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Meet Eggstone, the ‘Godfathers of Swedish pop’
04.26.2017
03:30 pm
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In 1990 when Swedish group Eggstone released their first single “Bubblebed” it had been over a decade since any Swedish pop act had gone mainstream. This would soon change, and although their debut album Eggstone in San Diego (recorded at their own Malmö-based Tambourine Studios in 1991) hardly made any impact in the United States, it did fairly well in Europe and a gained a massive following in Japan. AllMusic called it “layered, retro lounge-pop that is cheery, bright and infectious” and they’d go on to record two more albums over five years (Somersault and Vive La Différence!). Each Eggstone record was filled to the brim with insanely catchy, radio friendly songs. With titles such as “Hang on to Your Eco” and “Supermeaningfectlyless,” their lyrics didn’t always make perfect sense in English, but there was a fun quirkiness that came from them being written by a non-English speaker. Guitarist Patrik Bartosch told Billboard magazine in December 1996, “We won’t change something around that’s not correct English just for the sake of it, we like using new combinations of words that haven’t been used before. We’d rather be incorrect than use a cliche.”

Eggstone put their Swedish producer Tore Johansson on the map, and soon hundreds of bands all over the country began sending their demo tapes into Tambourine looking to record with Tore in Eggstone’s studio. “Out of the demos that were getting sent to us, the other one we really liked was from The Cardigans. They really had something.” Eggstone frontman Per Sunding told Tape Op in a 2015 interview. Tore Johansson helped give The Cardigans the Eggstone sound on their first four albums: lush production with gorgeous vocals in a chic, boss nova-influenced atmosphere. The Cardigans even borrowed Eggstone’s formula for their slightly off-the-wall version of English, and created fun song titles on their albums by combining words that weren’t meant to go together: such as “Pikebubbles” and of course, their huge 1997 chart-topper “Lovefool.” The “Swedish pop” sound had taken shape, and over the next two decades both Tore Johansson and Per Sunding became Sweden’s most in-demand producers working with artists like The Wannadies, bob hund, Peter Bjorn and John, Saint Etienne, April March, Franz Ferdinand (Tore produced their 2004 radio hit “Take Me Out”), Idlewild, Boss Hog, even A-list royalty like Tom Jones and Beatles producer George Martin sessioned at Tamborine.
 

 
Eggstone selflessly put their career aside to help Sweden’s newfound music scene flourish. Sunding started a record label (Vibraphone Records), built a restaurant in the center of Malmö, and hosted several bands from Japan, most of whom had insanely large budgets to record which helped fund two additional studios: Gula and Country Hell. All three studios remained completely booked year round, so booked in fact that Eggstone could never get in to work themselves. Sunding ultimately became more interested in production rather than his own band. An enormous hard drive crash which destroyed many demos Eggstone had been working on for years didn’t help matters either. Finally, in April 2016 Eggstone refurbished an old demo from 2002 called “Like So” and released it through Spotify. It was their first new release in nineteen years, their fans were ecstatic and interest in the band was renewed. 

More after the jump…

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Posted by Doug Jones
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04.26.2017
03:30 pm
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Di Leva: Sweden’s rockin’ Swami
09.16.2010
02:07 am
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Swedish singer and self-appointed guru (Thomas) Di Leva is one of the oddest pop phenomenons I’ve encountered in quite awhile. Apparently he’s been a big star in Sweden for the past 30 years and yet I’d never heard of him. I pride myself on knowing a shitload about rock and roll and spiritual materialism, but somehow Di Leva, who embodies some of the best of the worst in both music and new age mumbo jumbo, has flown below my cultural radar all these years.

A cross between David Bowie, Donovan, Meher Baba and Barbra Streisand, Di Leva has released 19 albums, has dozens of videos on Youtube and a trippy dippy website devoted to his mystical teachings. His spiritual organization is called Spaceflower, which he describes with typical new age vagueness:

We are all Spaceflowers with roots in Eternity. Striving to consciously and blissfully flow through the supreme infinite reality. We are all one with the eternal now forever.

And Di Leva humbly describes himself as…

One of the greatest spiritual teachers and music artists in his home country Sweden. With Spaceflowers he is now taking his vision, presence and action globally.

Whether or not he succeeds in his quest to raise the planet’s consciousness or not is yet to be seen, but for now we have glimmerings of something Divine (as in Pink Flamingos) in his music videos and live performances. As much as I’m tempted to write this guy off, I find him actually quite compelling. From his obvious David Bowie vocal influence, new wave synth beats and Summer Of Love lyrics , Di Leva is not particularly original and, yet, he is. He’s a cosmic rip-off artist that manages the trick of making you almost believe in something totally artificial. But, I like artifice and Di Leva is thoroughly entertaining in his own weird, spacey, Swamidelic way. He’s a flower child gone to seed, Jesus in day-glo Laura Ashley drag or Dreamgirl mu mu. An Aquarian Age Adam Ant. Meher Abba.

Visit Di Leva’s Spaceflowers website and for a mere $9.00 you can receive a cosmic transmission via telephone from the Guru himself. He accepts Paypal.

Update 9/16: since posting this last night, the spaceflower.net website has been taken down for ‘construction’. I wonder why? Was it something I said?

 

 
Di Leva does Bowie after the jump…

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Posted by Marc Campbell
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09.16.2010
02:07 am
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