Scandinavian Icy tunes anyone?


By Bruno Gorostiaga

Plej (pronounced ‘Play’) is an electronic music duo from Gothenburg in Sweden formed by Arvid and Erik Niklasson in 2001, and currently widely heard around Europe. They presented a proposal with gentle cold rhythms in which after a few minutes of listening, you can definitely recognize the distinctive glacial sound present in most Nordic groups. Plej is characterized by a playful, soft, melodic and experimental approach to house music. A Soft Club orientated house that opens up to experimental Deep House that incorporates melodies and minimal but on-the-spot vocals. Their naturally unfurling music also dips into more experimental micro-house territory, a style they endearingly refer to it as small house. The brothers cite the likes of Herbert, Forcetracks and Isolee as inspiration, outlining the desire to create music that is interesting and unpredictable.

Plej originally got noticed when that released their own a very limited edition that came as a 12-inch single in January 2001 with Arvid?s music on one side and Erik?s (Eerik) on the other. This was a very limited version (if you own one you have one per-cent of the edition). Although the Plej started as a label for the brothers to release their material, they soon realized that they had more fun making music than they did trying to get people to buy it. So, the label name became the brand and more music was made.

Since then, they’ve found home at Exceptional records and released Electronic Music from the Swedish Left Coast in 2003. The album achieved cult status via word of mouth and over the years has proved to be a timeless classic. Their unique take on electronic music – incorporating lush atmospherics, warm instrumentation and sophisticated musicality ? has won over dance connoisseurs and casual music lovers alike.

In August 2008 they released their second album called Home Is Where You Heart Was, an organic progression from their debut album, maintaining their distinctive style while adding more live instrumentation. The end result is elegant in execution, naturally balancing these new live sounds with electronic elements and creating an album whose whole is more than the sum of its parts. Home Is Where You Heart Was was crafted with the collaboration of fellow Swede Hird (?Keep you Hird?, ?Moving On? ), who also produced The Knife’s ‘Silent Shout’ and the currently hotter than hot Studio’s ‘West Coast’ album.

If you are in the mood for a relaxing yet funky deep sound with a particular Nordic icy taste, then I highly recommend this Swedish duo. And to wrap this review up, I would like to leave you with one fine example of their music; this is Jabo’s Night Out ? from their album Electronic Music from the Swedish Left Coast:


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