The Swedish DJ duo is headed in a fresh direction having recently freed themselves from the affiliation with their label, Size Records, proving a lot can change in a month or two.
Qulinez recently spoke to THUMP about their beginnings and production works, but when news broke that they pair had decided to end their ties with Steve Angello's SIZE Records, we needed to get the quick gist of it all. So we did, and of course learned a bit more about the "computer nerd meets rock musician" that found each other eight years ago.
Johannes explains, "We were both from music worlds, just different ones when we first came together. I was a guitar player and also did piano while Alex was the one producing from the computer, I didn't come from the computer nerd group."
They paired up and honed their music variation, one that combined impulsive and explosive noise with that of a refined and software-leaning technicality.
"I contacted [Alex] and asked him if we could do something together. That was eight years ago, and he was like 'yes,' then he taught me how to produce and I got him taking courses for piano so this helped us divide our interests properly so we could find our sound together," Johannes furthers.
And that they did.
Since uniting and teasing around with what is now their own electronic oracle, Qulinez has released a handful of juicy tuneage to the masses including "Troll," "Noise," and their more recent glitzy electro house tune, "Rising Like The Sun," which features the vocals of American singer/songwriter Cara Salimando. Cara, in addition to her own music pursuits, has penned tracks for Glassnote Records' artists.
So what's the deal with the departure from SIZE, you ask? Here's what the lads had to say.
"From the very beginning we wanted to do something on our own feet and release music when we wanted to release it. We wanted to try different styles and labels, so we did and then it was about figuring out what the next step was, so we decided to talk to SIZE and see what they thought about this—about us going our own way. Honestly, we have nothing bad to say about the label and we really love Steve and without SIZE we wouldn't have had this opportunity, we wouldn't be here, but we just thought this was something that we as a duo needed to do."
One striking thing about these Swedes, besides their joking banter, is their age and how this has shaped their overall hunt for approval in the electronic music community.
"It's also a good thing we are older because even though we haven't been in the DJ scene for the whole eight years, working together we have been in contact with labels. We have experience in understanding the business and way things work and I mean I'm turning thirty soon, dirty thirty," jokes Johannes.
When it comes to their own Recklezz Radio podcasts, which are uploaded monthly via Soundcloud, they're aware of the big names that are "popular" but they care to showcase more than just the hype of the moment.
"We make sure with every podcast that we have an unknown track by a DJ that let's say has about ten facebook likes. We have a lot of fan-inspired music on our podocasts. We don't just put everything that's been released through Beatport or whatever, we really try to get people who are searching for a label or just trying to come out and be known because we have been in that exact situation before and know how it feels."
Photo courtesy of Visualbass Photography
If you've listened to their podcasts you can tell they're enjoying their time curating, they seem to be appreciative and get the impact it has on their fans. Although, Qulinez did say they need to step it up when it comes some aspects of their social media.
"All of it is us, what we post on Facebook and all that, the photos and comments comes from us of course. But we have been pretty bad on Twitter and maybe we are bad with uploading, but we will get better with all that, we will," says Alex.
Qulinez got the second look by Steve Angello after pushing their samples to him, something that wasn't expected but greatly appreciated, clearly. Both guys advocate that artists need to "show the record label that you are serious, that you get listeners, and that you have something worth listening to".
However, being dependent on the push of a label is one thing to consider.
"You don't need to be stuck to a label, but you do need a label to get your music out there, otherwise you need to start your own label."
One of the first tracks that both Alex and Johannes remember as being a good meeting ground of a tune, one that helped them bring their separate music worlds together was Millencollin's "Happiness For Dogs." Perhaps we will see more rock-slapped electro anthems to come; they're keeping things quite hush hush for the time being though.
As we await the next move, why not get some chuckles from their most recent Recklezz Radio podcast here. Expect another fix and the official release of "Hole" with Tim Mason soon.
Also, why not rewind and digest some Millencolin while we're at it?
Qulinez will be part of the roster at UK's Creamfields Festival in August, throbbing the grounds with acts like Afrojack, Avicii, Showtek, Dannic, Armin van Buuren, and other fan pleasers.