It need not be said yet again that I'm endlessly obsessed with Sweden's mysterious dubbed-out, Balearic-leaning electronic outfit, Studio, so let's not even go into their greatness right now. The one big problem with holding awesome talent and vision is that your equity necessitates you release new material on a relatively regular basis lest you be forgotten, seen as one of those artists who only has a song or two or maybe a single full-length.
While Studio isn't dropping new jams while we wait for Yearbook 2 (what I'm dubbing LP2), both members―Rasmus Hägg and Dan Lissvik―are plenty busy with production gigs and, in the case of Lissvik, solo material. It's not quite as good as being blessed with new and original Studio songs, but hey, it's something. At the very least, when artists decide to openly take up sound board duties, they offer the public a different view of themselves. In ideal scenarios, such endeavors are credibility-building.
In the case of both Hägg and Lissvik, it's dauntingly clear that they are some of this era's most talented and visionary producers. Both have a keen sense of how to record (everything they touch is clean as a fresh pair of underwear; layering is never overdone and avoids overwhelming the core themes, riffs, or hooks of a song), how to spin others' work with their own personal flavor without forfeiting the merits of said person, and how to breed unparalleled originality from a relatively limited palette. (That is, when you're working within the dub or cosmic disco or whatever genres, you generally stick to the same BPM, instrumentation, and arrangement... but let's not get into that right now.)
Okay, so now I deliver some of the pair's latest efforts.
First we've got El Perro del Mar's grandiose "Change Of Heart" from the Love Is Not Pop EP. It's a seductive, somewhat psychedelic ballad whose key asset―aside from the silky vocals―is the weighty, mesmerizing bass line. The EP is the handiwork of Hägg, the less prolific side-work member of Studio (which is probably a good thing here as you can really tell that he absolutely slaved over these arrangements, recordings, and masterings).
Lissvik has been keeping busier. Most recently it was announced that he lent his talents to Taken By Trees' forthcoming East Of Eden long-player; "Watch the Waves" is the first song to infiltrate the Internet. The pairing of Victoria Bergsman and Lissvik is a little tough for me to personally justify as her thin-yet-somehow-husky voice seems a little difficult to merge with his bass-heavy, fantastical melodies. Indeed, on "Watch the Waves," Lissvik finds himself playing with sharper rhythm section beats and a somewhat off-putting flute. You ought to certainly get psyched for East Of Eden, but let's wait for more tracks to appear before wholeheartedly endorsing the collaboration.
Lastly, Lissvik recently started his own "band" with the Embassy's Fredrik Lindson: the Crêpes. As the name implies, the duo is indeed of the sugary sweet pop persuasion. The pair dropped their debut, What Else?, just a week or two ago, and the 300 limited-edition vinyl discs have already sold out! (Good news for Information, Studio's own label that put out the LP in question.) The whole thing is absolutely dripping with summery yet strangely melancholic hooks, Burt Bacharach-esque 60s lounge pop tips, and a decent dose of Latin influences like, say, bossa nova. I personally can't get enough of What Else?, but, as is the tradition here, you ought to decide if the Crêpes are worthy of a spot in your music library.
El Perro del Mar - Change Of Heart
Taken By Trees - Watch the Waves
the Crêpes - Love You All the Same
the Crêpes - Sugar