For almost a decade, Kornel Kovacs has been releasing music through Studio Barnhus. Whether as as a member of the label’s titular founding trio or on his own, he has set a standard of quality with lush, understated beats that have helped dictate the Stockholm scene since the label’s inception. ‘Marathon’, the nearly title track from his forthcoming album, Stockholm Marathon, continues to elevate the level of excellence that has come to be expected from the Swedish producer.
A retro baseline clicks into sticky hi-hat snaps before a fuzzy worrible of high telephone lines distorts into the upper register. It works as a disconnection from the very technology that has become emblematic of electronic beats that dominate the popular scene, instead sending listeners into the underground.
This sweaty steamroom calls to the foundations of the European electronic scene, and, here, form finds intimacy, bringing a feeling of separate togetherness to the long, cold winter nights. The production is minimal and Kovacs lets the voices of Rebecca & Fiona slowly fill the scene.
“I’m falling in love / You’ve got me moving / Love / You’ve got me spinning around / You’ve got me spinning,” intone the fellow Swedish dance music figures. In lesser hands, these words may come off as banal, a pantomime of a scene that once was, but has disappeared into woots of “Yolo” and cut off t-shirts. Instead, Kovacs in combination with Rebecca & Fiona are able to return to the dreamy haze of their origins, “The television kept on claiming I could get there without dreaming/Could I move my mind and my body like I moved you?” sing the duo.
On ‘Marathon’, retro vibes, knowledge of history, and attention to detail help deliver a track that is an understated call to the roots of the European electronic scene. Kovacs delivers class.