Clubbers' Decktionary: Skweee
DJ Hobbes guides us through clubbing's myriad genres
Generally mid-to-low-tempo (80-105 bpm), cold, rhythmic electro-funk sub-genre pioneered by a small niche of Scandinavian artists, mostly soloists, using vintage analogue synths and samplers; quick, simple arrangement without too much processing or mixing, allegedly ‘squeezing’ as much juice/sonic interest as possible from the machines. ‘You know that it’s Skweee when you feel that it’s Skweee’ (Wikipedia)
Origins Originally part of Grammy-award-winning production outfit Hundarna Fran Soder, Stockholm’s Daniel Savio (aka Kool DJ Dust) coined the term, after Pavan (aka Limonious) produced the first recordings and released them on 7” vinyl via his Flogsta Danshall label. Savio was inspired mainly by hip hop, but recognised electro, house and techno shared common soul, funk, jazz and disco samples with hip hop and was thus naturally inclined to develop an electronic style at a lower tempo. Pavan wanted to call the music Prim (for Primitive) but Finnish DJ Randy Barracuda thought Skweee was better. He then invited Savio and Pavan to DJ at a party in Helsinki, alongside Mesak and some other Finns, and the Swedish-Finnish sound of Skweee was officially born.
Key figures Flogsta Danshall and Finland’s Harmönia are the main labels, with the aforementioned artists at the forefront, followed by relative newcomers dødop in Norway, Mazout in Paris and Donky Pitch in the UK. Sweden’s Eero Johannes (Planet Mu) is famed for being a party animal as well as an accomplished producer with a very delicate touch. Mother North, Easy & The Center Of The Universe, BEEM, Coco Bryce and VC are among the latest wave, while British dubstep producers Rusko, Joker, Rustie, Gemmy and Jamie Vexd have all taken a cue from Skweee.
Glasgow maestro Ben Butler & Mousepad is your local Skweee practitioner extraordinaire and helped enormously in the research for this feature (cheers, Joe!).