On August 26th, Studio Barnhus’ Axel Boman (Talaboman) and Belfast electronic galactic funkateer Space Dimension Controller are in Dublin for a 3-hour B2B night at the Pygmalion. So Axel in Stockholm, Jack SDC in Belfast and Niall in Dublin fired up Skype and had a chat about how they know each other, what makes for a good DJ, their favourite local record shops and what local delicacy they’ll be gifting each other on the night.
Niall: So, how do you guys know each other?
Axel: We were both alumni from Red Bull Music Academy in 2010. Actually the same year but different terms.
Jack: I met you briefly and we did those gigs in December in Sweden.
Axel: Yeah right. December in Sweden is such a horrible time. If you become friends in December in Sweden that means you are friends for life.
Niall: So what did you first know about each other ?
Jack: I didn’t really know anything about him, just that he was this funny Swedish person.
Axel: The same for me.I kind of knew your name a bit.
Jack: I’d only released The Love Quadrant by that point so I wasn’t well-known by that point.
Niall: Jack I first saw you play in a gig in Belfast where you were wearing a gold chain and using a vocoder at an AU night.
Jack: Yeah that was Lavery’s in May. May 2009. I remember that.
Niall: Was it a particularly memorable gig?
Jack: No, I got my laptop stolen after it. Haha.
Niall: What did you like about Jack’s music Axel?
Axel: I just remember I played out a lot of his stuff when it was new, now also of course. He was such a character. There weren’t a lot of space funk warriors around. He stood out as an electro-funk spaceman. He had a distance to music but also some kind of musical originality that I appreciate still a lot. I don’t think Jack thinks too much about following trends. He also plays what he wants – playing a Eurodisco track, and also super cool Underground Resistance tracks and that kind of musical diversity is always inspiring to me.
Jack: You put that so nicely for fuck sake, now I don’t know what to say.
Axel: Yes, it’s that Swedish suave.
Jack: I’m not very good with words. I played a lot of Studio Barnhus at the start when DJing with Ableton and every time I’ve played with him or near him, the sets have always been really good.
Niall: You’re in Stockholm Axel and Jack, you’re in Belfast so what is it about your cities that made you stay there?
Axel: I think it’s more that Berlin kills creativity. There’s so many examples of people moving to Berlin who stop making music or maybe they lose the drive – I don’t know. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate having a bar or where everybody knows your name and where they can put a beer in front of you without even asking you what you want. Stuff like this makes me feel super safe. I treasure that type of comfort and safety more than anything but when it comes to being able to make music also.
Stockholm is an expensive shithole there’s no reason to stay here. It’s an overpriced shithole. You go to Miami and think ‘this could be the life’ but none of my friends live there.
Niall: But then you probably wouldn’t have the label?
Axel: Of course. Honestly, I’m not so much a place person, I just need to surround myself with people I love. I can get by in Stockholm for sure.
Niall: What about record shops in your city, do you go to them a lot?
Axel: Yes, Recordmania, if you want to buy really expensive but really good disco, soul, reggae jazz records. A lot of cratediggers say it’s one of the best stores around because the selection is crazy. If I want to buy contemporary stuff or going to be Fade or Snickars Records. And then there is a few weird little second hand shops where to go once every third month to check if there was some person selling off their record collection or something. Stockholm is really good for records.
Jack: Yeah there’s a few good ones in Belfast. I don’t really go record shopping but there’s Sick Records which is good for soundtrack stuff but dance music wise, there isn’t really a proper one here. I do a big haul once or twice a year but I don’t really buy records too often.
Niall: Have you guys played B2b before?
Jack: No, I’ve no idea what this is going to be like. I’ll try not to bring too much floor-clearing shite.
Axel: Don’t be scared man. I can handle it.
Niall: Axel, I saw you a couple of months back at Primavera doing a Talaboman DJ set?
Axel: To be honest, I blacked over that show. There was too many people. It was 15000 people! I was super nervous before it. Oriol [John Talabot] said to me ‘ we didn’t speak one word to each other the whole gig,’ so that was kind of the level of concentration we had.
Niall: So what’s the best piece of DJ advice you’ve ever got?
Axel: It’s all in Fatboy Slim’s 7 Rules of DJing. I urge everybody to watch it. It’s really fun but if you take it more like metaphors than real rules, it’s quite valuable stuff. When he says like you have to wear Hawaii shirts like maybe he’s meaning think about what you wear, I don’t know.
I’m not saying that that’s super important but it’s just you have to know your records, love your records. I think there’s a lot of DJs to keep their their sets fresh and just download loads of new tracks. I have a hard time imagining that they listen to the whole track every time they buy something.
But for me, it helped me a lot. That’s why I still buy so much vinyl even though I play it digitally. I rip all the vinyl I have which forces me to listen to every track from the beginning to the end and get to know it. Most of the time, you just get to know your track, but sometimes it turns out a track is super boring and it never ends. Maybe a track you listened through quickly in the shop, but it doesn’t really work for you. It’s good to really know your music.
Niall: What is your favourite track or release of the moment?
Axel: I really love what Superpitcher is doing – releasing a series of records, once a month called The Golden Rave Days. There are seven so far – one for each month of 2017. That series of records are amazing.
Axel: I think a lot of times it’s the kind of Studio Barnhus-related material that I’m really excited about. Because you’re so engaged in it – in terms of artwork and how we are releasing it. We’re doing a record with two Finnish heroes of mine Jimi Tenor and Freestyle Man. I’m so excited about this release and I’m probably going to play it on the 26th of August.
Niall: So if you were bringing some cuisine or drink from Belfast and Stockholm for each other on August 26th, what would you bring for each other?
Axel: I would bring some Swedish Akvavit to drink.It’s a cumin-tasting spirit that works very good with pickled herring.
Jack: I’d bring a bottle of Buckfast.
Axel: That’s the perfect start to any night.