Curated by Norwegian maverick DJ Sotofett, the Sex Tags Mania label and its sub labels Wania, Sex Tags UFO and Sex Tags Amfibia are starting to garner a healthy amount of attention with a punk attitude that is equal parts commitment to quality and sense of humour, drawing on a wealth of talent primarily from Scandinavia to broadcast talent otherwise unappreciated in Western and Southern Europe and beyond.
Indeed it’s quite hard for Scandinavian electronic music phenomena to break beyond their source springs, with an exception being the fleeting attention that Skweee enjoyed some years back. Take a listen to the latest Sex Tags emission on the UFO imprint, and it’s not hard to hear whispers of that electro-funk indebted trend in this slickly executed disco pressure. That’s not to say this music is cartoonish in the way that Skweee is; far from it. However there was a unique warmth and richness in sound that defined artists such as Eero Johannes apart from other beat-oriented funkers, where their music sounded innately friendly in comparison to the moodier edges of other parts of Europe.
Here, we have two artists with equally cryptic backgrounds delivering that same heartfelt embrace in their respective tracks, albeit communicated through a different strain of electronic music. Kong Oscar (seemingly comprised of a duo made up of Iben and PE) have previously surfaced on Sex Tags and their inclusion here wastes no time in laying down the law with an uptemo disco rhythm decorated in endearing bleeps and perfectly rendered 70s dub effects. This is in no way music that reinvents the wheel, but rather music that knows the joy of watching a wheel with purposeful kinks roll messily down the road. By the time the gentle acid line comes trickling in, K.O have your heart in their hands with nothing more than a tried-and-tested groove formula, which speaks volumes for how well they can craft a disco cut.
DJ Candle In The Wind is quite possibly from Finland, and records more experimental music as Vilunki 3000 among other pseudonyms. With “Hussi Dise” he has wisely placed the synths at the front of his music, with a thick lead hook slipping in and out of the bass register to sometimes take the lead in the midrange. As further arpeggios feed in the mix, psychedelic qualities of the music reveal themselves in the kind of coy, unpretentious manner Larry Levan captured with his renegade mixing all those years ago. As if there wasn’t enough passion already, not least after the K.O track, the icing on the cake comes from a sweet guitar line that captures something of Indian rock music in its sonic qualities, and hence another fully realised and self-assured killer is born.
1. Kong Oscar – Go!
2. DJ Candle In The Wind – Huusi Dise