Scandinavia has been enjoying a deserved stint in the electronic limelight over the past few years. Between the cosmic disco of Norwegians Todd Terje and Lindstrøm and local crews like Sex Tags, Junk Yard Connections, Studio Barnhus or Denmark’s rising Regelbau imprint, there’s a lot of gold coming from Northern Europe. The unifying thread to this music seems to be a loose, fun approach to club music, unafraid to get a bit weird or aim for the dancefloor jugular – sometimes in the space of a single track.
Two artists who stand out from the crowd are Mount Liberation Unlimited, the Swedish duo of Tom Lagerman and Niklas Janzon. The pair are known for their hardware-heavy live sets and have shifted through different shades of house on their few releases, from the worn samples of their winning debut to the technicolour maximalism of their summer release for Beats In Space. Their latest, a single that slipped out before Christmas to mark Studio Barnhus’ fiftieth release, sees the duo stepping into disco edit territory. It’s a crowded market, but the pair approach the sound with a typical golden touch.
Double Dance Lover (Radio Version) is a disco flip in the traditional mould, its crunchy drums overlaid with glistening synthwork. Later a filtered vocal sample struggles through the mix until it joyously emerges in the breakdown. It’s not a new sound, but Mount Liberation Unlimited pull off the arrangement with a level of detail and heart that makes it stand out. The real meat of this package though is the Disko Dubb Mix, a 15-minute disco odyssey that pays homage to the extended 12” mixes that gave early dancefloors a taste for the symphonic, as well as a nod to the cosmic sounds of their Norwegian neighbours. The opulent trip moves through a series of phases, from rippling arpeggios to electric guitar breakdowns via grand piano chords and playful vocal chopping. It’s everything that makes this duo great in a single slice of music – inventive, generous and full of love.