THE SWEDE BEAT MIXTAPE VOL 7: NO MODEST BEAR

What is No Modest Bear?
No Modest Bear is a Swedish music blog focusing on new music, preferably stuff that the average music blog reader wouldn’t have heard of it it wasn’t for NMB. But it can be everything really, as long as I like it.
Also, it’s all about the music and not so much about the words; instead of writing reviews or thoroughly describing each song, I say what’s important (release dates, basic/relevant info, etc.) and let the listener form his/her own opinion. Just press play and, if you like it, follow the links to where you can fully support to the artists. The vast majority of my followers are non-Swedish so… yeah, it definitely works for me.

When did No Modest Bear form its shape? Why?
Sometime in the spring of 2009. I don’t really know exactly because when I first registered the blog on blogspot, I had no intention of starting a music blog. I had very little knowledge about the music blogosphere actually, I just wanted to share what I thought was cool at the time, no matter the context. Then, as I started to learn more about the music on the internet thing, I slowly realized that this is what I wanted to do.

Do you remember your first post? What was it?
For the reasons stated above and because my first posts have been deleted (sorry), no, but it was probably a Youtube clip or a funny/cool picture or some childish thoughts on the society or a Douglas Coupland quote (I was very much into Douglas Coupland back then).

How would you describe the music of No Modest Bear?
Music you never knew you needed until the moment you pressed play. Sort of.

Why the bear?
Besides being very much into Douglas Coupland, I had a song by the Scottish singer-songwriter Malcolm Middleton stuck in my head. And that song is called, yep, No Modest Bear. You can listen to it here . I just thought it sounded cool, it doesn’t really mean anything to be honest. Although I do love animals.

Proudest moment of the blog?
I co-presented (together with the ever amazing Veronica from Cream Team) an official showcase at the Hype Hotel at this year’s SXSW. We had Taken By Trees, Korallreven, Blouse, Jonquil, Caged Animals and Young Man on the bill, and even though I couldn’t attend in person, it was an amazing experience. I love you, Dev from the Hype Machine!

What’s your secret source to finding good new music?
It’s not really a secret, but I always keep an extra eye out for what artists I know (or know of) listen to. Artists would make the best bloggers, hands down.

Why do you think Swedish music is so successful nowadays?
I could think of 100 people who could answer this question better than me, some of whom are not even Swedish, but I’ll give it a try. I think that tradition has a lot to with the Swedish music wonder. For as long as I can remember, there has always been amazing musicians around for aspiring talents to look up to. I think it creates a “if they can make it, I can make it” mindset among musicians. And this tradition also give Swedish artists a head start internationally because of the great reputation we’ve gained throughout the years. Also, we are given the opportunities to learn both English and music in school from an early age, so writing music and internationally viable lyrics comes naturally to many Swedish artists. I think? And then there’s the political side to it all, but I’ll leave that to the pros.

Favorite Swedish bands right now?
These are all well worth your time right now (and forever): Jonas Lundqvist, Badlands, Duvchi, VED, Korallreven, IKONS, Bobby Bell, Niki & The Dove, World Tour, Taken By Trees.

How would you describe this mixtape?
It’s Swedish. Some tracks are non-Swedish though but those tracks have been remixed and/or edited by Swedes so Swedes have made them what they are on this mix – Swedish. It’s a Swede mix! Made by a rambling Swede…

If you would attach a feeling to this mixtape, what would it be?
A sense of well-being.

When is the best time to listen to this mixtape?
When out and about enjoying nature.

In addition to running the blog, is NMB doing something else to spread fantastic new music?
I am the co-editor of Ja Ja Ja, a London based blog and club night organizer focusing on spreading the best new Nordic music.
Also, I started a disco/nu-disco/re-edits/balearic/deep house/dames tumblr quite recently, because I also love disco, nu-disco, re-edits, balearic, deep house and dames (ps. don’t worry about the dames thing, you’ll see more skin in a gossip magazine). It’s the year for it, and it’s what I play when I’m DJing. Anyway, it’s called World Class Disco Club, go follow.
I haven’t really been doing the parties thing, at all, because I’ve been studying/living in a small city called Halmstad for three years, and it’s just not the place for my kind of music, sadly. Sweden sucks in that regard.

#20 SWEDISH MELANCHOLIA

CONJUNCTION
Let the Swedish melancholy speak for itself in Malmö based director duo Conjunction (Jens Klevje & Fabian Svensson) impressive portfolio, consisting of an array of music videos by a handful of Sweden’s indie darlings.
In First Aid Kit’s “I Met Up With The King” Conjunction created a surreal environment in dark shades where the sisters sit by a tent they pitched by outside the King’s castle. Motoboy’s “Ride My Wild Heart”, is another surrealistic piece that brings a visual complement to the downhearted character of Motoboy’s music.

But it’s with Fever Ray’s “Keep The Streets Empty” that really Conjunction made a name for themselves. The black-and-white clips communicate solitude and sadness and beautifully conceptualize Fever Ray’s music. The video has been described as ‘neo noir’. Even here you can clearly trace Conjunction’s surrealistic signature. “We wanted to continue the journey that started in the former videos and our ambition was to catch the feeling in a very direct and true way and create a video where dream and reality intertwine.”, Conjunction explain

By Lydia Kellam

MOTOBOY
Formerly known as The Motorcyle Boy, Moto Boy aka Oskar Humbelo makes beautifully serene, love-drenched atmos-pop.
Moto Boy’s anguished coos and falsetto weeping are hypnotizing. On “When My Heart Was High,” conjures similarities to Morrisey’s sad, solemn delivery. On other tracks, including “A Differnet Kind of Love,” Moto combines the stylings of Rufus Wainwright and Jonsi Birgisson.
Recorded in Malmö, Moto’s current hometown, the passionate and memorable songs from “Lost in the Call” bleed with longing emotions, including the moving “If Only Your Bed Could Cry,” which was originally released with Titivo. At the times, Moto’s latest release is full of boldness and hope, as with the lead single, “The Heart is a Rebel.”

With wide-ranging, breathtaking songs that also shine with an admiration for pop, Lost in the Call is a a distinguished collection of tracks which are both delightful and poetic. For the pop lovers and romantics, Moto’s album is an absolute must.

By Kamni Kieran

NAKKNA
The darker and poetic undertone of Swedish melancholia is clearly demonstrated in Stockholm based fashion label Nakkna’s collections. The brand emerged in 2003 by designers Claes Berkes, Ella Soccorsi and Camilla Sundin who met at Beckmans School of Design in 2001. Soon after its launch Nakkna received attention for the label’s adventurous and mystifying character, and became the bolder extension of Swedish minimalistic fashion scene. With avant-garde expressions, complicated cuts, unisex details dressed in somber shades from the achromatic color scheme Nakkna is one of the most progressive brands in Swedish fashion today.
Nakkna’s brilliance in contemporary fashion led to collaborative projects with different brands and companies. The label designed cocktail glasses for Absolut Vodka, bags for Sony Playstation, stamps for the Swedish postal service and last year Nakkna shared their melancholic style with brand Weekday, home of denim label Cheap Monday, when they did a underline for them.
The Nakkna label is sold throughout stores in Sweden, Finland, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, as well as the Nakkna flag ship store in Stockholm.

By Lydia Kellam

METROPIA
Metropia was created by the Swedish documentary film maker Tarik Saleh (Gitmo – New Rules of War and Sacrificio – Who betrayed Che Guevara?), the founder of progressive production company Atmo based in Stockholm.
Metropia is an animated futuristic movie that carries a mysterious and slightly uncomfortable atmosphere as the stories enfolds. This dystopian visual piece takes place in the year of 2024. Big brother sees you. A dark, heavy and moody color palette reflects a rather depressing environment where an intricate subway system is connecting Europe. The main character Roger (voice by Vincent Gallo), is a somber desk working guy suffering from a paranoia that escalates as he meets a woman (voice Juliette Lewis) and we follow them in a harsh function-driven world where lives are taken over by media.
The characters odd movements, as an affect of using cut out technique, adds to an unpredicted feeling. The characters live in a visually convincing detailed industrial world created as montages of photos as well as illustrations.
The film was nominated to several prizes such as Nordic Council Films 2010 and as well as winning 2009 Venice Film Festival: Future Film Festival Digital Award.

Pursue Your Singing Career While You Enjoy Your Apartment In Edmonton

If you are looking for apartments for rent Edmonton then you should take a few steps to ensure that you get the apartment that is best for your needs. The first thing that you need to do is a personal assessment of the size requirements that you have. You need to know what size the ideal apartment would be for you. Do you have children? Do you need outside space? These are just a few of the considerations that you should keep in mind when you begin your search.

Next, you want to determine the placement of the apartment in relation to work and other important locations. You will have to decide how important proximity is to your final decision. Once you place the appropriate amount of importance on your location then you can narrow down the possibilities. You don’t want to settle for a place that is in an inconvenient location.

Before you seriously consider a particular apartment you need to find out what the crime in the area is like. You don’t want to think that you have found the perfect apartment for a great price only to find out that it is in a high crime area. Do a thorough inquiry of reported crimes in the area.

Find an apartment that has a good centralized location if possible using https://apartmentlove.com/alberta/edmonton. If you are closer to the areas that you will find yourself in frequently it will cut down on the amount of commuting that you will have to do daily. Let commuting can be even more money to put towards your rent. No sense in having to drive more than necessary.

When searching for apartments you should do some research regarding previous tenant experience. Find out if they have had any official complaint and if there are any issues with the building that you need to be aware of. If the apartments are older you should find out if there is any asbestos or lead paint that could pose a health hazard. Although there are plenty of apartment for rent in Edmonton, there will only be few that will make it on your short list. Take your time to find the place that is right for you. Don’t take the first place that you find without knowing what you are getting into. If you are going to be living there for a while you will want to be sure that you are going to be comfortable.

SÖDER MALM #17

Last year we featured creative heads from far north of Sweden, this time around we are heading south to Stockholm’s own Brooklyn, Södermalm. Who knows if it’s the salty air from the neighboring harbor, the fabulous vintage stores, one too many espressos from the Italian coffee shops, the overcrowded music bars – or simply a matter of how creativity feeds creativity – but Södermalm is still the undisputed reign when talking about Stockholm’s most buzzing area. In this issue we pay a trip to our favorite bookstore, do some shopping, think about the good things in life, try out some vintage outfits and enjoy a drink (or three) at this season’s coolest bar Trädgården. Artist of The Month: Slobodan Zivic

 

INTERVIEW: MOLLY RÄNGE OF LUNCH BEAT

Life takes us through certain paths that develop into memorable journeys. Those journeys become unforgettable experiences.  Experiences that make our hearts beat faster, those we learn to talk about and share. Moments we’d like everyone we know to be a part of.  Molly Ränge, founder of Lunch Beat kindly shares her moments with us. Those that formed her and guided her towards the successful projects she carries out today.

What would you say your current job title is?

Concept developer and process designer. Basically I construct the frame work for where others can develop or work in.

You’ve worked on many interesting projects, could you tell us about one of your favorite projects?

I studied project management at the university of Malmo. Once I finished my studies I got a job at the university. I thought a few classes in Event Production, Project Management and Cultural Policies. Event Production course was very practical and had about 20 students. During the course,their task was to arrange a club night at a venue which held about 800 people they were responsible for all aspects and had only one month to produce. It was actually one of my best memories in relation to work. The event was extremely successful, there were 800+ guests and the students were extremely happy with their accomplishments. And I, consequentially happy for them. That was something that helped me realize what kinds of roles I like to take.

Could you tell us a bit about what the Lunchbeat concept is and how it started?

It started with my love for dancing and my love for work. I love work but find it very frustrating to go out at night, and if I go out at night I find it very frustrating to go to work in the morning. So what if we could have the club at lunch time? and by having that, it could  help me with motivation through out the rest of my day. A win win situation!

The first lunch beat was in June 2010, in the car garage at my job.  We had the keys to the garage and we had a boom box. So we sent out some invitations.  Our first club had 14 people.

If you could have any DJ or musician play at Lunch Beat who would it be?

On an international level I would love to have Busy P playing at Lunchbeat. If I should go more local or into the not-yet-super-famous-but-should-be genre, I had my best dance experiences to Mattias Almlund (aka. Tiaz) sets in Malmö.

Where else could you see the Lunch Beat concept working as successfully as here

in Stockholm?

It has to be cities that have a concentrated “lunch area” and cities that have a lunch gap in common. They’ve done it in Malmö where the business area and lunch areas are quite spread out, so the impact was lesser than the one we had here in Stockholm.

With experience in the electronic music scene could you give us your take on the overall Swedish Music scene today?

I’ve actually reached a stage where I get really bored when I enter unwelcoming clubs. Those clubs that live strong on having an attitude. I’ve acquired a different experience from clubbing abroad. When you are used to everyone embracing you, and you’re at clubs that are build solely on happiness and dancing. I would like to have that here in Stockholm.

However, I love the live acts here in Sweden. Sweden is very welcoming to live acts for example acts like Little Dragon, This is Head, and Wildbirds and Peacedrums. That scene is a much better scene than the club scene.

What changes could you make to Sweden’s music scene?

Something I would like to see more of here is musical experiences presented in a way where they can be enjoyed by larger groups and different situations. Rather than always at a concert.

What are the next steps for The Lunch Beat?

Well, for me the next thing is to try to build Lunch Beat as a self structured organization that would let me step back and let it run on its own. As of now, I’ve received a lot of attention about being the one “behind” Lunch Beat but I can get a bit uncomfortable with the attention. Because as I said before my ambition is to work kinda “behind the scenes” creating a framework for others to create and build. And I would love to see that someone else would try it out in Stockholm.  I would like it to became something like the flash mob trend, where people wouldn’t have to ask me for permission to do it

ROBYN BODYTALK PT 2

Here comes the latest endeavor from our favorite pop princess and performer of them all: Robyn. Her second release in the 3-piece series Bodytalk is out next month, but she already revealed cover art and track listing last week. The album features work from Swedish producers Kleerup and Klas Åhlund, Philly based DJ Diplo, and Swedish DJs Savage Skulls, along with rap king Snoop Dogg.

Listen to first single Hang With Me Here

BODY TALK PT 2 – TRACK LISTING
1. In My Eyes
2. Include Me Out
3. Hang With Me
4. Love Kills
5. We Dance To The Beat
6. Criminal Intent
7. U Should Know Better Feat. Snoop Dogg
8. Indestructible (Acoustic)

Last week Robyn performed at David Letterman. Watch the fantastic performance of the hit song “Dancing On My Own”

LITTLE GANG

With the formation of Little Gang, the Swedish indie music scene can claim a new supergroup. The project, curated by Dag För Dag’s Jacob Snavely, also includes Stockholmers Rebekka Karijord, Erik Nilsson and Shout Out Loud’s Carl von Arbin.

If “Evert’s Song” is a sneak peak at what’s to come form Little Gang, September can’t get here fast enough! The debut album, Half of Everything, will be released in the fall.

The preview track is a light pop song which doesn’t stray too much from the sounds of Shout Out Louds. However, Rebekka adds a dreamy atmosphere to the song. You might think you’re hearing an echo but it’s Rebekka’s willowy voice that is overlapping with Jacob’s deep sound.

The chorus of the two singing “dooooo” and “lalalala” just makes you want to dance around your room. The song is almost 5 1/2 minutes long so you have plenty of time to work on your steps. If that’s not enough, the laughing baby at the end will surely put a smile on your face.

INTERVIEW: MIIKE SNOW

We would like to create some kind of weird space that takes people on an emotional journey” (Pontus Winnberg of Miike Snow

Miike Snow , formed in 2007, is a three man indie-rock/dance-pop band. All three members (Andrew Wyatt, Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg) are accomplished musicians with years of experience creating music for others and as well as for themselves. The lead singer, Andrew Wyatt is based in New York and was previously signed to Columbia Records as a solo act. The other two members, Karlsson and Winnberg are based in Stockholm. They are also known as the production team Bloodshy & Avant and they know exactly what it takes to make good pop music—they’re the men behind the Grammy winning Britney song “Toxic.

Miike Snow’s lyrics, often dark and serious are uplifted by perky beats and melodies. While this could be confusing to a careful listener, it shouldn’t matter in the long run.
The feeling of Miike Snow’s music exemplifies perfectly a consistent quality in all great pop songs, the inability to pin-point exactly what we like about what we’re hearing—all we know is that we’re really into it and it makes us want to dance.

In our video interview, Pontus Winnberg explains how the band’s fantasy animal logo was designed by a tattoo artist and is meant to be a Jackalope. Jackalopes originate from North American folklore, but Winnberg likes to think of the band’s logo as a “Swedified” Jackalope. Winnberg also explains how choosing a band name can be quite an awkward process, and how Miike Snow became their final choice. In Winnberg’s opinion, the band is most concerned with “creating an alternative space” for their audience. Winneberg also speaks about the various remixes of Miike Snow’s singles.

A THREE BRANCH POWER PLANT WITH LA FLEUR

April 28th – May 5 held The Hans Arnold Exhibition at Gallery Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm. Produced by the creative label Power Plant Records and hosted by none other than the brains and talent behind the label, La Fleur. We teamed up with Power Plant Records as co-promoters for the expo, and got some inside info while we were there.

Most of us know her as the Swedish-born, berlin-based DJ. La Fleur is most recognized on the dance floors by her self-produced, soulful, feel-good house tracks. Flowerhead Revisited EP landed # 32 in DJ Mags Top 100 Singles. Followed by the Defected Records Low:Rise label release of Petals on Fire EP this past February. She was also recently invited to guest DJ at Berlin’s infamous Panorama Bar, La Fleur is definitely getting the media attention she deserves.