“The Skull Defekts were a machine,” writes longtime member Joachim Nordwall. “At times our music made time stop for me, and I had deeply life-changing situations playing our music. Music I had only dreamt about making. We were a band I would have loved to be a fan of.”
There’s a reason why he’s using the word were there; despite the fact that Nordwall “felt like we were forever,” The Skull Defekts just released their final record on Thrill Jockey, a self-titled effort that brings the band to a close on a high note. Or as Nordwall puts it, “It holds many echoes of our history but it is music that is present and now, and it’s hopeful in its own darkness.”
With that in mind, along with Nordwall’s many years of running the crucial Gothenburg label iDEAL Recordings, we asked the Skull Defekts co-founder to make us a mixtape of underground Scandinavian music. Stream it in full via Spotify below, right alongside his track-by-track commentary and a look at all the recordings that led up to this….
RUNE LINDBLAD – “MÅNENS DÖD (DEATH OF THE MOON)”
One of the true electronic pioneers. Lindblad started composing in 1953 and did a couple hundred recordings during his lifetime. He passed away in 1991.
BRAINBOMBS – “JACK THE RIPPER LOVER”
Legends, and the dirtiest band in our clean country. This was their first 7” and it blew my mind when I heard it as a teenager, of course.
FIRE! – “IF I TOO YOUR HAND…”
Mats Gustafsson on sax and stuff, Johan Berthling on bass, and Andreas Werliin on drums. A killer trio.
DOG LIFE – “NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT”
A free jazz explosion! Anna Högberg on sax, and drums by Mårten Magnefors and Finn Loxbo. Excellent!!!
ALTAR OF FLIES – “NERVOUS LOOPS”
Deep stuff from AoF, who is based in remote Mjölby. The man has released tons of records and cassettes, and is one of the best live acts in the scene.
CHRISTINE ÖDLUND – “FOREST”
Visual/sound artist Ödlund often uses nature as her source of inspiration, as well as the esoteric and occult.
NEUTRAL – “REPA”
Dan Johansson and Sofie Herner make dull, dark, bent pop that would fit well in the Siltbreeze catalogue. Underground superstars.
VANLIGT FOLK – “KANSKE EN BODY DUB”
Strange and excellent trio that bring out the absolute best from body and dub. Hot live act too!!!
BJ NILSEN – “ROUGH GRAZING”
Nilsen is a field recordist, noise maker, and dub lover. This track is from his latest album, which is, as always, great.
PEDER MANNERFELT – “TEXAS IS THE REASON”
Great new sounds from this Stockholm producer. He used to have an excellent beard, too.
ELLEN ARKBRO – “FOR ORGAN AND BRASS”
One of last year’s highlights was the debut album by this composer. A Swedish take on what La Monte Young and those guys were doing in the ’60s. A relevant, exciting recording.