05 March 2013


We first blogged about this enigmatic Swedish pair in August last year after the duo gained a wave of positive feedback from The Guardian, Discobelle and us at Owl By Night, in relation to their rambunctious pop stormer "No! No! No!". Subsequently this then resulted in a slot on H&M's international playlists and features with Sweden's P3 radio station. Now the Stockholm duo of Erik Lidén and Mattias Axelsson are back and armed with a formidable range of electro-pop stompers. After exchanging emails with Erik Lidén he was kind enough to send us their EP ahead of its official launch in March and this latest collection is just what we had hoped for and envisaged. We last stated that Materikaa deliver "hypnotic blends" and "engulfing diverse sounds" and this EP is a brilliant continuation of those traits.

What we initially noticed is that the kaleidoscopic mixtures of Materikaa's previous jaunts have been reigned in slightly, stepping towards commercial territory and channelling discordant sounds into a much tighter, efficient package. Materikaa integrate opposing genres through the entire EP highlighting that the duo are not afraid to experiment and play with sounds; indeed, each track is executed with a fiery panache that reverts back to their electro genes. Title number "No Borders" is a frenetic affair of howling vocal harmonies, chanting Nordic-twinged choruses and a slithering bass line. It is like Foals and BIGkids collided together; a mangled art-form fusing indie, dance and eclectic pop sneezes which gives the record a boost of energy from the offset. There is a dominant sense of musical fluidity; each track percolates gently into the next yet their is no repetition of sound or languorous patterns. "Pick Up Lines" is a dependable venture that efficiently plods along with mottled space beats and humdrum vocal streams whilst "Regrets" is an inquisitive scattering of glacial bleeps and animalistic quibbles that bounces along with typical pop energy. 

Towards to the end of the EP we are treated to contrasting songs. The cosmological sprinkles of noise and expansive synth plateaus on "Into You", a song full of momentous gasps and intriguing facets highlights a mellower side to Materikaa dominated by thoughtfulness and compassion for high-end productions whilst feisty electro-centric joint "Hearts Keep Beating" throttles schizophrenic sound manipulations down your ears and brings you firmly back to where we started; Distinctive, characterful and glossy Scandinavian music. Materikaa's style of music. There is no doubting that Erik and Mattias have produced one of the best records of the year so far and we cannot wait to hear more material from these fantastic Swedes.

Grab a copy of Materikaa's EP from iTunes and check some of the tracks and their previews below. Then follow the duo on Facebook and Twitter.




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