In an era where dance music is increasingly polarised between the realms of hyperbolic spectacle and stifling seriousness, we grow thankful for those such as the Studio Barnhus crew. A hybridity of joyful irreverence and talented musicality, their colourful productions and ethos are crucial in ensuring that the scene retains its soul.
As a founding member of the label and DJ crew, Axel Boman is at the forefront of this movement. Working closely with friends and colleagues Petter Nordkvist and Kornél Kovács, alongside the likes of DJ Koze’s Pampa Records collective and fellow Swede HNNY, these producers take a wry glance at the dance scene, releasing strange, leftfield and emotive dance jams that defy simple genre classification.
Axel took time out, in light of some promising recent releases on the label, to kindly record the next issue of our mix series and answer a few questions for us. Check it out below!
Hey Axel, what’s new? How’s 2018 looking so far for you?
Hello! We still have super winter in Sweden so I’m a bit depressed, but I have a lot of fun stuff in my schedule to look forward too! travels, gigs and Sweden in the world cup.
With Shakarchi and Strauss’s debut LP out soon and recent hotly-tipped releases from Matt Karmil and Richard Sadface, 2018 looks to be a good year for the Barnhus label too! What else should we be looking forward to from the label this year?
We will release our first ever label compilation at the end of summer! 19 new tracks. I’m beyond excited for this. as well as ep’s from Bella Boo, Jimi Tenor, Pedrodollar and more.
Studio Barnhus is full of different artists, portraying a big scale of different sounds. Is there anyone, in particular, you would love to have on your label?
I would love to release a record with Neneh Cherry!
The Barnhus Bandcamp page describes the label and sound as a ‘splash of colour on the grey scales of dance music.’ Who else is keeping dance music colourful for you at the moment?
It seems Australia is on the rise! a lot of interesting stuff as well as our homies Francis Inferno Orchestra, Fantastic Man and we really love Vancouver and the Pacific Rhythm crew too.
You announced the establishment of a vinyl-only Barnhus sublabel BarnBarn, early last year – is this still up and running?
Yes, I have two more 12″s more or less ready, but its hard to let go of your kids sometimes.
It’s been just over a year since your critically-acclaimed release with John Talabot as Talaboman, how did you find the collaboration process – do you have plans for any more?
We have three 12″s that will see a vinyl only release asap… more dancefloor stuff… big tunes!
How are things looking for the underground scene in Stockholm at the moment? What would be your recommendations for a first-time visitor? Any local DJs, producers, labels or events we should keep an eye on?
There is actually a lot of stuff happening, some new venues have opened and there is pretty much a decent lineup every weekend. if you need a dancefloor sweat in Stockholm watch out for parties and people related to Bossmusik, born free and funny bunny. but honestlyI’mm kind of out of the loop in Stockholm! I drink beer at the same places all the time, haha.
You’ve said before the UK crowd is a bit more intense compared to the Swedish crowd – in what way? Is the clubbing experience very different for you outside the Scandinavian territories?
Mmm maybe that’s not true actually, these days the crowds are more similar! maybe it used to be a drug-related thing? All countries have a different vibe – Italians don’t get drunk, Swedes get too drunk and Dutch people never stop.
Can you also tell us a little about the mix you’ve recorded for us? Were there any particular influences or motivations behind your selections?
I made more of a listening mix than a dance thing. There are a few unreleased bits and some all-time classics.
What are the standout tracks for you on this mix? Do you have any moments or memories attached to any particular tunes?
There is a new Talaboman track in there that we’ve been playing out and got some crazy reactions, we’ve been invoiced severall times by promotors for roofs blowing off.
You’ve also done a lot of popular remixes beside your own work – do you get asked to do them, or do you mostly choose them yourself? Is there any difference when producing your own work and working on remixes? If yes, how?
Remixing is the worst. I always approach the task with enthusiasm and then go through seven levels of hell. I always feel like I destroyed the original and I spend four weeks on something that should take three days… but six months later I’m usually quite happy I did it!
Could you share with us a couple of your all-time favourite records?
I would be nothing without The Prodigy’s “Experience”, Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”, LTJ Bukem’s “Logical Progression”, DJ Sneak, DJ Pierre, Daft Punk, Gemini, David Morales and the Perlon catalogue.