Shakarchi & Straneus Shakarchi & StraneusDödskallar Och Korallrev
Axel Boman, Petter Nordkvist and Kornél Kovács share a studio in Stockholm and, after one thing led to another, they recently founded the Studio Barnhus label. Their first release was the compilation single “Good Children Make Bad Grown Ups”, with tracks by the three of them, which went by pretty unnoticed. With the second release comes the first big surprise. So far the unknown Shakarchi & Straneus are delivering a 12” that almost qualifies as a masterpiece. Faik Shakarchi and Daniel Straneus are two long-time friends, who, working in a tapas bar in Gothenburg, set up a small studio in the restaurant’s toilets(!). We suppose that’s where“Dödskallar Och Korallrev”, comes from, although it’s hard to believe that environment could inspire such magic. Because we’re talking about one of the best house single of the last few months here. One of those pieces that, in spite of including varied and well-known influences, reminds us of the excitement of listening to something fresh, personal and unique.
The EP starts with “Mogadishu”, a great track inspired by a Somalian’s idiomatic manifesto on YouTube and built around a perfect piano riff that’s maintained over the whole song, while cyberdelic arpeggios and small fragments of vocals from said video appear and disappear. All that, driven by a devastating groove that will have the punters screaming on the dancefloor. “Clinton Hills”, then, is a delicate piece of disco-house with a bit of a French touch which, via a dramatic melody, provokes a state of happy levitation. On “Liseberg”, on the other hand, the duo cross the delicate sonorities of the best Morr Music moments with Kompakt-like emo-schaffel. The song is a tribute to the theme park of the same name, and if you hear it while watching the video shot there, it might be hard to contain your emotions. “Who Killed Captain Alex” is the last time-bomb on this glorious release. An expansive and euphoria-producing house track that combines intriguing melodies with a very solid beat and that invites us to give in to the pleasures of ceaseless emotional dancing.
The single closes with “It's Vinter, Welcome To Sverige”, a little freaky hip-hop experiment that serves as an exotic afterthought to an almost perfect EP. Another landmark in the almost flourishing scene of Swedish producers and a release we’ll need time to recover from.