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Electric Independence

Every edition of Electric Independence that appears without a mention of one of Sweden’s leading human beings, Luke Eargoggle, is, some would argue, hardly worth bothering about. As the author, I’m inclined to agree. That’s one reason why the column...

Luke Eargoggle and his Faceless Mind. Photo by Theydon Bois

Superradio Records

Gosub

very edition of Electric Independence that appears without a mention of one of Sweden’s leading human beings, Luke Eargoggle, is, some would argue, hardly worth bothering about. As the author, I’m inclined to agree. That’s one reason why the column hasn’t run for a few months. Luke was last in Vice in the Obsessions issue over three years ago and he’s obviously done a stack of things since then. He’s played a lot of chess, for example, and produced a vast number of tracks, some of which you’ll find on his recent Pawns of the Field album, which manages to combine the mathematical purity of chess with hard-rocking electro beats. Needless to say, when news reached us of Luke’s latest project, Faceless Mind, we immediately flew to Gothenburg to get the low-down straight from the horse’s mouth. Unlike Luke’s other, friskier partnerships with Legowelt (as Catnip) and Rutherford (as Monkeyshop), Faceless Mind make Dopplereffekt-strict no-nonsense electro-funk. Their debut single, “Datacat”, out on Legowelt’s Strange Life label, revisits curdled themes Luke introduced a few years ago on his Freezy Freeze/Swayze Dub 12-inch, but whereas the vibe then was more smacked-out Egyptian Lover, this one’s perkier and brittle-sounding. Unfortunately, we spent the weekend playing chess, drinking, walking around the city, and watching Italo videos on YouTube (search: Rose Magic Carillon) and didn’t get round to doing any kind of interview in his ’hood. But that’s okay because we did it a few days later. Vice: Who is the other guy in Faceless Mind? Luke: His name is Johan Inkinen and he also lives in Sweden’s electro capital, Gothenburg. He’s been making music for many years with different sounds and people but finally we find each other and Faceless Mind was born. We are connected by trying to move in an extreme direction to make something we never made before and probably never will make in the future either if we don’t do it now. Therefore we do ’cos every day we live might look or feel the same but it’s just a smoke screen. Today and right now is now. Tomorrow is the future and let’s grab that to when then is now. Got it. And what is Faceless Mind’s philosophy? The project was formed in autumn 2006 with the drive to create something conservative style-wise maybe, but still fresh because it’s new. There’s far too little music being true to its origin and style, people always wanna develop and move further. Faceless Mind care more about looking back to produce the purest sound. It’s simply purist electro music from Scandinavia. Luke, please. You’re making it sound very serious. Well, our big influences are the purest sounds ever made, not what people today claim is electro. We also use concepts because it’s more interesting to make histories or fairytales, something that has more to say than just… nothing. “Ocean Movers EP” is our second release and it’s coming out on Creme Organization soon. It’s about travelling in the mind more than on a real ocean. We have so many places to see inside ourselves but we keep on looking at maps that have already been made. In Faceless Mind we close our eyes and see where it takes us. Electric Viking power! Can you describe the magic of chess? Chess is one of the most inspiring things in life right now because it has everything. Love, drama, romance, mind, feelings, tactics… It’s like life within life! Luke is playing live in Glasgow on May 26 alongside the Egyptian Lover at a night called Deviant Behaviour. Check his MySpace, myspace.com/lukeeargoggle, for more dates. Let’s keep it Scando for the moment and head east to Helsinki where 30-year-old Finn Aleksi Perälä lives. Perhaps you know his music for the Rephlex label, recorded under the Ovuca and Astrobotnia aliases. On Project V, his fifth album, he’s excelled himself with the kind of otherworldly, lushly textured braindance he’d been threatening to produce for years, and includes a wild percussive number called “Feast”. This and the new Bogdan Raczynski LP indicate that Rephlex is back on track after a few years in the wilderness. Now they’re down in Cornwall again, out of the city. There’s also the “Confederation Trough EP” by mysterious new artist The Tuss to look out for. All the clues point towards the Aphex Twin: the publishing is by Chrysalis, Richard James’ publishers; apparently “tuss” means erection in Cornish; one of the songs is called “GX1 Solo”, presumably referring to the Yamaha GX1, one of the oldest, bulkiest, and most expensive synths ever made, which, if anyone owns one, AFX probably does; and the four tracks happily conform to that squidgy, warm analogue funk style that made his poppier Analord stuff such a pleasure. Former Rephlex graphics guru Manny Z extends his Citinite empire with the release of Miami electro deity Gosub’s brilliant Watchers From the Black Universe album. As expected, this is crystalline Drexciyan space-funk from Shad T. Scott that’s so elegantly retro in places that you wonder how the genre is supposed to advance. Gosub’s slique disco number “Strange City” breaks the mould beautifully. Another new-ish label well worth investigating is Supersoul Recordings, set up by Euro playboy-producer Xaver Naudascher in somewhere like Berlin. Its latest release is a thudding 23-minute electronic disco joyride called “Moon Unit” composed by Naudascher and ex-Psychonaut Paul Mogg, mastered for extra loudness by Alden Tyrell. We’re more excited about Supersoul’s next effort, a two-song 12-inch from Bergen’s disco knight Skatebård titled “Marimba”/“Pagans”. Incidentally, Belgian label Radius has just released a must-have Skatebård EP that features an edit of his dreamy “June Nights South of Sienna” track. The guys at Radius have also licensed and remastered several off-kilter Italo-disco classics from the vaults of Venice’s Superradio Records. In the early 80s, the Superradio house style was to smother their extended tracks in exotic synths, naïvely smearing heavy emotion over songs such as Venise’s drowsy “Play Boy” and Sun La Shan’s so-so “Rose From Tokyo”. Weird songs from, we like to think, an incredible time. PIERS MARTIN