Lasse 60 yrs

My colleague Lasse Samuelsson turns 60 this December, and our students of ES12 , ES13 and ES14 congratulates him with this animated music video. The backgrounds are Lasse's own taken from his "Yearbook", and the song is called “Nisse på heden” is created by Knavrabopojkarna where Lasse sings and plays guitar.

From cord to chord

“Junk Culture” by OMD mashed together with “Nothing else Matters” by Metallica. The cover art itself is inspired by both original covers. Click image to listen!

Well, I thought I was finished with making mashups of songs (since it’s so 2010), however I couldn’t stop myself to put this piece together!
I call it “Cord Sculpture” and it is mashed up by the title track Junk Culture by OMD with vocals added by James Hetfield singing Nothing else Matters from the self-titled Metallica album.
OMD’s Junk Culture album was the main reason I got myself into electronic music and samplers in the first place. When it was released in 1984 it was the first real album I bought and I still love most of it 30 years later. This wobbling 4/6 beat instrumental track was so crazy and stylish filled with the newest music technology including the Fairlight sampler and the Linn drum machine in particular.
My opposite musical taste at the time was heavy metal, but the release of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” finally melt my heart. The beautiful verses and powerful choruses started a new era for Metallica that reached an audience beyond the most orthodox’s fans, and that was including me.
I thought it would sound great with these two musical worlds to collide in a mashup. There was a lot of pitch n’ stretch work to be done for the instrumental part, but just a little tempo change to make the vocals work (an almost-acapella found on youtube). Hope you will enjoy the track while we are all waiting for the remastered deluxe version of Junk Culture next year!

Now & then: Captain Sabertooth

Now: Live action Captain Sabertooth 2014.
Tonight is the premiere for the new Captain Sabertooth movie. Its a matinee adventure with pirates, guns and ships.
Initially it was a theatre show for children developed by the norwegian musician and author Terje Formoe. The Sabertooth brand has grown over the years including books and a amusement park.
This is not the first time for Captain Sabertooth on the silver screen. In 2003 I was involved in the production of a cartoon movie of the captain and his crew. Down here in our “cave” we did the lip synk for the movie. It is not the sexiest work to have in a production like this. Our job was to analyze the soundtrack of the dialogue frame by frame, so that the animators of the film could sync the lip movement of the animated characters.
Then: Cartoon movie of Captain Sabertooth 2003.
We usually got a slice of the dialogue recording of approx 10-15 minutes a week to analyze, and sometimes there was a cliff hanger with unsuspected turns. I remembered it as a well crafted story!
I don’t know what happened to the animated version in the end. It never had a proper premiere here in Sweden. Later on, i’ve heard that Channel 5 had broadcasted it, but nevertheless it was a big flop! I hope this new live action take of the movie is getting more lucky. I think the new trailer looks promising and media is showing more intrest in the movie!

Surfin' the radio waves

Visiting Radiogodis.se is like traveling back in time. Recorded radio shows from the 1930’s and onwards are uploaded in full, and the 80’s shows Tracks, Metropol, Eldorado and Rakt över disc catches my intrest in particular.
Just hearing the signature songs gives me goosebumps. Some of them have even influential orginators. so80s
Radiogodis featuring radio shows from the eighties. The logo is inspired from the So 80’s collection.
Kaj Kindwall led us thru the iconic pop count down show Tracks. He was the guy who kept a whole generation updated on music from the hit lists all over the world. The signature tune was written by Michael B Tretow, the music engineer that shaped the sound for ABBA. When I first heard the intro of Tracks in 1984, I was totally blown away.
So modern, so cool!
Eldorado was the crazy show without a clear direction. The host Kjell Alinge probably improvised the whole thing and it was all high and low. The intro tune was produced by Rupert Hine. He is not very well known except his 1982 hit The Set Up , but his productions for Howard Jones, Thompson Twins, Bob Geldof, Suzanne Vega and Underworld were probably crucial for their successes in their heydays.
One of my all time favorite radio shows was Metropol. Niclas Levy and Ingvar Storm guided us thru contemporary topics in music, fashion, culture and politics. Spanarna and Göte Johansson was two of the recurrent elements i remember the most. Spanarna is still going strong, and they recently won the Rose dÓr award!
The signature tune of Metropol was performed by Adolphson-Falk. They are most known for the minimalistic Blinkar blå ( Laurie Anderson’s O Superman meets Phil Collins’ In the air tonight ) and Mer jul, one of Sweden’s most well known Christmas songs. The song features a sound collage from Christmas TV shows and recordings, probably influenced later swedish Christmas songs like Triad’s Tänd ett ljus and Just D’s Juligen.
Rakt över disc was a show playing the most popular dance hits during summer time. Hosted by musician and dj Claes “Clabbe” af Geierstam it was the show that got the party started! But I didn’t have time to party. I was too buzy pressing play-rec on my cassette recorder. To crop the music from Clabbe’s nonsence gibberish was almost an impossible mission, since he was talking in the start, middle and everywhere in the songs.
30 years on, listening to the shows at Radiogodis.se in it’s full context, all his nonsense rap n’ gag is the best part of it all!

Comics from my youth: Lilla Fridolf

My “Lilla Fridolf” comic strip from 1986. Click picture to read in full size.
The summer is here and so is mowing the lawn! I did this comic strip in my teens starring Lilla Fridolf, and sent it to the comic magazine of the same name. To my delight it was published!
Lilla Fridolf is one of many comics in the Swedish slapstick tradition that was popular from the thirties until the eighties. The humor was pretty weak, but the the comics often had a nice and nostalgic feel. Lilla Fridolf started out as a radio serial in the fifties and developed into movies and comics. Lilla Fridolf's original cartoonist Torsten Bjarre had previously made comics of the characters Oskar and 113 Bom, but he is probably best known for Lilla Fridolf. In my teens I thought his drawing style was a bit stiff and the backgrounds could sometimes feel a little empty and sterile.
My own style at the time was inspired by classic French and Belgian cartoonists such as Franquin, Peyo, Derib, Macherot and Hergé of course. But the weak punch line of this comic strip was more in a Swedish tradition ;)
Over time started to relish Bjarre’s drawing style, and I use to wish that I have the talent to do an French/Belgian action story in Bjarre’s style myself one day!

Malibu - Live

Me to the left, probably pronouncing the letter “M” as in “Malibu”. To the right Marcus “Mackan” Kvist, tapping his foot to the beat and adding some guitar.
My live version of Malibu is now available online. I performed it at Svensktoppen Nästa in mid May (see previous post). Markus “Mackan” Kvist assisted me on guitar, the rest of the arrangement was on tape.
To tell the truth, I was not satisfied with my performance. However, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be once I’ve heard it on the radio. The sound engineer added a weird rockabilly echo to my vocals. And if it sounds weird, that’s a good thing in my book!
The heavily auto tuned original version of Malibu can be found HERE!

ES11 Student Films

The students of ES11 ( click the picture to see the trailers for the films).

This Thursday's Grand Premiere of this year's graduating students films in Eksjö high school of Animation was a brilliant event! After almost a year of hard work, the time had come to showcase the short films for a large audience. The movie theater was filled and many of the visitors had traveled a long way to see the films. Beyond the mixture of comedy and tragedy, "life wisdom" was the most noticeable trend. I have never seen so many student films filled with so much messages about what is important in life and the meaning of it.
The premiere ended with the traditional with a dinner at one of Eksjö restaurants.
Click HERE to see the trailers for the films.

Svensktoppen Nästa

Last Wednesday was the time for my song Malibu to compete in the P4-competition "Svensktoppen Nästa". The winner’s song will be played as prior act on the P4 's A-list and there will be a opportunity to participate in Melodifestivalen as well. The event took place at Olsbergs Arena in Eksjö. I was among five part-finaist's and I performed Malibu live in front of an audience of about 400 people and a jury. To my help I had Marcus "Mackan" Kvist on guitar and a prerecorded back track.
My vocal performance was to say the least a big belly flop of epic proportions! I was unable to put the notes right, partly because of lack of talent, and the fact that the original recording of the song is an orgy of autotuning excesses that are very hard to reproduce live.

The winning entry was
Dan Feiff's song "You do not have to tell me".
Of the five participants I ended up at the jumbo position when the jury and audience had announced the result of their votes. However, I will get a second chance to participate in the county finals when the show is broadcasted on the radio at the
19th of May, 11:03. Listeners will be able to put one more participant in the county finals.
I will have mixed emotions to hear my out-of-tune vocals broadcasted to
approx 100,000 listeners over the county. Prepare to have a pillow handy, because the chances are high that you will feel ashamed on my behalf when you hear the song!
I’ll be back!

Pixels vs Vector

Submarine done in vector graphic

My illustration work has increasingly shifted from ink-and-pen to computer graphics in recent years. There are two main softwares I use the most - Illustrator and Photoshop. It is a battle between vector and pixel graphics. Earlier, I made the most out of Photoshop, but I have increasingly begun to realize the benefits of Illustrator. To create perfect shapes and patterns are an easy job in Illustrator, but difficult in Photoshop. On the other side, should I make a pattern for a cross stitch project, nothing beats Photoshop!

Hard core pixel graphics - pattern to a cross stitch project.


Click to read.
Check out my latest comic strip for Sparbanken Lidköpings Arena. They are hosting Melodifestivalen - Andra Chansen the 1st of March 2014. Yet another pun-driven strip was ordered starring the alien creature Alfa Centauri.
Sparbanken Lidöping Arena states that:
“We are extremely proud that
SVT has choosen Lidköping to host “The Second Chance" in 2014. A contest with a strong intense, as all the contributions has qualified from previous rounds and the less popular songs have already been knocked out. In 2013 it turned out that it was quite possible to win the entire Melodifestivalen from a position in this competition. Robin Stjernberg and his "You" took a detour over "The Second Chance", before he won Melodifestivalen and the honor to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Read more HERE!

Popsong No 5: Malibu

Malibu - new pop song out now!
Let’s dance into spring to my new song Malibu! As usual there's a lot of OMD references, eg "This is Helena" and some occasional secret samplings.
The Malibu title refers to a classic dance palace outside Skara Sommarland who had it's heydays in the early 90s. Those Friday nights was like taken from a Nationalteatern song ( I gave myself some freedom in the translation):
That was the place we were hanging out at the bar.
Lili & Susie milled their swedish disco down and the last dance came.
Oh ,hell how I wanted a girl stepping out from the smoke, coming up to me and say: HELLO!

Birch sap in the pipeline


I got a nice Christmas present from Åke Svensson this year. He came over with a bottle of birch sap wine with a neat label. The wine's name is Skurugata and the label is of course designed by me.
His wine project has lashed under the radar for a while, but now is a first exclusive vintage finished. In this spring / summer the production of the wine hopefully really takes off and Åke and his crew will aim their product on restaurants and bars.
I have not dared to taste the wine yet, since I want to find a suitably solemn occasion for this. I will be back with review!