Tag: Eddie Bengtsson (Page 3 of 3)


ASW-SMPJ-01Following the success of ‘An Evening With The Swedish Synth’ in March 2014, Nordic friendly blog Cold War Night Life presented ‘A Secret Wish’, No2 in their occasional live series at The Lexington.

As with many quality events, it was attended by luminaries from the music scene. Among those present were Sarah Blackwood and Jonathan Barnbrook, the designer whose artwork has adorned recent releases by David Bowie, John Foxx and Hannah Peel.

The audience had an international flavour too, with attendees coming from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France and the United States.

While not wholly Swedish in line-up this time round, there was a definite Scandinavian slant with Swedish synth veterans SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN making their debut UK appearance and the now Norwegian based studio legend JOHN FRYER spinning a variety of music from his illustrious career. Representing the home crowd were VILE ELECTRODES, now more than fully established as the UK’s best independent synth exponents.

ASW-John-FryerJOHN FRYER cut his teeth with Daniel Miller and Eric Radcliffe at the legendary Blackwing Studios and his opening DJ set covered his wide ranging work for the 4AD and Mute labels.

With live enhancements, this included FAD GADGET’s ‘Back To Nature’, MODERN ENGLISH’s love song to accompany the nuclear apocalypse ‘I Melt With You’, M/A/R/R/S ‘Pump Up The Volume’, COCTEAU TWINS ‘Sugar Hiccup’ and the first DEPECHE MODE single ‘Dreaming Of Me’.

In an exclusive UK performance, Sweden’s SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN (SMPJ – translated as “The Last Man on Earth”) gave an energetic performance that showed why they have been a cult live attraction in Sweden. Led by Eddie Bengtsson, best known for his work with S.P.O.C.K. and PAGE, he was accompanied by his faithful sideman by Christer Hermodsson.

Opening with the steadily building ‘Leonov’, a tribute to the Cosmonaut who was the first man to walk in space, the spacey floating vibe more than fitted in with SMPJ’s regular space travel and Sci-Fi themes. ‘Stanna Kvar’ followed and was a wonderfully immediate slice of melodic synthpop in the Vince Clarke vein, while last year’s single ‘Stadens Alla Ljus’ continued the enjoyable momentum.

ASW-SMPJ-03While all of SMPJ’s songs are voiced “i Svenska”, Eddie Bengtsson was game enough to sing a few choruses in English. ‘All The City Lights’ from the new ‘Translate’ EP was a particular highlight.

“Are you impressed?” joked Eddie while glancing at his hand scribed lyric sheet. Bengtsson’s intense but charming personality certainly won the audience over as he led the odd ad-libed singalong and even joined the crowd down on the main floor.

The swung Schaffel of ‘Vem Gör Det Då’ gave some rhythmical variation, but there was one brilliant surprise towards the end of the set. It was what Bengstsson referred to as SMPJ’s “ULTRAVOX tribute” and it came in the form of ‘Allt Är Klart’, effectively a Swedish vocal version of their instrumental B-side ‘Alles Klar’. The hard, staccato synth bassline remained from the original, but the track was bolstered by a superb whirring solo from Hermodsson firmly in the ARP Odyssey tradition.

Climaxing ‘A Secret Wish’ were VILE ELECTRODES who played a fair percentage of fresh new material to give a taste of their much anticipated second album.

The mesmerising new single ‘Captive In Symmetry’ with its nod towards ‘Twin Peaks’ sounded sublime. Meanwhile, ‘Last Of The Lovers’ pointed towards the dreamy, but danceable Nordic soundscapes of RÖYKSOPP. Live favourites ‘Empire Of Wolves’, ‘Damaged Software’ and ‘Proximity’ provided everyone with some references of familiarity.

But the funereal ‘Dead Feed’ proved that Anais Neon and Martin Swan could do unsettling experimentation too. The old new number ‘Real 2 Reel Love’ closed proceedings, having been reworked from its original sub-NEW ORDER disco incarnation into a much darker, more progressive proposition.

ASW-Vile-Electrodes-02Some of the audience at ‘A Secret Wish’ were overheard questioning whether VILE ELECTRODES were adding anything new to electronic pop, yet failed to categorically state any examples of what could be considered progress in the genre.

While VILE ELECTRODES may not be playing with ethereal dubstep and glitch techniques like PURITY RING, what Neon and The Swan do produce are memorable songs presented in an artistic, yet accessible manner.

In fact, the line-up of JOHN FRYER, SMPJ and VILE ELECTRODES at ‘A Secret Wish’ had a common thread running through ie good tunes. No matter that Elizabeth Fraser sounds like she’s invented her own language, Eddie Bengtsson rants in Swedish or Anais Neon intonates with a very English Home Counties accent… there is intuitive melody and soul.

Now if melody and soul is what’s making modern electronic pop music sound old-fashioned, then great; ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK and no doubt Cold War Night Life would like to have some more of that!

ASW-crowdCold War Night Life recently coined the term poptronica to describe VILE ELECTRODES and SMPJ. With the dedication and care that they have taken in their live projects, what they have proved is that the best electronic music events are those curated by genuine electronic music enthusiasts.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to Simon Helm at Cold War Night Life

SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN’s ‘Translate’ CD EP and ‘Stadens Alla Ljus’ CD single are available from http://hotstuff.se/sista-mannen-på-jorden/x-9189

The albums ‘Tredje Våningen’, ‘Luft’ and ‘Ligg Tyst Ett Tag Med’ are available as downloads via Amazon


VILE ELECTRODES ‘Captive In Symmetry’ EP can be downloaded from https://vileelectrodes.bandcamp.com/album/captive-in-symmetry-ep

The CD EP is available from http://vileelectrodes.bigcartel.com/



JOHN FRYER has two new musical projects. SILVER GHOST SHIMMER’s debut album ‘Soft Landing’ is released on 1st May 2015. Meanwhile MURICIDAE’s ‘Tales From A Silent Ocean’ EP is available now via the usual digital outlets




Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Richard Price
22nd April 2015


Following the success of ‘An Evening With The Swedish Synth’ featuring PAGE last March, Nordic friendly blog Cold War Night Life have announced their next live event ‘A Secret Wish’ on SUNDAY 19TH APRIL at The Lexington in London.

It is headlined by SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN (SMPJ), the solo project of Svensk synth mästare Eddie Bengsston from PAGE, while VILE ELECTRODES and JOHN FRYER will also be on the bill.

SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN (translated as “last man on earth”) were formed back in 1986 by Bengtsson and Matts Wiberg. Wiberg left the band in 2004 and was replaced on stage by Christer Hermodsson. The first EP ‘Först I Rymden’ (‘First In Space’) was released in 1998 as a limited edition of 500. It featured songs such as ‘En Blå Planet’ and ‘Jag Kommer Ner’, all of which were based on a space travel theme.

After that, SMPJ released several albums including ‘Ligg tyst ett tag med’, ‘Luft’ and ‘Tredje Våningen’, with most of the songs having Swedish lyrics. The band have attracted a very loyal fanbase in Sweden and people of all ages can be seen enjoying their live performances. More recently, SMPJ released the single ‘Stadens Alla Ljus’ (‘All The Lights Of The City’) backed with ‘Vem Gör Det Då?’ (‘Who Does It Now?’) via Electronic Sound Sweden.

With ‘A Secret Wish’ just a few weeks away, SMPJ mainman Eddie Bengsston chatted to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK

SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN is a unique and special name for a band. Please tell us the story behind it?

The name we got from the single ‘Being Boiled’ by THE HUMAN LEAGUE; the B-side ‘Circus Of Death’ mentions “the last man on earth”. THE HUMAN LEAGUE offshoot HEAVEN 17 got their name from the movie ‘A Clockwork Orange’, those names appear on a ‘billboard’ in the record shop that Alex in the movie is visiting. And since we also were fans of that movie, we wanted to do the same but most of those names were already taken. As only ‘Ed Molotov’ was unpicked, we went for tributing THE HUMAN LEAGUE instead… to make a long story short.

The single from last year ‘Stadens Alla Ljus’ was very well received by the fans as was the B-side ‘Vem Gör Det Då?’ – Are you working on some new material now, maybe for a full length album?

Right now, I’m not working on any new SMPJ material, contrary to what I’m expected to answer. At the moment, I’m collecting ideas, some for PAGE and some for SMPJ. I’m also working with another band from Sweden called MY GOD DAMN TERRITORY. I’m producing an album for them and it’s planned to be released this coming autumn. I have also been asked by NAKED LUNCH to work on an EP for them, but the details concerning that aren’t all set yet.

Last year played as PAGE in London with Marina Schiptjenko. What was that like and how was your music received by the audience?

That gig in London was amazing. I met so many friendly music loving people there. And judging by their reaction to us when we played, I think they liked it very much. I do hope SMPJ will receive the same warm welcome as PAGE did. It’s going to be wonderful to play in London again.

What is the status of PAGE right now?

The status is, as I said I’m collecting ideas. Apart from that, PAGE is resting at the moment. If all goes well, I think there will be some new PAGE stuff before next winter.

What do you think of the other artists performing at the Cold War Night Life’s ‘A Secret Wish’ event, VILE ELECTRODES and JOHN FRYER?

I have never seen VILE ELECTRODES live, only on YouTube. But what I’ve heard and seen, I like very much. They are doing great electronic pop and they are presenting it in a very tasteful way with all that gear on stage. JOHN FRYER is a legend himself, and that says it all.

Christer Hermodsson has been on stage with you for rather a long while now. Will he become a permanent member of SMPJ and will he join you in London?

Hermodsson will perform live with SMPJ as always. The answer to if he is a permanent member in SMPJ is harder. He is a part of SMPJ and in a way he is a guest performer. I think that’s the way he himself wants it to be. It would be hard, if not meaningless to do SMPJ without him, to tell the truth.

He is SMPJ’s producer and main keyboardist. And yes, he is in the band, when he not focusing on his own band BIOMEKKANIK.

Last year you were part of making the Swedish punk covers album ‘Electronically Up Yours’ where both PAGE and SMPJ did covers with a bunch of other great electronic acts. How was the album received?

To do covers of my favourite punk songs has been a thing I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. It’s only that I never had the time to do it. So when I asked the Swedish electronic music collective ‘Electronically Yours’ if they wanted to help me make it a reality, they all agreed it was great idea! If I had done it by myself, it would have taken a lot of time and the result wouldn’t have been as diverse as it became. As far as I know, ‘Electronically Up Yours’ was very well received, even though I think it hasn’t reached as many as I would have wished for. Then on the other side, the album is far from dead so it still has a chance to reach more people. Punk never dies!

You did a great Svensk cover of OMD’s ‘Stanlow’. Why the choice of that song?

The answer to that is very simple, it’s a wonderful song. And it’s always fun to take a favourite English song and make a Swedish version of it. And this one turned out very well.

Do you have any other musical projects going on right now? Maybe something with Ulrika Mild, who you performed with at the Electronic Winter event in Gothenburg last December?

Sometimes it feels like I have too many projects going on. But I try to limit it. The ‘project’ with Ulrika Mild from COMPUTE is called THE VOLT and we are currently recording an EP. Right now we are focusing on doing covers from The Atom Age (50s). Some kinda post nuclear-tronica.

Ulrika Mild is a fantastic singer and a very good songwriter. I enjoy very much working with such a talented person like her.

‘A Secret Wish’ featuring SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN, VILE ELECTRODES + JOHN FRYER takes place on SUNDAY 19TH APRIL 2015 at The Lexington, 96-98 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JB. Doors open at 6.00pm

Tickets are £10 in advance or £15 on the door, available from https://billetto.co.uk/asecretwish

A special, limited edition EP will be available to mark the UK debut performance by SMPJ.




For regular updates on ‘A Secret Wish’, please visit the Facebook Event page

Text and Interview by Sophie Nilsson
2nd April 2015

PAGE Interview

The synthpop duo PAGE go back over 30 years to when they first formed back in Malmö, Sweden.

The band nowadays consists of the two original band members Eddie Bengtsson (also known from bands such as S.P.O.C.K and SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN and THIS FISH NEEDS A BIKE) and Marina Schiptjenko (from BWO, VACUUM and more recently JULIAN & MARINA).

PAGE hold a special cult status in Sweden as the first and greatest synthpop band in the country with a loyal fanbase.

The first single ‘Dansande Man’ (‘Dancing Man’) was released in 1983. All-in-all, there have so far been eight CDs released by the band with a variety of line-ups but always with Eddie Bengtsson in the centre. They played a farewell gig in 2000 but Eddie and Marina reunited back in 2010. Their latest album, ‘Hemma’ (‘At Home’) released in August 2013, was very much welcomed by the fans and includes some really brilliant pop songs.

PAGE will be playing in London on SUNDAY 9TH MARCH 2014 at ‘An Evening With The Swedish Synth’ hosted by Nordic friendly music blog Cold War Night Life. It will be their first ever gig outside of Sweden. Don’t miss out on this great event… you won’t regret going 😉

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK spoke with Eddie Bengtsson from PAGE about the duo’s upcoming shows and debut UK gig…

First of all congratulations for the upcoming gig in London in March…

Thank you very much

Your album ‘Hemma’ got a warm welcome from your fans and also some really nice reviews from Swedish and international critics. Was it a difficult album to make?

I would not say that it was difficult. I was in a productive phase and I had more time than I was used to have when working on an album.

But, on the other side, it becomes more and more difficult, in a way to write songs, because of the fear of repeating yourself lyric wise and music wise.

‘Hemma’ sounds so right in 2013 and yet still so much like PAGE. Has time and music finally caught up with you?

Time caught up with us right from the start. We got it like we wanted it to be (in a way) from the start, and never saw any reason to change that concept. We stayed pretty much the same with how we wanted to sound. And things / style / time around us changed, and looped back to where we were. And now were kind of ‘right’ again I suppose.

How do you feel that you have developed since your last album ‘Nu’ (‘Now’) from 2010? Any major differences between your two last albums ‘Nu’ and ‘Hemma’?

One major difference is, as I mentioned, that the time I had with the songs was more that I was used to. With ‘Nu’, my goal was to write 10 songs quickly and stop at that.

With ‘Hemma’, there was no pressure and I had lots of time and I didn’t stop at 10 songs, I just continued on writing. So with ‘Hemma’ we actually had about 20 songs to choose from. I also had a much clearer idea about what I wanted it to sound like.

You did ‘Hemma’ with producer Håkan Hultberg who you had never worked with before. What input did he have on the sound of the album?

With Håkan, as with other ‘producers’ that I worked with, I never really allow them to get into a producing role. It wouldn’t be PAGE if I did that. Me and Marina are pretty sure that the only ones who knows how PAGE should sound is ourselves. A producer working with PAGE takes on a more guiding and helping (technically) role when working with the music. I’m always open for input, but always decide myself if it’s good or bad. What we do need when we record is a damn good sound engineer and a person with a good musical taste. I would say that Håkan was very much both!

Marina lives in Stockholm and you live in Helsingborg nowadays, two different parts of Sweden. What does the working progress looks like for PAGE when making music? What comes first, music or the lyrics?

Lyrics are the hardest, and always was. Therefore I always do those last and let the music set the mood for the lyrics, instead of vice versa.

What are the major differences in making an album now compared to say when you did ‘Hallå! (Var tog månbåsen vägen?)’ (‘Hello! (Where did the moon base go?)’ ) 20 years ago?

Technically it’s a bit different, because we have modern times now and equipment changes. Artistically, it’s pretty much the same. I have to say though that I have stagnated a bit when it comes to working with technology! I’ve found a way, a form and equipment that suits me and I don’t really see any need to ‘upgrade’ my music program. I’m pretty much fine with my buggy old Cubase (and that’s a bit of a lie).

You’ve done some covers over the years, for example a cover of OMD’s ‘Electricity’ for the ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’ compilation and ‘Dreaming Of Me’ for the ‘Sometimes I Wish I Was Dead’ DM tribute album. How does it feel to be playing in the UK at last?

To play outside Sweden with PAGE is a totally new thing, we’ve never done that before. To go from nowhere (outside Sweden) to play in UK as a ‘premiere’ act is unbelievable! This is going to be fantastic! And I do hope that people will go and see / hear this, because this could be once in a lifetime.

Your songs are sung in Swedish but when playing in London, will you be performing them in Swedish or English or will there be some kind of a combination to break the language barriers?

We will be doing them in Swedish. And there are two reasons for that. One, I haven’t got the time to write and learn new lyrics. And second, and most importantly, PAGE should be heard in Swedish, no matter where you come from or wherever we play… wouldn’t be PAGE if we changed that. And speaking of which, I don’t think there’s going to be a problem because the music in itself is strong enough to break any language barriers. And, really! How often do you really hear what bands are singing, either in English or Swedish, at a concert anyway. Saying that, I would lie if I said that our lyrics aren’t important, because they are. I think PAGE’s lyrics are is a strong factor in our ‘popularity’.

Has it always been an easy choice for you to sing in Swedish?

Yes, it felt natural from the start. It was harder, but I felt more natural. A bit of a trap though, because I feel it’s easier to hide bad lyrics using English words, because English sounds pretty cool, whatever you sing.

Who were your fave UK synthpop acts back in the day?

If ‘synthpop’ means fave electronic pop acts, then I would say; early GARY NUMAN, JOHN FOXX, OMD and THE HUMAN LEAGUE. Those acts and their early records are just outstanding and totally timeless. Those are the only electronic pop-artists that deserve a place in my iPhone.

How have they inspired you and put influences on your music?

Yes, by doing what they did then and for sounding so perfect when it comes to electronic pop music. And by looking so good and having such a cool attitude then.

What kind of music inspires you today when making music?

I would say those above mentioned artists. And of course music from all the genres that I like and love; 70s glam, 70s Spacedisco and 70s punk. That’s how I try to think when writing music for PAGE, trying to get a little bit of all that in to what PAGE do.

Are there any new artists or bands from the UK that you like?

I like to think that I’m pretty updated when it comes to new music and there are a lot of artists that I like, and mostly indie and indietronica acts. The best group emerged in the 21st Century is MIRRORS, a wonderful act, a group that has now sadly split. What they did was perfect.

Some other good modern electronic groups are: MACINTOSH BRAUN, THE BLACK & WHITE YEARS, ASTREETLIGHTSONG. But also pop/rock acts like KAISER CHIEFS, KASABIAN and THE HEAVY. So my taste is pretty diverse. One thing that makes it all fit together, are all these bands’ sense for good melodies.

2013 was a really interesting year when it comes to electronic music. Do you have any personal favourite albums and live acts to pick from this year?

This year? Were there any? I can’t recall anything that caught my ear/eyes.

PAGE have been playing live on different occasions now for the last 30 years. How important is the audience? Has it changed much over the last years?

Well it changed in some way, that the audience is a bit older, just as we are. But nicely enough, there IS a new audience as well. And audience is very important! If we can make them happy, then it makes us happy. And if they support me when I’m singing, then it’s even better.

What are your plans for this spring and summer? Any more gigs planned outside of Sweden?

We play in Malmö the weekend just prior to London. Apart from that there are going to be a couple more shows in Sweden before summer, and hopefully a return to London coming fall.

I really liked your remix of the ROBERT MARLOW song ‘The Future’ which you did last year. Do you have anything more planned with Mr Marlow or any other artists?

No, we don’t have anything planned. But a nice thing would be, for me to arrange / produce a full album of ROBERT MARLOW. I’m also very pleased of the remix result of ‘The Future’. That sound fitted that song pretty well, I think. And I hope Robert thought that to.

Who came up with the ideas for the video to ‘Som Ett Skal’ (‘Like A Shell’)? Where did the drummer come from?

I told Mark (the producer of the video) I wanted a drummer in there, and he made it happen. In fact he put two in there! The style of video I got from those 70s videos that I liked very much, and I wanted ours to be almost a pastiche / tribute to that.

You’ll be supported by two other Swedish bands when playing in London; MACHINISTA and TRAIN TO SPAIN. Please tell the English readers a little about these bands.

I’m not so familiar with TRAIN TO SPAIN but I’ve heard some songs from them and they were good. The guys in MACHINISTA I know personally and what they do, I like very much. A great combination of nice tunes and a darn good voice, don’t miss them in London.

What are your expectations for the London gig?

I really don’t know what to expect. I do hope though that people will come and see us and that they will enjoy it. And that they will help spread the word of who we are and the music we make.

Some quick questions… English pint of beer or Swedish stor stark?

American Budweiser

Singing in English or Swedish?

Guess, Swedish

Driving on the left side or the right side?

Left side? Does anyone? (right side is the right side, you hear it)

Arsenal or Helsingborgs IF?

I would say Chelsea… or Arsenal, if I must choose.

Tea or coffee?

Tea, absolutely!

Good luck in England…

Thanks a lot

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK give its warmest thanks to Eddie Bengtsson

Additional thanks to Simon Helm at Cold War Night Life

‘An Evening With The Swedish Synth’ featuring PAGE, MACHINISTA and TRAIN TO SPAIN takes place on SUNDAY 9TH MARCH 2014 at 93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, E1 6QL London.

‘Hemma’ is released by Wonderland Records on CD and download. It can also be purchased as a download from http://whorehero.bandcamp.com/album/hemma

You can read more about PAGE and their earlier releases at: http://synthpop.se/page/


Text and Interview by Sophie Nilsson
13th February 2014

PAGE Hemma

The Swedish synthpop band PAGE have a long history in making music and have a cult following at home in Sweden.

In parts of Europe, they are known for a particularly impressive version of OMD’s ‘Electricity’ for the 1995 synth covers tribute album ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’ that also featured ELEGANT MACHINERY and ATTRITION.

The two band members Eddie Bengtsson and Marina Schiptjenko first started playing together in 1980 and released their self titled debut album in 1991. But they have also been involved in other musical constellations

Bengtsson was in S.P.O.C.K. and SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN (Last Man On Earth) while Schiptjenko has been involved in BWO, VACUUM and more recently JULIAN & MARINA. They made a comeback with their last album ‘Nu'< (Now) in 2010 and are now back together again making new fresh tunes as PAGE. ‘Hemma’ contains of 11 songs and one remix. The sound is very much familiar and PAGE like but yet so fresh and up to date. There are also a lot of influences from schaffel to disco.

On ‘Hemma’ (At Home), they have worked with the producer Håkan Hultberg to enhance the sound. It is electrodisco, glam rock, synthpop and electronica all in a pleasant and genial mix! There are both songs with a darker side along with the happy sounding songs which that combine into a great mixture. Some of the songs have catchy tunes and choruses that really stick in a positive way. All the songs have been written by the singer Bengtsson and the first single ‘Som Ett Skal’ (Like a shell) is a naked and bare song with lots of emotions but yet simple in structure.

The songs are about reflections from daily life, thoughts about love, lust and how different things are these days compared from back when we were all young.

PAGE 2013‘Lyssnade På Min Radio’ (Listened To My Radio) for example starts with a burst of THE SEX PISTOLS ‘Holidays In The Sun’ before it launches into something quite Vince Clarke! There’s also a song about a girl on a motorbike, ‘Motorcykel-Sussi’ (Motorcycle Susie) that features a lot of the traditional PAGE sound.

This is not a mainstream album at all and will not be played a lot on the radio but it is for sure, it is an album that their fans will keep on playing over and over again. A lot of the songs are destined to become classic live numbers. ‘Hemma’ will not disappoint old PAGE fans, that is a given success!

‘Hemma’ is released by Wonderland Records on CD and download

It can also be purchased as a download from http://whorehero.bandcamp.com/album/hemma

You can read more about PAGE and their earlier releases here: http://synthpop.se/page/


The blog Cold War Night Life recently interviewed PAGE

Text by Sophie Nilsson
22nd September 2013

Newer posts »