The debut release on the new Mässy record label is a stunner — Finnish skweee producer V.C.’s twelve inch EP featuring the tracks 30:00, Jello on Springs, Swamp Treat, and Rasco Lust.
Skweelicious: What were you up to musically prior to skweee?
V.C.: I tried and failed at lots of things in electronic music. I can’t really say what my musical output was before, but it certainly didn’t fit any genre I knew about.
How did you get involved in the skweee scene and producing skweee?
In 2006 while browsing a Finnish electronic music forum I noticed that a member of my all-time favorite live electro group, Imatran Voima, made some racket about this new thing called “skweee, the Skandinavian youth funk”. I checked it and there were links to some tracks. One of the tracks was Popkum by Mesak which gave me a totally new sensation of finding electronic music that felt familiar in every sense. This music felt very close to my thoughts and methods considering electronic music and the interests I had towards it. I started to listen to all the skweee tracks I could find, (which were of course, only a handful at that time) and to capture as much from them as I could. I started posting on the NOS forum about my first skweee tracks and received some feedback. After Harmönia released a couple of them, I guess I was involved…
Your EP is the first release on the new Mässy label. Tell us about the label — who is involved, why was it created, what are the future plans?
Mässy, like every other small independent label is the outcome of a great need to put out music that wouldn’t be heard by any amount of the public for various reasons. I think it’s not dedicated to any genre and I heard that you can expect even rock music to appear in the Mässy catalog. It’s run by my very dear friend, Mr. Spartan Lover, who enjoys a great variety of music and is keen to release all sorts of stuff. I hear there’s a CD compilation coming up this spring presenting skweee and other contemporary beat music, but that’s all the rumors that have reached me.
The V.C. EP is a 4 song 12″ and this is unusual because the standard format for short form skweee releases has been 2 song 7″. Any reason for this?
Well to be honest the idea for this release happened a long time ago, and back then the thought was it would be an 8 track LP. In the never ending process of making the LP a lot of dissatisfaction evolved towards the material and over time all the contents of the LP were replaced one and a half to two times. This pissed me and Spartan Lover off who was the biological mother of the idea in the first place. Due to these difficulties we agreed that it should be a short EP. It still took a ridiculously long time after that to actually get the record released, but I’m happy that it came out as it is.
Your tracks are among the most challenging in skweee in the sense that you feature dissonant melodies and jerky beats. What kind of reaction do you get when you play your material live?
It depends, like with every skweee set, some people feel it and others just walk away. I guess I have a somewhat challenging sound, at least that’s what some people have told me.
What are your thoughts on the wide diversity of skweee music? It sparks a lot of debate on the internet, I’ve read, “skweee is instrumental hip-hop”, “skweee is lofi electronica”, “skweee is IDM”…
I love it. It might mean that it’s going to be around still when the plausible short fad is over. I think this way cos I’ve heard so many descriptions and with some skweee tracks none of those can really hold up. Someday skweee could be seen to exist more as a sense of style or aesthetics than a genre in music. I would like to see it sneak back in to pop where I feel some of it came from. It would be amusing to see Pharrel or Timbaland copying someone who copied them. All in all I think that the origins of the idea of skweee is such a large bag to draw from that it naturally generates an output of great diversity. I hope that the universe behind skweee keeps expanding to keep the music fresh.
You’re always active in the gear discussions on nationofskweee.com, run down your studio setup for us.
It’s very humble. Just a couple of cheap synths, PC running Ableton Live and a turntable. I acquire gear rarely because I’m super picky and usually I try to learn about gear which I’m interested in before hand, to understand if it would actually do anything worthwhile for me or just mess up my work flow. This gets most of the “gas” out of me and usually I’m fine with not buying that particular piece I was after.
Finally, do you think skweee could achieve an audience size of dubstep for example? Or is it destined to remain small and underground?
Like I mentioned earlier, I wish it would go another route. I think dubstep and skweee have fundamentally only one thing in common and that is that they both are a part of this whole slow tempo electronic music thing. If skweee turns more into a DJ format electronic music then I don’t see why it couldn’t get bigger, and I feel that there’s already existing a so-called “skweee sound”.
To me that is not the interesting question. I think it can be big in another sense, like when it stays original and good and “live”, and thus affects other styles of music. Strict club/dance music contains a very real expiration date, and it always develops dominant characteristics so that it’s not enjoyable to create. In conclusion, let’s just hope that DJ skills will be the next big thing.
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