As staunch supporters of the Scandinavian, computerized funk led skweee movement, we hold the output of Eero Johannes in a pretty high regard around these parts. His self-titled debut album on the ever eclectic Planet Mu label may have been released back in 2008 but it still sticks out like a gloriously sore thumb in their catalogue – his ‘We Could Be Skweeeroes’ track is actually something of an SR anthem, one that gets constantly wheeled out to show people how intricately the music can flow out of his, and other, European owned synthesizers. So, when we got wind a local lad promoter was bringing him over for a live show this weekend we sought Eero out and got in touch to talk about his new music and where he’s been since his first album dropped….
It’s been a long time since your album on Planet Mu. I guess the first question is, what have you been doing since it came out?
I did lot of gigs around the release and few years after, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of design and illustration work. I quit my day job last fall which gave me more time for music, so kinda getting back at it now.
You came through as part of the Scandinavian skweee movement, but even that scene, from an outsider’s perspective seems to have slowed up a little, even though there are labels like Harmonia & Flogsta who are still putting out records. Does it still feel like there is a still such a cohesive scene around this kind of music to you? Personally I feel like a lot of the same energy can been found more in the beats scene at the minute, but I’m more interested in your take as an actual artist/performer…
To me the real “movement” besides the actual sound is more about the international skweee-community; like-minded (and a bit autistically synth-twiddling) group of awesome people that sometimes gather together to play in events forming a ridiculously big line-up, the whole line-up on the stage at the same time and sometimes the line-up being bigger than the audience. So the scene is doing good! Soundwise you can find similar feel in lot of music coming out these days, with the exception that skweee artists keep the things more dislocated and not too smooth. I think my own stuff has always been 50% skweee and rest something else, nowadays I think I’m going back towards the more raw un-processed sounds.
You’ve been premiering new bits of music on radio shows of late. Are you working on a new record? Can you tell us more about it? I saw you tag Mike P from Planet Mu on ur FB there… will it be coming out on his label?
Yes, I’ve been working on a new album for a while now, there’s no release date or anything set, will be released when it’s ready. There’s a new track coming out on a new Sound Pellegrino compilation around this summer.
Is your music you’re making at the minute still channelling the same hyper melodic qualities?
You could say so, yes. Does hyper melodic mean too many melodies on top of each other or just a very melodic melody…?
You’re playing live in London for the first time in a while on April 12th, Has your live show changed much in the time between records?
Maybe it has evolved a bit but the core remains same, me whacking drum pads and keys. Maybe my studio work has gone more towards live as in more sampling live and playing keys and pads doing live takes rather than having a mouse clickathon on the sequencer.
Catch Eero Johannes at Kestrel Heights this Saturday night when he’ll be playing alongside Wigflex boss, Spam Chop: