Photo: Press (Pär Grindvik)
Pär Grindvik is a force to be reckoned with. His earliest releases, some of which where produced in tandem with fellow Swede Hardcell, still hold up as punishing Loop Techno bangers for peak time hours. Over the years however, the Stockholm LTD owner has refined his musical approach, incorporating Electro, IDM and Ambient influences in his work. His contribution to our Groove podcast however is a veritable tour de force – over 40 tracks crammed into an hour of sonic outbursts.
Last year, you have released your debut album Isle Of Real. How did you approach that album and which ideas informed it?
Writing Isle Of Real included a great deal of reflection on the world at that time, political winds and such that occupied my thoughts. Even though I’m still the same person today, I had no clue what to expect next back then. Here we are a year and a half later, the world is a totally different place, partly crazier but also full of hope. Yeah, I do feel hope today, a different kind of hope, that things really can change for the better. Something happened since I wrote that album that is way more important to me than anything else. We got a gender revolution!
In the past, you have frequently collaborated with other producers for release, from Hardcell to Drumcode boss Adam Beyer. What’s important for you when you share a studio with someone else?
It’s always comes along differently, some collaborations just happen naturally and sometimes you are super eager to work with someone and nothing comes out of it. The main thing for me at least is that I have to feel compatible to be carried away. Making music for me is to let go, to really experience the excitement. I love the feeling of euphoria when the song you’re working on becomes the best thing that you ever heard, even if it’s just for a second. I need to be comfortable sharing that feeling with the person that I’m writing with.
The Game, your recent digital release, was leaning heavily towards Electro. What’s your connection with the genre?
One of the first records that I got as a kid was the soundtrack to Break Dance The Movie. The last track on that record is a track by Ice T and Chris „The Glove“ Taylor, „Reckless“. That was the first „electro“ track I ever heard and still is one of my favorites. There’s really no official pressing of that track except for that compilation but every now and then you can find it as a full side bootleg, I buy it every time I find one. Anyhow, to make the story short, a big part of my record collection consists of electro records. I ran a record store in the late 90’s with techno and electro as the specialty and while techno became my profession, playing electro is still kind of my hobby.
Your label Stockholm LTD celebrated its 15th birthday this year. How has running a label changed in the past one and a half decade. Vinyl records for example have seen a boom in recent years, however that also brought about its problems.
We didn’t understand what we had in the beginning to be honest, selling records, even as a small underground label wasn’t a big task. The focus was more on how to make your label as cool as your favorite labels. However, it was hard to know what happened to the releases you made, at least as a Swedish label, there wasn’t really any way to get the word on the street from the rest of the world. Nowadays it’s the opposite, it’s way more important to take care of your label and make sure that it reaches out in the way you want it to, even more important than sales. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a bad thing though. I think that most small labels have been taking this part a bit too lightly. It’s not your label that’s working for you to get you gigs. No, It should be you taking good care of your label to make it something really special.
In summer, you reported a sudden hearing loss. What had happened and which measures do you take nowadays to prevent damage to your hearing while on tour?
I lost the hearing on one ear while playing, it actually happened to me before but not as severely as this time. I got super dizzy and started to puke when I got back to the hotel. Afterwards, any exposure to sounds was super painful and it took a good two months before I was back in a club again. I can’t really tell what caused it but somehow I think it was connected to my overall condition, my body said „no thanks“. Luckily most of the hearing is back to what it used to be, although I still have a rattling sound on my left ear and a different kind of tinnitus that I didn’t have before this happened. I was born with some permanent hearing loss and I was really scared that I could have damaged it for life this summer. I’m now wearing earplugs while playing or when I’m anywhere close to a venue, I never really worked with loud levels in the studio so it’s mainly when I’m at gigs at the weekend that I use protection.
Your contribution to our Groove podcast comprises an impressive 43 tracks. What was your idea behind it?
To include as much as I could really, it become almost like a college, some tracks I just use as glue and color on top. I really like the recording myself!
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks in the near future and what are your plans as a producer and label owner?
I’m traveling quite a bit over Christmas and New Year, playing Stuttgart on Christmas day and finishing off the year in Buenos Aires and San Paulo. For Stockholm LTD, we will have a brilliant vinyl-only EP from Jesper Dahlback & Nima Khak out this week (one of the tracks is in the mix btw), followed by the debut EP by French duo Laval in January. I have a few new releases in the making myself, such as a contribution to In Death’s Dream Kingdom a great compilation that is coming out on Houndstooth (that track is also in the mix). I’m also working together with Peder Mannerfelt, we’re producing some super exciting artists at the moment. And yes, there will special things to celebrate Stockholm LTD fifteen, we’re super excited for next year
Stream: Pär Grindvik – Groove Podcast 138
01. Sissel Wincent – Distance As Distance
02. Peder Mannerfelt – First Day
03. Johnny Klimek & Blixa Bargeld – Tasting Notes (Regis Edit)
04. Brother From Another Planet – Chronicles
05. A Blackman A Blackman And Another Blackman – I Believe
06. The Persuader & Nima Khak – System Penetration
07. Mistaken Identity – Mindset
08. Shlomo & AWB – Blind
09. Simon Cell – Away From Keyboard
10. Peverelist – Brinks And Limits
11. Lee Gamble – Inta Center
12. Lanark Artefax – Styx
13. Peverelist – Wire Frames
14. Pinch – Walking With Shadows
15. Hodge – Beneath Two Moons
16. Sissel Wincent – Cyniclawav
17. Pär Grindvik – Magnolia
18. Vakula – Modulation 02
19. Inigo Kennedy & Oscar Mulero – Catharsis
20. Gestures, for 5.1 Surround Sound – It Begins With Colors
21. Manni Dee – Estrangement Between
22. Cassegrain – Task
23. Peder Mannerfelt – Sectional Healing
24. M.E.S.H. – Nemorum Incola
25. Regis – New Temptation
26. Blawan – 993
27. Mirko Müller – In Love With You
28. Jules Venturini – Flying Kites
29. Maurice Donovan – Call My Name
30. Peverelist – Under Clearing Skies
31. Population One – Rush Hour (20th Anniversary Mix)
32. Peter Van Hosen – Fox Tactics
33. Cassegrain – Blood Distributed as Pure Color
34. Black knight – Moody
35. Simon Haydo – Procession
36. Isabella – Dicey Takes Its Form
37. M.E.S.H. – Ihnaemiauimx
38. Jega – FZ Requiem
39. Par Grindvik – Wall to Wall
40. Klara Lewis – 49th Hour
41. Pär Grindvik – Speaking Their Minds
42. Onyx – S.O.S
43. Sissel Wincent – Still Undetermined