Technology has simultaneously changed everything and nothing when it comes to music, according to Swedish duo BC Unidos. Its founders Markus Krunegård and Patrik Berger feel that the internet’s main role has simply been to diversify the delivery of creativity. “You kind of get the same amount of inspiration by taking a walk around the block as if you spend a day scanning the internet. It’s the same but different.” Then again, they say, “there is so much potential in a connected world.”
Much of that potential concerns the ability to connect with a diverse range of collaborators, which is an important part of the creation process for BC Unidos. At its very core, the group comprises Krunegård and Berger—who has logged impressive production and writing credits on tracks like Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” and Icona Pop’s “I Love It.” But in truth, the project extends well beyond just the two of them to include a large network of talented collaborators. Take BC Unidos’s début EP Bicycle, for example, which includes songs featuring the likes of Santigold, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Charli XCX.
“We come from a socialistic country and were brought up [to value collaboration],” Berger explains. “Why not adapt that approach to music? BC Unidos is a like a small village or community, where everybody chips in and we help each other out.” It is for this reason, he says, that the duo is always searching for new musical partners and ways to innovate when it comes to their sound. “We’re constantly working on new stuff and looking for new collaborators and influences. Right now we’re a bit obsessed with a few obscure artists from the avant-garde scene of the 1980’s.”
Berger and Krunegård first met some years ago in Stockholm and, in many ways, their shared hunger for creative exploration is what really cemented their friendship early on. “I played the organ in a blues cover band at Katalin in Uppsala,” Krunegård recalls. “I had just learned that it sounds dissonant and cool if you hit the keys next to each other, so I did that all the time. Patrik was in the audience and after the show he said, ‘You played ok.’ Since then, we have been friends.”
Many years later their paths would cross again creatively and the pair would realize that they shared a similar desire for musical experimentation. “It was like finding a treasure,” Krunegård says. “Making music can be kind of lonely, but working with different people in different places is fun. That’s pretty much what we do now—BC is the umbrella under which we release our stuff. You could say that BC is Patrik and me; Unidos is all our fab friends that we work with.”
This spirit of collaboration and experimentation runs right throughout the songs on Bicycle—from the heavy bass line of the title track to the emotive flickering of Carly Rae Jepsen’s pop-infused “Trouble in the Streets.” The upcoming release of their début album promises to deliver similarly unexpected and boundary-pushing tracks. Though you can rest assured that no two songs will sound quite the same—because despite their wealth of combined experience, Berger and Krunegård are also united by a common quest for newness.
“I would say neither of us wants to do anything twice,” Berger says of their creative drive. “In that sense, our prior projects help us to know what we don’t want to do. But really every day is new. [Each project is] different and you feel like a beginner every time.” As BC Unidos searches for new collaborators to expand their musical family, then, and runs through the material they’ve recorded so far for their spring album release, we can’t help but feel buoyed by the fresh perspective they are lending to the contemporary soundscape.
Bicycle is out now.