11 Jul 2006

P, C & C in a Rox-Plumber-Box (III): Rox20 and AGM poetry

On July 4, Per Gessle attended Robbie Williams’ second monster show at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg the other day. Robbie has gotten rave reviews in all Swedish newspapers. Per isn’t as overjoyed though. “To be honest, Robbie’s music means nothing to me, even though ’Feel’ is one of the best songs in the world,” says Per. Per gives the show five out of five, while the music reaches only three.

Sweden, July 8 1986. “Neverending Love,” a new single was released by a group called “Roxette.” No one in Sweden knew at that point what Roxette was, or who, except for the precious few Gyllene Tider fans that knew of the US version of “Heartland.” “Neverending Love” was an English version of the song “Svarta glas” that Per had composed for Swedish artist Pernilla Wahlgren. She turned it down, and gave it to her brother Niklas Wahlgren who recorded it and was about to release it when EMI called his record company and told them to remove the song from the album; Per Gessle needed it himself, but in English, and together with hot rock artist Marie Fredriksson. Enuff said. When the single was released Per, 27 and Marie, 28, didn’t want their picture on the sleeve, therefore a ’50s style drawing was used. The song went straight into the Sommartoppen chart. Many fans felt Per had sold himself to Eurodisco. 20 years later, Roxette has sold over 70 million records so far. According to different online sources, Roxette’s new album and The Rox-Box will be released on October 18. The single will hit the stores in Sweden approximately a month earlier, on September 20. The release date in Germany, Switzerland and Austria is September 22. Dates for other countries are still unknown. Nothing has been confirmed by either EMI or d&d yet.

If you are looking for poetry and not for pop, Christoffer Lundquist's AGM Studio is the place.

The singer, composer and artist Staffan Percy has set to music 14 poems which are included in Bert Westerströms collection of poetry: The Night Writes Itself (2005).

The intensity, desperation, and yearning in Bert Westerström's poems have been expressed in an innovative musical form by Percy. Together with the musical producer Christoffer Lundquist, Percy recorded this songs in the Aerosol Grey Machine Studio during 2005 and 2006. They have created something new in music inspired by the poems of Westerström.

Fjorton visor ur Natten skriver sig själv (Fourteen songs from The Night Writes Itself), released today in Sweden, includes the profound mistress of the sea, the nearness of flowing locks of hair and a frail existance which can be crushed by a snow star.

British-Canadian singer Luke Jackson is also planning to record at AGM very soon.

In the Spring of 2006, a seven-year email correspondence culminated in my meeting with Jackson. We finally met in Paris where Magnus was mid-tour playing in The Cardigans. I accepted an invitation to Sweden for the upcoming Midsummer long weekend holiday. These celebrations took place in the countryside outside Malmö at the Aerosol Grey Machine - the stunning all-analogue recording studio of Christoffer Lundquist, producer and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, former member of Roxette and founding member of Brainpool, another of my favourite bands. The Midsummer weekend was a magical time filled with wonderful people, beautiful weather, great music, fantastic food and free-flowing booze of the highest quality. As I boarded my flight back to London in a Schnapps-induced fog, I considered the invitation to “come back and record any time”. It has been six years since the release of my self-produced second album “Momentum”, and I know that the songs currently springing from my right hemisphere are the best I've ever written. WHY NOT make an album with my favourite musicians on the planet?” I mused. I will returned to Sweden in January 2007.
Luke Jackson (Popsicle)

Helena Josefsson's Dynamo at AGM (III): the recordings of her first solo album have finished

Helena Josefsson has finished today, 11.07.2006, the recordings for her first solo album. The work began last 25.01.2006. It has been produced by Christoffer Lundquist at Aerosol Grey Machine Studios. It is said that the first single could be released by Per Gessle's company Elevator Entertainment next autumn.

1 Jul 2006

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at AGM Studios (XII): Doug Wyatt - The Dream of I

Doug Wyatt has released today his album "The Dream of I". It was recorded in summer 2005 at AGM Studio, Skäne, with Christoffer Lundquist (producer), Justin Winokur (guitars), Jens Jansson (drums) and Helena Josefsson (backing vocals).

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at Malmö's studios (VI): District 1269 - Summertown (single)

District 1269 (Yonaz Grauholtz + Chris Jersey), the band from Malmö, are recording their first official single at Malmö's Wonderland Studio since April 2006. The recording concerns a single including two songs: "Summertown" and the oldie "As Happy as Me" (composed by Yonaz in 2000). They are summer songs and the single is released today, July 1st 2006. To enhance the summer feelings, the producer Krister Larsson had an idea about using the singer Helena Josefsson for backing vocals on Summertown, and so they have done. But Yonaz and Chris happiness soon turned into sadness and sorrow, since Krister wanted to record dance, while they wanted to make more rock influenced music. They simply didn't get along with their ideas, and according to District 1269, many verbal fights have occurred in the studio.

2006.07 - District 1269 - Summertown

The recordings were made in two very intense months. Some days they worked 14 hours in a row. The record company, Fast Future Records, actually liked Yonaz voice, so they have let him make the vocals on Summertown and parts of As Happy as Me. In May, Yonaz, Chris and another guy called Nikk Raven who had joined the band went photo shooting in Copenhagen for the CD cover. You can buy the single in the Wonderland Studio official site.

"Summertown" (featuring Helena) is a great piece of work. I'm not crazy about the lead singer's voice (think Per Gessle with a cold), but the music's pretty good. And Helena adds some lovely ethereal multi-tracked vocals.