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16th September 2014

Interview: Axel Boman

Patrick Hinton caught up with Axel Boman to discuss Bez’s piss, Papa K and dinosaurs

After garnering international recognition with the release of ‘Purple Drank’ on Pampa Records in 2010, Axel Boman has established himself as a leading figure at the forefront of the European house music scene. The ebullient Swede co-founded label Studio Barnhus, is one half of superduo Talaboman alongside John Talabot, and has a wicked sense of humour to boot. We spoke to Axel Boman prior to his appearance at Sankeys on September 19.

“I’ve only been in Manchester one time before, and I really loved it!” begins Boman excitedly as he gears up to grace the city again. Sharing some of his downtime activities he continues “I’m such a super tourist, I went to check out Old Trafford and smelled the street corners for Bez’s piss and stuff like that.”

“Sometimes when you play in the UK the crowd is a bit more intense, expecting more bang for the buck than a Swedish crowd,” he reveals, contemplating the difference between UK clubbing experiences to that of his home country. “I guess it’s because club culture is younger over here.”

Boman’s career as a producer and DJ was launched after the success of ‘Purple Drank’ on DJ Koze’s Pampa Records imprint. “We met in Stockholm in 2008, I warmed up for him in a half empty club, and I passed him a CD with some songs, one being ‘Purple Drank’. It was the most important meeting in my ‘career,’ as since that release I can survive on my music. Thank you Papa K!”

Boman has been involved in a number of collaborative projects with varied styles. There’s Talaboman of course, but also the likes of 2011’s bizarre Radioactive Orchestra album in which he worked with nuclear physicists to create music using radioactive isotopes. I question how his approach to such projects alters to when he’s sitting alone making tracks as Axel Boman: “Honestly, it doesn’t differ too much. I’m quite open and intuitive in my own process as well as in collaborations, I enjoy them both. But that said, I hate being alone. So maybe that’s why I do a lot of collaborations—to escape from myself!”

Speaking about Taloboman, the Swedish half reveals there is more material on the way. “Yes, Uri [Riverola, aka John Talabot] and I have some studio time to kill together, preferably in the winter in Barcelona.” Boman also has plans for his label Studio Barnhus: “I want to release an EP, maybe around springtime.” I ask what his motivation was in starting Studio Barnhus: “We’re blessed with having a lot of genius musicians around us in Stockholm, musicians that trusted us to give their songs a good home. The initial motivation was just to release some great songs and now it’s growing by itself it seems.”

With the label growing and Boman becoming increasingly busy with his numerous projects, he reflects on his past at art school and how it helped him reach where he is today: “It gave me 5 years of experimentation, not a lot of people get that! I could make, perform and record all day long, in the name of artistic research. It’s crazy when you think of it. I miss those care free days.”

His interest in art is particularly evident from the tattoos that decorate his body. “I have an idea about a new tattoo that could very well be my favourite: a dinosaur on my arm! But what kind?! Not a T-Rex, maybe that huge one with the smallest brain?” Stegosaurus? We suggest he go for it.

Catch Axel and his brand new dinosaur tat play at Sankeys this Friday, September 19, for Tribal Sessions alongside Shlomi Aber and Darius Syrossian.

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