Hortlax Cobra is John Eriksson from Peter Bjorn and John (with some help from Pontus Berghe of Thieves Like Us) and Night Shift comes out on June 5th. It's a nice little album that alternates between modern electronic pop and old-school synth experimentation, all sounding suitably wonky and hooky at the same time. The best songs sound like his PB and J contributions, only a little weirder and more influenced by Giorgio Moroder, Jan Hammer, and oddly, Van Halen. The album sounded so good that we got in touch with him and asked for a Poplist. First, let's check out a track from the album:
Five songs you should listen to straight after you have listened to Hortlax Cobra's Night Shift.
1. Harry Belafonte - "Day-O! (Banana Boat Song)"
The perfect song for your mind after a dizzy night with Hortlax Cobra. Some people might think this track sucks, but I don't think so. I had a DJ-gig at a club in Milano (Italy) after a long day of recording stuff for the Night Shift -album and I started my DJ-set with this tune. Pontus (the co-producer) was in the audience and when he heard the beginning of the "Banana Boat" song his face took on a very tense and worried look. But the Italians liked it and the only thing the promoter said was: Louder! Louder!!!
2. Velvet Underground - "Sunday Morning"
After having your ears massaged by Harry B you are ready to wake up and smell the past. It's a little bit remarkable, I haven't thought about this fantastic song for a long while but when I listen to it now I am surprised how the lyrics are in sort of the same zone as the lyrics on the Hortlax Cobra album. It's actually a bit spooky. It feels like it is the missing last song of the album (after the "Banana Boat" song).
3. Starlight Serenaders - "Jean Michel Starre"
This is a track from an EP that our artist collective Ingrid will release this spring. I don't know why but I like this very much. I have always been an instrumental kind of listener. After working all day (or night) I can not listen to music with lyrics in it.And I can't listen to music with vocals when I'm eating either. I actually hate it when restaurants plays music. I think the sound of a restaurant should be the people in it and I love to sit down in a joint when they have just opened and listen to the eatery slowly come to life. Music makes the food taste bad. I just wanted to say that.
4. Van Halen - "Sunday Afternoon in the Park"
If this is the day that Velvet Underground sings about then you could spend the afternoon in a park with the rhythm section from Van Halen. I really dug this album (Fair Warning) when I was a kid but I never understood what kind of instrument they were using on this track. I asked my father (who is a guitarist) but he had no idea. To me it sounded like something creepy and dripping and the album art for that record was really scary and I guess that made this sound even more nasty. Today I know how to produce such a bass sound, but I'm still a bit frightened by it. And I think that the feeling I had when I heard this song as a boy while looking at the album art is one of the most magical things about recorded music. I also loved that the Van Halen track was sort of a skit. A short song leading up to something else and that is what I will take advantage of right now.
5. KXP - "18 Hours (of Love)"
A great track from a great Finnish band. Like our new artist collective (Ingrid) there seems to be something similar going on in Finland.
Musicians from "KXP" plays together in another great live band called "Circle" and another member in that band plays together in a third band and so on. There is nothing new with collectives but I understand the beauty of it now. You get so much energy from each other and instead of sitting alone in a cellar and playing sad songs on a piano or painting a sad cat you can now share your thoughts about that sad song or that sad cat with other sad Swedish or American artists. Together we become stronger and at the same time less anal and that is really positive. We have a lot of big ideas and I think this is the beginning of something huge. Some collectives ends up with a big fight but if that happens (knock on wood) we will make sure to document that in the best possible type of media.