Drummer from Peter Bjorn and John Steps Out With Outer Space Album
Name: Hortlax Cobra
Where they’re from: Stockholm, Sweden
When They Started: 2009
Sounds like: The post-apocalyptic future, when primitive human tribes discover our rusting technology.
Favorite Lyric: [mumbles something unintelligible]
One of the first releases from the Stockholm super-collective INGRID, Hortlax Cobra is the solo project of John Eriksson. He’s the “John” in Swedish indie band Peter Bjorn and John, the group’s drummer and, as it turns out, a formidable producer with a taste for weird and wonderful dance music.
The Hortlax Cobra moniker first appeared in 2009, when Eriksson began to put out a trio of vinyl EPs crammed with odd instrumental tone poems, accompanied by a series strange little videos ranging from stop-motion footage of a man’s feet as he walks down the street to a video loop of a woman begin photographed on the beach. This older material is pretty “out there.” But remember, we’re talking about a guy who composes experimental music for xylophone trio, so it’s not really as out-there as it could be.
Since then, the project has taken a new kind of shape. Night Shift, the new Hortlax Cobra album out since June 4, is full of dusty sounds, altered vocals and warm blankets of distortion. Eriksson says he recorded the sounds of the album through broken amplifiers and old pedals. As a result, it’s near impossible to tell which sounds are electronic and which come from “real” instruments; it’s all one pleasant, hazy mash. And while there’s some healthy nostalgia present, in that the beats and bass-lines contain plenty of references to ‘80s synth-pop, the music somehow manages to sound fresh and contemporary through the cloud of space dust.
To check it out for yourself, give a listen to this sampler mixtape from Night Shift: