scandinavian synth-pop

elgato

I just dont know
so i hear a lot of murmur about how exciting a place scandinavia is right now for music, and a few groups like The Knife and Similou have crossed over the North Sea (doesnt that sound funny?)

but can anyone recommend me some more? primarily i would like fat buzzing synths and high pitched glammed up vox, but im very open to other shades...

i would also like to hear any other highly regarded scandinavian music

any help would be greatly appreciated :)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I'm disappointed to learn they make music in Scandinavia other than orcy black metal. :(
 

elgato

I just dont know
thank you to all! the effort is greatly appreciated, and i'll reap the rewards before long

the first one was a bit too much like papa roach let loose pon computer for my liking (i dont really mean that), and the second was interesting but a little wet for me i think. will definately persevere though, ive heard a lot of good about Ms Shapiro

looking forward to getting into those youtubes
 

rosebeast

Well-known member
You should check out Margaret Berger. She was a Norwegian pop idol runner up, but don't let that put you off because her second album is incredible. Its a really inventive electro pop album that has its fair share of weird moments you wouldnt normally expect from a reality show contestant. Its called Pretty Scary Silver Fairy. Seriosuly you wont regret checking it out.
 
Though all the stuff I've found on the internet seems really old, my friend plays with Dibidum, from Norway. He said they call it 'Broadway electric pop' or something like that. Definitely synthy, definitely pop and, obviously, Scandinavian. In my mind they must be good - my friend's not a wally.
 

Mollusc

mollusc
Radio Dept. are really good - more dream pop I guess (they're all over the latest Sofia Coppola s/track), but heavy on the synths...
 

swears

preppy-kei
Though far from being a complete, or even representative, list, I have tried collecting some of the more obvious videos below. Most of it is top-40 stuff...


Wow, they're kicking Britain's arse at the moment. I <3 Lo-Fi-Fnk particularly.
 

Alfons

Way of the future
Hello dissensians, first post here from a long time lurker here. Might as well start of by tooting my own nations horn (iceland) even though people cant seem to agree whether or not Iceland is a part of scandinavia

Trabant
http://www.myspace.com/trabantofficial
Have released two albums, I prefer the first. Apparantly their touring quite a bit and have a release on Southern Fried coming up.

GusGus
http://www.gusgus.com/
Maybe more on a dancey, trancey house tip but the just released a new album which I quite like. Definatly worth going if you get a chance to see them live, they have a very energetic show.


and here's a couple of local bands that I don't really like but are kind of playing this synthy electro sound and making some waves here in Iceland, I'll throw them in here anyway

Steed Lord http://www.myspace.com/steedlord
Blood Group http://www.myspace.com/bloodgroup
Ultra Mega Technobandið Stefán http://myspace.com/umtbs
FM Belfast http://www.myspace.com/fmbelfast
Hairdoctor http://www.myspace.com/hairdoctormusic

Some of these I don't mind, some I actively hate... a bunch of hipster bandwagon jumpers that are better at customizing their myspace pages than they are at making music...
 

arcaNa

Snakes + Ladders
- Greetings, Alfons! I like your character very much, you seen the Alfons Åberg TV series, right? :)

As far as I've followed the scandi "scene",

Swedish synth music seems a bit derivative and "indie"-goofy (fluffy, whimsical noodling), or else it's 80's synthcore survivors with a more goth/EBM sound... Many mainstream bands have incorporated "electronica"- style production into their sound, but without really adding anything to their quality ;)
Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk looks big in certain circles.

Norwegian scene have some ex-metal bands expanding their sound into synth territorium, among these there's some very good bands like Arcturus (which is kind of proggy synth-metal), and Ulver (in parts inspired by post-goth/Coil stuff but without the brilliance, some of their soundtrack work is well worth checking out).
Some is boring "experimentally produced" pop with female vocals, also see: pop stars, mainstream pop with electronic gloss

Denmark seems to have more affinities with the German scene, much glitch/MBV shoegazing post-electronica like Efterklang...

Finnish bands are weird, original, impossible to categorise... Digi-dub and the whole Sahko scene, then there's more recent stuff in all genres, much of it perhaps overlap with the recent psychedelic/D.I.Y. experimental mini-label thing...

Iceland I don't know much about (and they're Nordic, not Scandinavian anyway), are there any great labels/bands out there? Would love to hear about it

The Swedish, Icelandic and Danish bands- to my ears- sound more "commercial" than the Finnish/Norw bands.
 
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Guybrush

Dittohead
I think the term ‘the Nordic countries’ is preferred for two reasons: 1. Scandinavia as a geographical entity only consists of Norway, Sweden, and a shiver of Finland; 2. The pan-Scandinavian movement of the 19th century only concerned Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Although the different countries have distinct characteristics on the whole, the musical scenes, for the most part, are inter-regional, so any talk of national peculiarities, inevitably, is misleading at best. (cept for arcaNa’s summary, of course. :))
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
Oh, and here is a video by Sweden’s biggest band: Kent.

Kent vs Visage – Fade to Kent

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vu8hw6zJwaM"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vu8hw6zJwaM" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>
 

Alfons

Way of the future
- Greetings, Alfons! I like your character very much, you seen the Alfons Åberg TV series, right? :)


Yep ;) seen the series and read the books as a kid, over here he's called Einar Áskell


The Swedish, Icelandic and Danish bands- to my ears- sound more "commercial" than the Finnish/Norw bands.


I would agree with this I think, even though it's based on a feeling and pretty limited experience


I think the term ‘the Nordic countries’ is preferred for two reasons: 1. Scandinavia as a geographical entity only consists of Norway, Sweden, and a shiver of Finland; 2. The pan-Scandinavian movement of the 19th century only concerned Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.


This is how we use the terms here in Iceland and I thats how I've heard it used by most people from the nordic countries. But a lot of people I've met from outside the Nordic countries seem to classify Iceland as a part of Scandinavia. But your right though.
 

arcaNa

Snakes + Ladders
I would agree with this I think, even though it's based on a feeling and pretty limited experience.
Hehe yeah you're right, I was overexaggerating and over-simplifying! :)
mostly for the sake of convenience (people seem to prefer easy digestible fact-chunks over super-detailed, in-depth analyses)
Of course the real picture is more nuanced... And, as others have pointed out, it's kind of pointless to talk about regional/national "sounds" anyway-
since most of what influences people are part of global (pop) culture and not tied up to any local "culture" per se...
A record with XXX is now, thanks to the internet, just as available in Stockholm as in London... gone are the days where your only sources of info on obscure music came from mailorder fanzines and painstakingly remote record shops (and yes, i *do* remember the time before internet! eek- the horror, the horror...)

In a way it's great that globalisation have made the world smaller, but at the same time I can't help fearing we 've now got a greater risk of standardisation, of homogenisation, that people start sounding the same (not very likely in "experimental" circles, but it's already happened it mainstream pop with its dreadful moneymachine chartbuster hits, so devoid of musicality it makes you want to destroy things... but lots of people doesn't seem to notice... it's like the death of music, that whole top40 music industry monstermachine)

With easier and more accessible technology more people can make music even on shoestring budgets, yet the music you create on a 100% digital music software program often end up sounding too tinny, too digital- the "digital space" is totally flat, abstract... You lose the acoustic space, that warmth of air vibrations, the certain something you just "hear" but which is so difficult to emulate on a computer... it takes a very good producer to be able to overcome the drawbacks
 
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