What better way to celebrate 100 releases than with a handmade box containing soul expanding music!? Höga Nord Rekords have reached an important goal and releases a rare box set containing all 12” from the HNRUK-series plus a new record from Birds, unique for this box. Except Birds, this compilation includes Dark Strands, High Boys, Vox Low, Timothy J. Fairplay, Fontän, Bird Of Paradise, Mythologen, Jamie Paton and Frak. This exclusive handmade box made in Norrmalms kartongfabrik in Stockholm, is a celebration to the Scandinavian Bronze age. You’ll find rock carvings like those on the artwork scattered over the land but mostly near Gothenburg, home of Höga Nord Rekords on the Swedish west coast. Archaeological evidence proves similarities in ornaments and pictures between the Nordic and European Bronze age, just like you find common features in the music released on our label. Though the acts in this compilation box come from all over Europe and beyond, they stem from an obscured and mysterious common source of escapism, purity and creativity.
Mutant techno tracks from Shinoby. Frak delivers a remix of a bizarre brand of Scandinavian techno. It’s a wide array of dancefloor focused analogue mayhem.
It’s a Swedish house thing. Börft boss Jan Zwarre Svensson a.k.a Frak returns to his early project, Villa Åbo, for six deep and rude acid rub downs. Villa Åbo is more than a band name. It is a former bank buliding in Johannishus in South East Sweden which was where Börft Records was founded and where the boss Jan Zwarre Svensson grew up. It was where the original location of Studio Styrka was and where the first important years of recordings by FRAK and Alvars Orkester was done. It was a creative volcano, and also a social meeting point for likeminded, teenage weirdos into electronic music. Villa Abo is the foundation for a lot of stuff still resonating today. FRAK has been active for a long time now releasing tons of records, Alvars Orkester is asleep but about to be awaken, and Villa Abo is the output for his addiction to deeper electronic dance stuff.
FRAK are back on track with this dreamy album with deep dark hypnotic slow rhythmic tracks. This is experimental analog and haunting dancemusic at slow BPMs which gives you a glimpse of Swedish smalltown dystopia in all its glory. The A1 track might give the impression that this is a romantic record and the A side in general will make big city people feel the urge to move to small towns again, but on the B-side it just gets darker and weirder (the smalltown kinda reveals its ugly underbelly) and it all ends with a track that would make the taped nipples fake fetishists in techno city shiver. I could say you need a mask to play this out, but lets not take it that far.
The heavy industrial crunch and rubbery synths of FRAK’s trademark sounds come to Hypercolour with the four track ‘Berga Magic’. The EP comes brimming with raw analogue explorations and delightfully incongruous noise.
A compilation of 4 tracks from 4 different artists, all originally released by Borft 1997 – 1999.
Distorted drums and eerie melodies on this split between Frak and Jack Pattern on Cosmic Pint Glass.
The ninth release on Midligh brings to light Exhausted Modern, the new alias from Layup, the co-founder of Endless Illusion.
“A long time ago, at a festival far, far away, the members of the legendary Borft trio Frak were just going to bed in their tent when something caught their attention. Now, this was well before Frak’s rise to international fame – in fact, this moment was Swedish music history in the making, because what they heard was someone playing a Frak tune. That someone turned out to be Kontra-Musik’s own Ulf Eriksson and once their paths had crossed, there was no turning back. Frak has since released five highly sought after records on Kontra-Musik and Kontra-Musik White Label. When it was time for a 10-year anniversary gathering in Ulf Eriksson’s private garden, Frak of course turned up together with other Kontra artists like TM404 and Rivet. For those present – we few, we happy few – this turned out to be one of the most magical summer nights in living memory. The Swedish word for porch is altan, and so, to honour this wonderful experience of the whole Kontra-Musik family coming together, Frak decided to name their brand new album Altan Gathering. Another great friend of Kontra, Henrik Jonsson aka Porn Sword Tobacco, made the album cover and we wouldn’t have it any other way. His aesthetic choice of tin foil is on point: Listening to Frak is a lot like biting into a fresh falafel wrap without first removing the aluminium foil holding the delicious mess together; it’s mouth-wateringly warm and moist but at the same time intensely harsh and tough to chew. This might seem like a far fetched analogy but if you’ve ever went partying in Kontra-Musik’s home town Malmo you’ll know the feeling. And if you’ve never been to Malmo, well do stop by someday. It seems, when the stars align, the gatherings here can be the stuff both legends and albums are made of.”
Since 1987, Frak have been everyone’s favourite, premier Swedish synthesizer-touching weirdos. Even if most people hadn’t heard of them until 4 years ago. And yet, world of Frak is as long as it is wide. As blue as it is black. As ominous as it is glorious. As dirty as it is hairdryer. Sweet it is as yellow paper As. All of the above is a perfect example of how trying to convey what Frak is in the crass form of words is ultimately fruitless. Here is a double 12” vinyl product from Ultimate Hits featuring eight audio recordings from Frak: three men who have known each other since at least 1987. The sleeve was lovingly hand screen-printed at the studio of House of Traps, and features the colours commonly known as pink and black.
Discos del Quebranto kicks off with acid adventures from the Börft legends, reigniting Styrka studios with 4 jams of twisted techno.
To celebrate Kontra-Musik Records hitting the ten-year mark, founder and label owner Ulf Eriksson has put together a collection of some of our finest releases. This has been a daunting task, for we are happy to announce that we could easily have made several very different compilations that we would have been equally contented with – there are so many superb tracks we had to leave out. This has, however, been a labour of love. Much like the label itself. Eclecticism has always been a lodestar for Ulf Eriksson, as we hope this collection gives testimony to. The label has always been moving freely between techno, house and more experimental sounds. Kontra-Musik intends to show different angels of perspective, not to convert you to a new Religion or Ideology. Being open to a broad variety of sounds and rhythms – judging them not solely by their functionality but rather by their personality – has been the Kontra-Musik way from day one. While it has been a crooked and sometimes exceedingly hard road to follow, we’re hoping to carry on for several years to come. After 10 years, the label still feels meaningful and current to us – in short: it’s still worth it. Kontra-Musik would like to thank everyone – from contributing artists to faithful friends of the label who have supported us all these years. None of this would have been possible without you.
Frak are Björn Isgren, Johan Sturesson and Jan Svensson, a trio of synthesizer lovers from Sweden. The band was formed when Svensson and Isgren’s older sisters were best friends and they introduced their little brothers to each other. Inspired by Severed Heads, DAF, Human League, Devo, Skinny Puppy, the boys began collecting analog equipment and started Studio Styrka. While the band were still in their early teens they released the first FRAK cassette album in 1987 on their own record label Börft. Almost 30 years later, FRAK continue to release their bizarre brand of Scandinavian techno with their debut release on Dark Entries.
Wicked 3 part in the series… slightly dark EBM-tingled techno by Caltrop, Vault, Frak & Heinrich Dressel.
Frak on Lux Rec… Nordic woods are a dangerously primitive place. Fueled with madness and induced delirium Frak land on planet Lux. Three slow, acid numbers with a barbaric, crude attitude. Relentless drums. Fierce, hypnotic synthesizers that get you lost in your own mind. Suddenly sinister, disastrous images populate your consciousness. And then one last strange, twisted wave track. New places, new adventures.
Frak must be amongst the most consistent artists in techno. Realismo delivers three winding, twisting analogue techo tracks, kicking off with ten-minutes of mid tempo, acid-flecked, heads-down freakery, the brilliantly icy, but also strangely intense “Nerve Netting”. “Progressive Lattitude” is a little fuzzier and more distorted, but explores similar sonic territory. Things get more hectic on closer “Major Attack”, which is a typically wild interpretation of acid house with additional razor-sharp electronics.
Midlight’s releases may be relatively sparse, but they’re rarely less than excellent. Here, they wander off in a more robust direction, delivering a pair of twisted, acid-flecked rubs that should please all those who like their house music rough and dystopian. Rarely spotted Swede Peel MD kicks things off with “Calavera”, a pulsating fusion of rolling analogue percussion, warped electronics and heavyweight 303 abuse. Frak surprisingly calm things down a touch on “Rebate”, dipping the tempo for a hypnotic trip through deep-but-sparse acid house territory.
Following on from DJ Stingray’s 2013 Weaponized EP (TSAR001), Swedish vererans Frak Step up for TSAR002, delivering a record of analogue black acid magic.
The timing couldn’t be better for Frak to return to Kontra-Musik with this remarkable synth and acid flavoured release. Machines drifting away is an intriguing piece of music; straightforward and multi-layered; futuristic and old school. The first half of the track molds itself around an ebm-like bassline which seems to be moving through a desolate landscape with hard hitting kicks, claps and drums marching on beside it, while the sky above is filled with the wails of brooding synths. The second part introduces a mean 303-bassline as the intensity of the journey heightens. The sound of an echoing metronome sets the tempo at the beginning, soon to be joined by heavy kicks and toms. Several analogue synths then joins in; bending, distorting and moving through the soundscape, almost battling for space. Everything is kept on the right path, though, thanks to an ingenious use of hi-hats – a trademark trick and treat from Frak.