! In modern days, it´s still the Germans…

Without Anthony Rother, I’d still be making synthpop. And WESTBAM and the album ‘Götterstrasse’, the first time I listened to it, I was like “This is what HILTIPOP should sound like…” but at the end of the day, I’m well aware it doesn’t and I’m fine with that.

You appeared alone with just a backing track on a bright afternoon outside at Electronic Summer 2015 in Gothenburg where you impressed the crowd who also included Darrin Huss of PSYCHE. What can you remember about that performance?

I was extremely nervous! I had a frozen left shoulder and couldn’t really move and dance.

So I just hopped around the stage like a moron trying to sing as well as possible. But it was really fun! And then I met Darrin backstage and we spent hours discussing the genius of German record producer and songwriter Frank Farian and his masterpiece that is BONEY M!

So why has it taken so long to release material as HILTIPOP?

Life, haha! It’s been a while since Electronic Summer 2015 for sure. I had a couple of songs that I was proud of back then. After that I just never managed to get it right album wise… but now, with new material on the way, it’s all starting to make sense.

‘The Pattern’ was on the ‘Romo Night Records Vol1’ compilation that came out in 2018, what is the song about and why did you choose to finally make your debut release on that sampler?

The song is about me trying to find true love, as always!

My so-called lyrics have been the same in every song I’ve made since my first band ANTON WEBER back in 1985… just Google it or whatever and you’ll hear for yourself, it’s all “love love love, but it ain’t gonna happen…”

But really, ‘The Pattern’ debuted on 12” vinyl prior to the ‘Romo Night Records Vol1’ compilation. The magnificent Luke Eargoggle released the instrumental version on his Swedish electro label Stilleben in March 2018. It sold out so fast that even I didn’t get a copy!

‘For Love’ is an octave bass driven synthpop tune which comes in classic 12 inch extended version? So you’re not a fan of that modern remix madness where the reinterpretation has very little relation to the original song? Are you quite old fashioned in that respect?

I’m not old fashioned, just old! So old that I bought the original ‘Blue Monday’ with the expensive die-cut sleeve when it was released. And that track is absolute perfection; 7 and a half minutes long! Just love it. The same with ‘Jo’s So Mean’ with THE FLOWERPOT MEN… okey, it clocks in about 5:33 or something but it’s just a perfect long song, almost. Just a minute or two longer it would have been, well even longer and better…

Modern remixes are just meaningless. I love the old extended 12” versions from the 80s! Me and my brother Jay-Jay had this discussion just a few days ago, so I have my three favourites already listed: SPK ‘Metal Dance’ is by far my number 1, THE ART OF NOISE ‘Moments in Love’, GO WEST ‘We Close Our Eyes’, DEPECHE MODE ‘Shake the Disease’ and ‘Strangelove’.

What are your synthesizers of choice for HILTIPOP? Where do you sit on the hardware versus software debate?

The Roland Juno 60, always and the Prophet Rev-2, almost always.

But all of my synthesizers are always up and running, so I play and record the same parts live on different synths and keep the ones that work.

And I don’t debate! I use the Korg iPolysix all the time and it sounds like… well, ‘The Pattern’ is more or less recorded using only just that app!

‘The Pattern’ B-side ‘Looking Up From Down Below’ has a haunting melancholic feel, like an abstract OMD instrumental.

Finally someone who recognises it except me! I started out trying to make this Bowie/Eno-style ambient track and ended up with a melodic part in ‘Stanlow’-land by mistake and just went for it…

‘Hiltiheart’, the B-side of ‘For Love’ is perhaps more techno than synthpop and has some similarities in parts to ‘Blue’ by LATOUR which was used in the infamous night club scene in ‘Basic Instinct’, is that a coincidence?

In hindsight, you’re probably right… but it all started out, like so often, just playing around with the theme from ‘Theme For Great Cities’. Then I added the sampled sonar-like sound and I just went “plopp plopp plopp plopp – plop” and remembered it quite clearly from somewhere… then, boom! I re-watched ‘Basic Instinct’ the same day and felt quite guilty, in a positive way.

What’s going to happen to great songs like ‘Lick My Wounds’ which you showcased in Gothenburg and others like ‘The Man’ which have been previewed on Soundcloud? Is a long form EP or album on the way?

‘Lick My Wounds’ is remixed and ready for release as we’re talking! But I still haven’t decided in what format… probably an album; ‘The Man’ is still a big maybe.

I kind of like the idea of releasing a ‘proper’ A-side track in two versions and a weird but reasonably susceptible ‘B-side’ on Spotify, as I’m doing now.

Like in the early 80s when bands dared to experiment with the B-sides… ULTRAVOX, DEPECHE MODE and so on… ‘Passionate Reply’, ‘I Never Wanted to Begin’ and ‘Paths & Angles’ or ‘Oberkorn (It’s a Small Town)’ and ‘The Great Outdoors!’; my life wouldn’t have been the same without these!


The Electricity Club gives its grateful thanks to HILTIPOP

‘The Pattern’‘For Love’ + ‘Agogo’ are available via the usual digital outlets including
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6p0OGer16Vw8OUTngUYuiN

https://www.facebook.com/semhilti.johansson

https://soundcloud.com/sem-hilti-johansson

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6p0OGer16Vw8OUTngUYuiN


Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
27th April 2020

ROMO NIGHT RECORDS Vol 1: A Collection Of The New Brat Pack

Sweden is one territory where without doubt, some of the best synth based music has emerged.

With the standard set back in the day by PAGE, LUSTANS LAKEJER, ELEGANT MACHINERY, THE MOBILE HOMES and COVENANT, the tradition has continued via THE KNIFE, KITE, KARIN PARK, IONNALEE and DAILY PLANET.

But a few years ago, some strange things were happening within the Swedish electronic music community as it began to eat itself…

A number of promoters, purveyors and performers were observed to be going through some kind of an existential crisis, unsure whether synthpop was a dirty word and success was a sin of principle.

Thankfully, one faction who are very much of the view that the synth is not dead is Romo Night Records, a label born out of a long standing club night founded in Gothenburg by Tobbe Lander and Tony Ersborg. Their roll of honour has included hosting the likes of THE HUMAN LEAGUE, KARL BARTOS, MESH, CLIENT and S.P.O.C.K amongst others.

Their first fruit of labours is ‘Romo Night Records Vol 1’, a collection of unreleased material from a variety of new acts and veterans. Fittingly enough with the latter, Eddie Bengtsson of PAGE appears under the pseudonym of Jeddy 3 on ANYMACHINE’s ‘To See A Man Like Me Go Down’ for a sombre number that is laced with the darker side of early OMD in its gothic overdrones.

It’s unusual to hear Bengtsson in English, so when another voice normally heard in English sings in her native Swedish, it’s something of a revelation as Helena Wigeborn’s new project GLAS proves.

The stunning TRAIN TO SPAIN frontwoman actually speaks English with a delightful Edinburgh accent from having lived in the city for several years and ‘Hjärta’ is marvellous slice of sparkling midtempo synthpop which allows her vocal to breathe within the backing.

Another superb highlight is ‘The Pattern’ by HILTIPOP who impressed with a solo late afternoon live set at Electronic Summer in 2015. Dark but accessible via a lattice of hypnotic arpeggios, SEM Hilti Johansson was a member of the YAZOO influenced ALISON and does not compromise on the hooks despite his gloomier vocal outlook. He is definitely an artist to watch.

No synth compilation would be complete without a melodic instrumental work and that is provided by RELIEF with the brilliant ‘Trough The Wires’ which even throws in an unexpected key change.

Elsewhere and unsurprisingly, DEPECHE MODE influences are omnipresent and can be heard on SISTER ELECTRA’s ‘The Quiet Room’ where the Basildon sound is given a female twist by Luna Joyce, while ‘Nasa’ from STRANGE TALES mines the earlier era and comes over like a cross between THE MOBILE HOMES and CAMOUFLAGE.

‘Romo Night Records Vol 1’ though is not all exclusively synths; NORTHERN LONER in their use of live instruments alongside their stabbing electronics have obviously listened to a lot of classic SIMPLE MINDS on ‘Break In Two’, but the track is spoilt slightly by a stilted drum track and the vocals being too loud. Meanwhile PARK & NATUR stick out like a sore thumb with the indie guitar afflicted ‘Mörka Sidan’.

NEO NURSES add plenty of creepy detuned electronic noises to their gothic demeanour on the enjoyable ‘A Crown Of Thorns To Keep Me Warm’ and cut from a similar opaque cloth, UNCREATED provide some chromatic mystery with the resonances of a deep male choir on ‘We Never Met’.

Subtitled as “A collection of the new brat pack” complete with artwork referencing ‘The Breakfast Club’, could this be Sweden’s 21st Century answer to the ‘Some Bizzare Album’? Of course, that compilation unearthed DEPECHE MODE, SOFT CELL, BLANCMANGE, THE THE and B-MOVIE.

Whereas it is too early to assess its potential, ‘Romo Night Records Vol 1’ as a first compendium does a good job of keeping synthpop alive and making that crucial link between past and present, something which other platforms have failed to accept, thus imploding in its self-inflicted confusion.

As the respected Factory Records biographer and historian James Nice said: “I have no problem at all with something new being imitative, as long as it’s good” – good music and good songs, synthpop or otherwise is really all that matters.


‘Romo Night Records Vol 1’ (V/A) is available as a clear vinyl LP with download key only from http://rnr.lupp.se/product/rnr001/

http://www.romonightrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/tobbeorama/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
19th June 2018

ELECTRONIC SUMMER 2015 at Gothenburg Brewhouse

Norse Code

ES2015-Marsheaux+TrainToSpainThe Electricity Club has said many times before: “There are electronic music events… and there are electronic music events…”

And the best sort of electronic music events are those curated by electronic music enthusiasts, people who actually enthuse about the genre, recognise its history and expel a passion to see it continue as a defined artform.

Two such people are Henrik Wittgren and Sebastian Hess, whose organisation Depeche Mode Party Gothenburg have been running successful music events in the Swedish city for several years. Electronic Summer started as a DEPECHE MODE fan event in 2012 with none other than Alan Wilder as guest of honour, while the live headliners were MESH and DE/VISION.

ES2015-Psyche+JenniferSince then, the event has developed with DAF and APOPTYGMA BERZERK headlining in 2013, while the 2014 event featured COVENANT, ASSEMBLAGE 23 and AESTHETIC PERFECTION.

With VNV NATION, SOLAR FAKE, MARSHEAUX, KARIN PARK and PYSCHE featuring in the Electronic Summer 2015 line-up, a sell-out crowd at the Brewhouse Arena was eagerly anticipating a great weekend of music and culture.

Such was the community spirit of the occasion that musicians from local acts such as TRAIN TO SPAIN were also in attendance. To start proceedings, early arrivals were welcomed to an enjoyable pre-party featuring AVANTGARDE, XHILE, PRESENCE OF MIND and DESTIN FRAGILE. Each act had appeared on the cult Swedish synthpop compilation ‘Circuit One’ and gathered to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

ES2015-PresenceOfMindPRESENCE OF MIND were particularly impressive with their brand of dark, but melodic synthrock. Their debut album ‘Interpersonal’ was only released in 2014, but it is a indicator as to why Swedish acts are generally holding their own against competition from around the world. Meanwhile, DESTIN FRAGILE showcased songs from their ‘Halfway To Nowhere’ album released this year and some observers have considered it one of the best synth flavoured long players of 2015.

Day 1 began in the late afternoon with Nordic friendly blog Cold War Night Life hosting a DJ set in The Outsider bar area. As music fans prepared themselves for a nine hour night, DJ combo Spacelab aka Alexander Hofman and Johan Billing from S.P.O.C.K. continued the electronic soundtrack.

ES2015-PeterSjoholmThroughout the weekend, there were enjoyable DJ sets based around the themes of Mute, DEPECHE MODE, NITZER EBB and ERASURE but there was also just great electronic pop by artists of all generations ranging from KRAFTWERK, SOFT CELL and NEW ORDER to CLUB8, TRUST and SUSANNE SUNDFØR. The first live act of the day was the milk loving PETER SJÖHOLM who gave his distinctive quirky take on electronic pop.

But that was followed by the unusual sight of Day 2 headliners VNV NATION taking to the stage at 19:00 hours. Performing what was billed as an alternative set, it contained a collection of their lesser played works from their vast catalogue like ‘Kingdom’ and was a suitable dress rehearsal for their headline slot. Following on, NATTSKIFTET and VIRTUAL VOICES kept the crowds warm in preparation for Canadian darkwave trailblazers PSYCHE.

ES2015-PsycheAccompanied by Stefan Rabura, Darrin Huss led a spirited performance that was fittingly poignant following the recent sad passing of his brother and PSYCHE founder member Stephen. This was particularly evident on ‘The Brain Collapses’ from ‘Insomnia Theatre’, their debut album together.

The magnificent ‘The Saint Became A Lush’ from ‘Unveiling The Secret’ was another pivotal moment while that album’s title track and the single ‘Uncivilized’ were other treats. Huss recited his synthpop knowledge too, dropping in snatches of EURYTHMICS’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ and YAZOO’s ‘Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I)’ during the set.

ES2015-KarinPark02KARIN PARK gave another of her towering performances, the aggressive synth glam of ‘Look What You’ve Done’ fully exploiting the presence of her metalhead drummer brother David and lively new keyboardist Kine Sandbæk Jensen aka PIECES OF JUNO. Meanwhile ‘Stick To The Lie’ and ‘Ashes’ demonstrated that despite her intense stage demeanour, Miss Park does supreme electronic pop. To climax the set, the charismatic Swede led a three way drum barrage to conclude the mighty ‘Thousand Loaded Guns’.

PROJECT PITCHFORK concluded the evening with a suitably Teutonic fist of aggression; their in-yer-face pounding ensured any remaining energy left in the audience after a long day was put to efficient use. If nothing, it ensured a good night’s sleep in preparation for Electronic Summer 2015’s second instalment.

ES2015-HiltipopDay 2 began with HILTIPOP, the solo project of Magnus Johansson from the YAZOO influenced duo ALISON.

His promising FAD GADGET meets KRAFTWERK template was an ideal way to ease everyone back into the synthetic groove and many watching including George Geranios of Undo Records and Darrin Huss were impressed. 

Following on, STURM CAFÉ gave their localised take on electro body music. With enough flashes of DAF to wake anyone who was still sleepy, the Alte Schule sound was not totally unexpected from a band who soundtracked a movie called ‘Die Zombiejäger’. 

ES2015-MeTheTigerMeanwhile, ME THE TIGER were another Swedish band on the second day’s very international bill and notably reflected their country’s solidarity values. With their synth assisted new wave songs like ‘Ariana’ and ‘Pocket Sized Edition Ending’, the trio showcased their YEAH YEAH YEAHS influenced pop augmented by punky guitars and lively drums.

In Gabriella Åström, ME THE TIGER have a feisty front woman full of energy and attitude, something that was particularly evident on anthemic numbers like ‘Heartbeats’ and ‘What Promises Are Worth’. Even a broken kick pedal didn’t dampen their enthusiasm and this was promptly repaired without a flutter.

ES2015-Marsheaux02The event maintained its original DEPECHE MODE roots with the presence of Athens based synth maidens MARSHEAUX performing selections from their acclaimed reinterpretation of ‘A Broken Frame’. The wispy renditions of ‘My Secret Garden’, ‘Monument’ and ‘Leave In Silence’ were particular highlights while there was the surprise inclusion of ‘See You’ B-side ‘Now This Is Fun’. Best of of all though was an angelic rendition of ‘The Sun & The Rainfall’.

But it wasn’t all about Basildon as MARSHEAUX impressed the Devotee dominant crowd with their own cracking tunes like ‘Hanging On’, ‘Dream Of A Disco’, ‘Come On Now’ and ‘Breakthrough’.

ES2015-SolarFakeGerman duo SOLAR FAKE led by Sven Friedrich kept the crowd moving with their Goth infused electro, a tone that was not entirely surprising given Friedrich’s roots in cult alternative band DREADFUL SHADOWS. ‘I Hate You More Than My Life’ was a more than ideal overture while ‘Under Control’ provided a trancey focal point with hints of COVENANT. The remainder of their set was enjoyably accessible dark synthpop that suited the duo’s striking look.

To conclude the weekend, VNV NATION blasted their way through a hits set of their characteristic Futurepop, the duo of Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson certainly providing lashings of “Victory Not Vengeance”.

ES2015-VNV2011’s ‘Space & Time’ and the 1999 vintage of ‘Standing’ were just two of the stomping crowd pleasers while the more epic electro rock inclined ‘Perpetual’ made a fitting set closer. Throughout the weekend, there was an enormously warm and friendly atmosphere. The event had something for everyone so as different factions of the audience moved between their preferred acts, there was plenty of time for passionate discussion in the various bars.

Despite fierce debate about the merits of synthpop versus industrial, most shared an intense dislike of EDM and agreed that its inane DJ culture was ruining electronic music. However, when there were differences in opinion as the well-known Nordic enjoyment for liquid refreshment kicked in, no-one took it personally. There was plenty of mutual laughter as chat varied from whether ‘MG’ was actually a Eurorack YouTube tutorial put to record, to the use of the word ‘Marmite’ as a descriptive term in music journalism.

ES2015-CWNL+friendsElectronic Summer has developed into a fine annual platform showcasing the best in independent synth driven talent from around the world. The 2015 variant was a truly worldwide event, again proving what can be done when event organisers actually enjoy and understand the music they are dealing in.

It was indeed, a fine benchmark for other event organisers to aspire to.


ES2015-TeamThe Electricity Club gives its sincerest thanks to Henrik Wittgren and Sebastian Hess at Depeche Mode Party Gothenburg

Thanks also to Simon Helm at Cold War Night Life

www.electronicsummer.se

www.anachronsounds.de/

www.solarfake.de/enES2015-Spacelab

www.marsheaux.com/

www.methetiger.com/

www.facebook.com/sturmcafe

https://soundcloud.com/sem-hilti-johansson

www.project-pitchfork.eu/ES2015-TEC+KarinPark

www.karinpark.com/

www.psyche-hq.de/

www.facebook.com/nattskiftetmusik

http://members.tripod.com/~virtual_voices/

www.facebook.com/peter5joholm

www.facebook.com/destin.fragile.pop

www.facebook.com/PresenceOfMindSweden

www.discogs.com/artist/129276-Xhile

www.facebook.com/pages/Avantgarde/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Chi Ming Lai, Simon Helm, Jennifer Last and Madeleine Berg
5th September 2015