Release Date: Jun 10, 2016
Record label: Smalltown Supersound
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
Dan Lissvik’s 2007 album with Swedish duo Studio arrived amid the Balearic beat “revival”, a slower-paced style of house music, where the guitars sound as if they’re coated in syrup and analogue pastel synths meet disco licks. Today, the genre’s blissed-out legacy can be heard in the more two-dimensional poolside house and nu-disco made popular by the likes of YouTube channel Majestic Casual, but Lissvik’s solo album conjures Balearica’s original eclecticism – from soft rock and funk to dub and krautrock, and even ambient. The eight tracks encompass Fleetwood Mac-ish flourishes, wafty psychedelic percussion and the sorts of elastic basslines that Nordic cosmic-disco producer Todd Terje would snap into a set.
As half of the group Studio, a producer for bands like Young Galaxy, and a prolific remixer, Dan Lissvik has been a behind-the-scenes force for many years, creating a warm-hearted, sunkissed sound that's been one of the more rewarding undercurrents of electronic music's recent past. His first album under his own full name, 2016's Midnight, doesn't change his template much, but does refine it into something laser-focused and thoroughly enjoyable. Recorded late at night when his family was asleep in the other room, the album has a relaxed and nocturnal feel.
Midnight, Dan Lissvik's second album under his given name, is a reference to when his recording sessions started after his wife and newborn baby went to bed. Recorded with a stripped back set up of an analogue graphic equalizer, a bass guitar and a mic, it mostly picks up where last year's Shuvit! EP left off. Cuts like 'M,' 'D,' and 'G' touch on everything from dubby high-stepping disco to throbbing windmill funk while lead single 'N'--with its various layers of guitars, murky bass, ringing bells and Doppler-like effects--is a piece of low-key funky pop that comes closest to reflecting the settings it was recorded in.
With each passing summer, Studio’s lone studio album, West Coast, becomes more of a Dark Tower, an unobtainable beacon forever on the horizon, seemingly never to be reached or returned to. When the Swedish dance duo released that sprawling double album in the summer of 2007, it capped six years’ worth of singles and brought them a great deal of buzz and remix work. Dan Lissvik and Rasmus Hägg were suddenly cast to the front of Scandinavia’s nü-disco and/or nü-Balearic revival, easily lumped in with the likes of Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, Todd Terje, the Tough Alliance, Air France, and more.
In 2007, Studio released their only full-length; nine years later, that single album seems to be enough to help the Swedish duo from falling into obscurity. Celebrated upon its release (and being named as one of the year's best by several publications), West Coast gained the outfit a cult following over the years, thanks to its repetitive, moody electro grooves that bring to mind Krautrock, electro-pop and dark wave. That's why the release of the first solo LP from Studio's Dan Lissvik (not counting 2014's limited release of the LP Meditations, under the name Atelje) comes off a bit disappointing.