1. Lose Control
2. Love Is Free feat. Maluca
3. Got To Work It Out
4. Set Me Free
5. Tell You (Today)
“After touring a lot with the last record, I felt like I wanted to make music again. But I had no idea about what I wanted to do, so I started hanging out with Christian.
Christian was such an inspiration to be around. He was someone who always had lots of great music to listen to. So we hung out, listening to and talking about music, and then he started playing me stuff that he had been working on lately. He had put the music on hold for a few years while studying textiles at Handarbetets Vänner in Djurgården, but now he was pumped again. And he had done so much great stuff!
It was such a trip to hear everything he had done. At the time he was a 51-year old man sitting in his little basement studio, putting together stuff which, to me, sounded more modern than…well, most things I had heard in a long time. So curious. And that fantastic blend…that was his biggest strength, putting together stuff, samples and sound – building collages.
Among the first things he played me was the song that has now become “Love is Free”. I was so incredibly happy and excited. So we started making music without really knowing what is was going to become.
The great thing when I started showing up in his basement was always being met by Christian all excited in front of the computer: “Listen to this thing I found on Spotify!” You would expect him to be digging through old records, but that was not the case. He was on Youtube and Spotify, making playlists and ripping things he wanted to sample. He was on fire: “You can find anything on Youtube!” Being around that was so refreshing and fun. It was impossible to stay away.
About a year before Christian passed away, I started thinking that I probably needed to get some help to be able to finish the project. Christian had so many ideas, and he also got tired of things in a second. So one song could become four songs in a week, or he would pitch up a song to a completely different key, suddenly making it a completely different genre. Additionally, we needed someone who could play all the things Christian heard in his head.
I asked Markus Jägerstedt if he wanted to join. Markus has played with me for many years. He works with me to create my live shows, and he also releases his own records with a band named Monster & Machine. He is curious in a very unusual way, and I like his sense of sound.
All three of us started meeting at Christian’s. We eventually moved the project to Markus’ Rotwang Studios, and started recording stuff for real, adding vocals and finishing the writing of the songs. With Markus, it became more synth-based; his way of making sounds came in and stirred the pot. And the harmonics became better and more lively.
Basically every song started with Christian’s beats, but then Markus and Christian sampled each other, recorded stuff, sent things back and forth and built on each other’s ideas. Then we met in the studio and discussed arrangements, tried new ideas, or recorded vocals.
The more we kept going, the more it felt like a collaboration. It’s really always been like that working with Christian. Also, I guess I’ve always longed to be in a band, not just on my own. It was me who convinced them that we should release the music as a band.
Christian hit a new stride as well when Markus joined. I think he really enjoyed hearing his music with a new sound and was inspired by that. The music became harder, it was like he could go for it more. I can picture him jumping up, dancing and screaming into a big air conditioner when Markus put arpeggio synths on “Set Me Free”.
Freedom is a reoccurring theme on the record. Freedom, carton drums and sweat.
All three of us grew up on dance music of different kinds, I would say that was the source of inspiration. Making a collage to dance to. I thought a lot about what I would want to play live.
I don’t think our idea behind the project has changed since Christian passed away, but of course, I have asked myself a lot of questions during the process. It is a very peculiar situation, finishing something when someone is no longer around.
Christian wasn’t a producer in the way that he took responsibility and finished things — he was more an endless fountain of ideas. You never knew what you would get with him. He always did things on his own terms, he couldn’t do it any other way. It was all on feeling, all on desire.
How do you relate to this voice, picturing what it might say, but never really knowing for sure? And what happens when you then release the music? This isn’t his memorial record, it’s a record we had a lot of fun making. And he was very much alive, in love with his life, and he wanted to make more music.
When we did the record, I think we all tried to expand our ideas about what kind of music we could do, but for me it was also about who I am as a person. I want to dare to let go. You can’t be afraid. Or you can be afraid, but you can’t be afraid of being afraid. When Christian found himself in one of the hardest situations imaginable, I think that became even more relevant. Not on a conscious level, I think, but more like an energy I was forced to embrace and create something out of.
You cannot control life.”
In Robyn’s own words (as told to Lisa Milberg)
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