Unsurprisingly for this prankish crew, the first track off Studio Barnhus' latest release is pretty weird. For three minutes it's just a series of unrelated bass notes, squeaks that sound like trainers on a polished parquet floor and guttural sub hiccups. "Where the hell is this going?" you can't help but think. Then, from somewhere deep down below, rousing synths rise and rise, a man splutters out the odd mangled word and before you know it you're spinning round and round in some beguiling dub-house-bass-pop fusion.
Shakarchi & Stranéus are the Gothenburg duo behind all of this. And they're also behind the next original, "Jaimson." This one is pretty much a massive curveball too, with icy chord stabs and celestial xylophone sounds backing a chopped and mashed "...that's my home." It's oddly hymnal and churchy thanks to a vast and chilly echo. Do let me know if you ever actually hear someone play it in a set.
The two remixes are of "Liseberg" (from S&S's first release on this label a year ago) and are much more playable. Portacode steps up first and marries Caribbean-style steel drums, squelchy, rubbery splats and plenty of wiggling dancehall energy into something the Barnhus crew fittingly describe as "psycho trancehall." As the whole arrangement sways up and down, background harmonies take over and act as a psychedelic solvent into which everything else slowly dissolves, before the trip is completed with a "Tapes Dub in Memory of Travis Hal." It's a sub-heavy dub reggae skank that leaves you feeling slightly stoned despite not having had a single toke.
Buy Shakarchi & Straneus - Something... at
Tracklist: Shakarchi & Straneus - Something... A1 Something...
B1 Liseberg (Portacode Dancehall Mix)
B2 Liseberg (Tapes Dub Mix in memory of Travis Hall)