Skweee-soldier Eero Johannes self-titled debut album on Planet Mu (label child of IDM-maverick Mike Paradinas, world famous for creating one of the hardest electronica tracks ever… well, at least it was the most uncompromising, beautifully controlled bloodsport BPM-beating of its era… seeing him live at Roskilde in 1998 was a defining experience for me) is the best I’ve heard in skweee so far.
What is skweee anyway? I mean, the sound is pretty diverse on their compilations, with beats and ideas all over the place. I think it’s easier to see it as a movement: a dozen or so Swedes and Finns who have studied electro funk, dirty south and modern R&B thoroughly, and now apply what they have learnt on the vintage synthesizers, video games sounds and DIY-spirit that they’ve grown up on. More than anything else, it is the lo-fi aesthetic that defines them (with skweee referring to squeeezing out the most of their arcane equipment).
Noting that, it is interesting to see the very talented Eero Johannes spreading his wings here, sometimes lifting from the lo-fi valleys of home to sail among the clouds in the sky. Lipton Service Boy delivers euphoric electro pop. He mixes dubstep and new romantic influences on Sumuhumus and gets away with it. Hal Manifesto is both computer poetic and mad funky at the same time (which is quite an achievement, actually). Natt i spårvagnen and Mobile 363 are equally funky, while Eläin wanders out further into the electronica wilderness.
Delicately balanced between futurism and nostalgia, Eero Johannes is a multifaceted and innovative release that you ought not miss.