Upfront 060 / March 21, 2016


To celebrate Kontra-Musik's 10th birthday, label head Ulf Eriksson cooks up an Upfront honing in on some of Sweden's most stimulating electronic activity.

About this mix

Kontra-Musik turns ten years old this year. To celebrate, I was asked to do a mix purely made of forthcoming music mixed, as well as unreleased and unheard demos from the Kontra vaults. Eagerly I started digging, checking old hard drives and old demo CDs. I'm sorry to say however, that the enthusiasm soon wore off. I quickly discovered that there was a reason this music was in the vaults, and should probably stay there... so a change of plan! I then discovered to focus on the new, unreleased music, mixed with a couple of Kontra treasures and a few quality demos.

One example from the vaults is the first Marcel Dettmann remix ever released. It was out on Kontra-Musik in 2007, just before he became the superstar we know today. You'll also hear the first release from Porn Sword Tobacco & SVN, two producers blowing up at the moment. A killer Fishermen demo is also in the mix, and towards the end beholds a strong Echospace remix that never got a proper release. All the other music is new and will come out on Kontra sometime this year.

About the mix then. I've been spinning records for ages. My style tends to fluctuate back and forth, depending on how life looks at the moment or what kind of music I'm into. DJing is so much more than just swapping records. It is – and should be – a reflection of the person that's mixing. Right now I like to do mixes as shapes or waves. Sort of like small sculptures of sound. This is also how it turned out this time. I started out very deep with a Wa Wu We release that will pop out on Kontra beginning of the summer. Moving on, the curve of intensity increases, peaking with some forthcoming TM404, before it all rolls and fades into silence.

Ulf Eriksson

Boiler Room says...

"Our music is a secret order" stands proudly and loudly as the motto of Swedish label Kontra-Musik. Operating out of the sixth largest Nordic city of Malmö, Kontra-Musik has been engineered by its head Ulf Eriksson to release what they define as "music with a personality". That is to say, music with a clear presence of its own creator. The distinction between a mere dancefloor producer and an electronic musician is reified in the label's manifesto, with the statement of "production skills are important but not enough." The more emotional, conscious music-maker typifies the artists that Kontra has featured in its ten-year-strong discography.

Kontra-Musik head Ulf Eriksson has cooked up an Upfront that celebrates Sweden's electronic music scene, honing in on some of its newest and most stimulating activity. Forthcoming Kontra releases, original demos and reworked gold come in from homegrown label regulars such as Sebastian Mullaert (along with material from his Wu Wa We project), Porn Sword Tobacco, Fishermen and TM404. A scene that may have otherwise slipped off people's radars, Kontra-Musik is here to show us how the other side do – and it's nothing short of spectacular.

Julia Kisray

Julia Kisray

Julia is Digital Editor & Music Programmer at Boiler Room.