Axel Boman – Black Magic

9

Axel Boman started getting into dance music in the early ’90s, involving himself in Stockholm’s small but vibrant House and Techno scene whilst studying at university, and then broke-through with a release on Pampa Records in 2010 – ‘Purple Drank. His press releases usually include words like ‘dandy’, ‘idiosyncratic’ and ‘renegade’, which means he makes slightly left-field and off-kilter dance music; like a darker version of Erdbeerschnitzel.

We get four tracks on this EP. Opener ‘Television People’ is fairly restrained: there’s a spooky, panned and descending bleep-blop loop for a melody; a repeated and lightly-filtered spoken-word sample; a shuffling click-rimshot-click track resting on a buried-in-the-mix kick; and a barely discernible synth-throb for a bass line. It’s ideal warm up fodder for the big room Techno set in your life.

Next comes ‘Cubic Mouth’. Lilting and occasionally overdriven piano sounds make for a soothing listen, and a straightforward 4/4 beat propels the whole thing gaily along. There’s a fun little synth freak-out about 2 minutes in, with piercing, sawed and wide-ranging pitch bends adding a little unconventionality to what would otherwise have been a fairly standard ‘chill’ track.

Klinsmann’ sees Boman go straight for the pop jugular. The track’s central motif is a (sort of) deconstructed arpeggio, vaguely reminiscent of Todd Terje’sRagysh’, but instead of Disco thump we get Tech-House percussion and a sweetly-sung male vocal. It’s got verses and everything. One for the festivals?

The EP closes with ‘Look What You’ve Done To Me’, the most immediately dance-floor friendly of the four. Based around a cut-up piano loop and a fuzzed-up two note bass line, Boman leans heavy on the filters to obscure then reveal the catchy hook, then lets everything hang loose about halfway and piles on the violin pans for a strong ‘hands in air’ moment. Then all the melodic elements are crushed-out and we’re left with some rattle-snack rhythmic touches to close us out.

This is a strong release for a well-established producer on a big label. Sweden’s best-known dance music may come from a certain house mafia, but with this kind of platform, Boman’s work more than compensates for whatever damage done via ‘EDM’, its producers, and its followers.

The EP is due for release via Hypercolour on March 4th