Skweee music, a genre of mid tempo electronic funk music originating from Scandinavia, might be the perfect counterpoint to the cough syrup-infused hip hop beats from the dirty South. According to Flogsta Danshall label founder Franz Carlqvist, the name came out of (original Skweee DJ) Daniel Savio’s mouth and ended up in an article, since then it got stuck. It refers to the squeezing of sound, but is also onomatopoetic. Here, I speak to Carlqvist, who I know from growing up in Uppsala, Sweden, on the nature and rise of Skweee.
Magnus Berger: When did you start the label Flogsta Danshall? explain the name (in your words) to someone who didn’t grow up in Uppsala?
Franz Carlqvist: I started the label slowly late 2004. Flogsta is a suburb of Uppsala, Sweden, where I grew up. You can say that Flogsta´s identity is the lack of identity.
MB: Who are some of your artists on the label?
FC: Pavan, Daniel Savio, Beem, Randy Barracuda, Uday, Mesak, Wizards of Dos, Limonious, PJVM, Claws Costeau, The Munchies, Rigas den andre, Maja Hedin, Mangrove, Vakttornet, EDMX, Wankers United, Analog Jones, Metske, Eero Johannes, Spartan Lover, V.C., Avanti!, Easy, Joxaren, Mrs Qeada and Drums.
MB: Where can you find Skweee recordings and Flogsta Danshall artists?
FC: Online from Bleep or Boomkat. Or visit our friends at these nice shops: Aquarius (San Fransisco), Disc Shop Zero (Tokyo), and the fabulous Snickars Records (Stockholm).
MB: It seems like half of your label consists of graphic artists—there seem to be a strong connection there. Why are so graphic designers into electronic music—or the other way around?
FC: That’s not really true. We have something like 40 artists, and I would say that it’s mostly full time musicians (45%), followed by any office type of jobs (25%). My guess is that it’s about 9% graphic designers, compared to 3% textile-craft teachers and 3% crime journalists. So it’s kind of diverse. But there’s a majority of so-called “creative” jobs. I think the connection is more about creativity in general than graphic designers.
MB: There was a documentary about the Skweee movement that was screened recently in Stockholm. How did that come about, and who was behind it?
FC: It was made by filmmaker Iacopo Patierno from Italy who lived and worked in Stockholm for a while. He really got into our music and followed us around for a year with his camera. He got some help from David Giese (Joxaren).
MB: Where do you see the label and Skweee in general in a few years? Would you like to develop it into something bigger or is the idea to keep it more underground.
FC: I don’t know. I aim for nothing in particular, I’m just releasing what I want to hear myself. So its all depends upon if people will get it or not. I used to think that people would catch up eventually. But I don’t know anymore. However, do check out the two latest LPs: Randy Barracuda & Rigas den Andre.