The name Salax Peep Show may not have registered on your radar just yet but its two protagonists Axel Boman and Petter will no doubt already be a part of your house and techno lexicon. Coming to prominence via his incredible Holy Love EP last year on DJ Koze’s Pampa label, Axel Boman has since then mostly been turning up on label samplers and providing remixes for other artists. If it seems like he hasn’t been capitalizing on the good press a Pampa release can generate that’s because he has been hard at work getting the Studio Barnhus label up and running with his partners Petter and Kornél Kovács. Those of you at all familiar with the Border Community label with have no trouble placing Petter, whose “Some Polyphony” track off the EP of the same name was one of the imprint’s crowning jewels, an undisputed anthem from 2006 that never failed to set a dance floor alight. Together the pair have more recently been collaborating as Salax Peep Show, so far turning out a remix for Stuffa, which featured on DJ T.’s Fabric mix, though they have much more planned for the project including live shows and forthcoming featured releases. LWE tracked down the elusive duo and tore them away from a vodka and darts tournament at their local bar in Stockholm just long enough to pry out some irreverent, informative and at times down right inane answers from two personalities who make a serious point of not taking themselves too seriously. They also provided us with our 88th exclusive podcast which is a wide ranging excursion as playful and off the wall as the two characters who created it.
LWE Podcast 88: Salax Peep Show (72:00)
01. Stuffa, “A Million Secrets” (Salax Peep Show Remix) [Trunkfunk Records]
02. Aphex Twin,”untitled” (Kosi’s Steffex Twin Edit) [white*]
03. Hizatron, “Von Glooperstein” [Fat City Records]
04. Kenton Slash Demon, “Daemon” (Axel Boman Epic Remix) [Tartelet Records]
05. Switchblade Sisters, “U Love My Music” [Different Drummer]
06. STL, “Something Is Raw” [Something Records]
07. Mr. Fingers, “Washing Machine” (Swag’s Ariston Edit) [Harmless]
08. Axel Boman, “Europa” [Studio Barnhus]
09. Gene Farris, “Chez La House” [Force Inc. Music Works]
10. Jichael Mackson, “Freitag Abend” [Musique Risquée]
11. Rhythm & Sound ft. Paul St. Hilaire, “Free For All” (Soundstream Remix) [Burial Mix]
12. Vera, “Lover and Demons” [Oslo]
13. Smith N Hack, “Falling Stars” [Smith N Hack]
14. Montagskino, “Fear & Loathing In Der Kleinraumdisko” [All You Can Beat]
15. Ex-Pylon, “Hupiter” [Studio Barnhus*]
* denotes tracks which, as of the time of publishing, are unreleased
Axel, you really only came to the wider attention of everyone when you dropped the Holy Love release on Pampa. You had already had a couple of releases for Ourvision, though. Tell us about the unknown years of Axel Boman.
Axel: Ah well, the usual story. Trained chef goes to art college and ends up making music. Cooking is the key to everything! I was always DJing though, always fulfilling my need for attention and control at the same time.
And how did that Pampa release come about? Were you sending through things to Koze or did he hear about you through other channels?
Axel: Koze came to Stockholm to DJ one cold winter’s night many years ago. I was doing the warm-up and we ended up in a small hotel room in Gamla Stan drinking vodka and laughing. I dropped him a demo before I puked out of the hotel window.
What can you tell us about Ourvision?
Axel: Ourvision is run by these three fantastic Swedish dudes, two of whom are based in Barcelona since a while back. They liked my music and they were also pretty much the only ones who had heard my music. I was a shy guy making tunes. Took me years to get confident enough to play them to people.
You have released almost everything you’ve done on Ourvision. Is this to help push the label or do you also want to release on other labels
just as much?
Axel: I love Ourvision. Good people, good vibes. That’s the most important thing. And they seem to like me too.
What is the Swedish community of producers and DJs you are friends with like?
Axel: In Stockholm (and Sweden in general I think) I know pretty much everybody who makes “dance music.” We all play each other’s stuff and are good friends. People like the Aniara crew in Gothenburg, Skudge and Harald Björk are really close to us at Studio Barnhus (which is the studio/label/DJ-crew I have together with Petter and Kornél Kovács).
Tell us about the Salax Peep Show project that you and Petter do.
Axel & Petter: Sometimes we light candles in the studio, paint the floors with pentagrams and pray to the Swedish god of house, Jesper Dahlbäck, through our machines. The result is often stunning. But it takes an extreme amount of energy to do it so we only do it one time every third month, not to anger the god. We have some magic remixes and some spectacular tracks on the way. We are extra proud of a remix we did for Hivern Disc. Hope it comes out.
Is there a particular mission statement that you guys have for the project?
Axel & Petter: No. But one might detect a small protest against typical arrangements and mixing.
And will you be playing live shows?
Axel & Petter: Yes! We are rehearsing this “live dancehall set.” I think we need a hard edged vocal talent for that session though. We are on the lookout for Finnish toasters and big butt dancers, all genders. Hopefully it will result in a bestselling album, top of the pops-stylee.
How do you guys work together? Do you own similar equipment or do you focus on using one person’s studio?
Axel & Petter: We focus on one person’s studio, but since we sit next to each other it’s not that strange. We also try to cook food while we make music, so that we have motivation going. Once we finish the music, we can eat. It’s a delicious double edged sword.
How did you first meet?
Axel & Petter: We knew about each other since quite some time back. But I think I initiated contact with Petter when I saw him at this bar in Stockholm where I was playing. I put on one of his tunes and he came over. After that we started DJing together all the time, mixing Beach Boys with Masta Ace and stuff like that.
And what was it for each of you that got you interested in DJing and producing?
Petter: I did it because I could, now I’m not so sure anymore.
Petter, it’s been a little while since you’ve been releasing. What have you been up to with music and in other aspects of life?
Petter: Not much. Except for forming Sweden’s #1 sound system, Studio Barnhus, and watching YouTube.
Most people know you for your incredible “Some Polyphony” track on Border Community. What can you tell us about the making of the track? What was influencing you at the time of you making it?
Petter: I can tell you two super-cliché things about that track: it took me two minutes to come up with the bass line and I was living in Berlin.
Axel, I remember seeing you at the RBMA last year. How was the experience for you? Did it help with any particular aspects of what you do or was it just generally inspiring?
Axel: It was super fantastic and scary, I guess it got more attention than any other DJ gig I’ve done before that. And Jesse Rose was in the crowd and he put me on the line-up to his last party at Panorama Bar in Berlin, which was great! Cheers RBMA!
Also tell us about the locked grooves album you put out last year.
Axel: It was part of my final exhibition on the master program at the Valand School of Fine Arts. Me, Petter and Kornél performed this locked groove gig for the vernissage. The record was never meant to be sold, only given away to people I met, but in Barcelona I played with Dixon and he asked me if he could sell it in his Innervisions web-store. I thought about it and it sounded cool to have that as the only place one could buy it. It’s not really super functional dance loops but they are very beautiful, to me anyways.
For both of you, judging by your press pics I’ve seen and your bios, you seem to be very fun minded, not the usual, serious, bad-sunglasses-wearing DJ’s people usually see. What is your general outlook and approach to what you do?
Axel: Everything we do in Studio Barnhus and with Salax Peep Show is a direct reflection of our personalities. It’s not a very thought out plan, we just do. And we like to be drunk. Biz Markie for president!
What can you tell us about the mix that you’ve put together for us?
Axel & Petter: We did it one night at Morfar Ginko in Stockholm, the bar we hang out at every night. Red wine, dancing and music we really like. Not too planned, but full of love! If you ever go to Stockholm come visit us there. Chances are around 75% that you will see us at the bar or behind the decks at all times.
And what can we expect from each of you and from Salax Peep Show over the next year?
Axel: New fantastic stuff on Sudio Barnhus! We have specials beyond belief there! Salax Peep Show remixes for James Teej and Eim Ick. I also have a teaser EP from the album I’m releasing on Glass Table coming soon. And remixes everywhere… and oh yeah, my EP for Studio Barnhus!
And please feel free to add anything else that you may feel is relevant or irrelevant too.
Watch out for the next Studio Barnhus release: Ex-Pylon’s Hammerfest EP, it really is the bomb! And check out the (soon finished) website, it’s looking fab! God bless all… xoxo.