Published Oct 28, 2008Dan Lissvik and Rasmus Hagg may have chosen one of the most Google unfriendly names imaginable for a couple of producers but as Lissvik points out, Studio is the perfect descriptor for what they do in the, well, studio. Over the last couple years Studio have been generating some of the most radiant and reviving music to come from Sweden, that constantly evokes many comparisons Krautrock, baggy/Madchester, Balearic, house and yet nothing seems to explain their music to its fullest degree.
Last years West Coast album (and also Yearbook 1, a collection of singles) earned them permanent residency in the good books of taste-making DJs and blogs for its sweeping cool shuffle executed with Spanish-flavoured guitar, dead-cool bongos and sleek production. As brilliant as their own music is, Lissvik and Hagg do the same for other peoples music, spinning a remix into one sounds more like a brand new Studio song with only the faintest traces of the original artist, heard on the recent remix collection, Yearbook 2.
Lissvik took some time out from finishing his forthcoming solo album, 7 Trx + Intermission, to answer some questions about the name, the sound and what to expect next.
The name Studio makes it quite impossible to search online for you guys. Was that taken into consideration at all when you named yourselves?
I have had a tendency towards the generic and general since way back. Perhaps "Studio" is a shot in the commercial foot but I'm quite convinced that people eventually find what they are looking for, no matter what its called. When I was growing up, the most persistent food-brand in our household was a Swedish consumer co-operative that was called "Blue-White." They labelled all their products with blue text on white background stating "BREAD" for bread and "MILK" for milk and so on. I guess it had something to do with the political climate at that time, consumer-honesty or perhaps a general concern that people just don´t get it otherwise. Since we are apolitical I would like to think of Studio as some kind of honest description of what is actually occurring or at least mapping the premise for where it is supposed to be happening. It just might be an overall concern as mentioned above, but Im not a 100 percent sure which at this point.
This "Gothenburg sound" I think you're referring to seems to be ringing through music by groups like Air France and the Tough Alliance right now, which people are describing as "Balearic beach pop." Do you see any sort of relevance between what you're doing, what those artists are doing and the whole Balearic sound?
I play soccer with Liston from the Embassy, Joel from Air France and Henning from TTA on Sundays. So far we have never discussed the "Gothenburg sound" but i think we would all agree to disagree when it comes to our association with "Balearic" or even each other. It´s not our concern in my opinion, although the effects are starting to show.
Is there a new Studio album in the works? What can we expect from it?
I am always recording and working on new songs but Im not sure as to which ones are going to end up as Studio. Since we are both in different projects at the moment, working with other people, managing the label, doing solo stuff etc, it might take a while to put our heads together for the next one. So later then sooner I guess.
What made you decide to release the Yearbooks as two completely different ideas: the first being a collection of your music, and the second as other people's music? Does the "Yearbook" title just act as a way of collecting odds and sods that you'd done over a period of time?
The "Yearbook"-format is set to be an annual label release. Studio just happened to be the only band on INF during the first two. Yearbook 3 will probably contain material from Studio, Fontän, and perhaps Century or who ever else is ready at that time.
Your remixes are unique in that you seem to write your own music and use very little of the actual song you're remixing. You basically make every artist sound like Studio. How do you describe your approach to remixing?
How do you feel your solo material differs from what you do with Rasmus?
Perhaps not as much as it should, and vice versa.