A true forerunner of the global scene, Sweden’s relationship with techno is as extensive as it is impressive. From Abdulla Rashim and his shadowy Northern Electronics collective right through to Adam Beyer and his Drumcode empire, the country has produced a multitude of successful producers and DJs and continues to do so.
Sitting somewhere towards the Northern Electronics end of the spectrum is Kuf, a mysterious artist with work that has a distinctive and immediately endearing quality. Raw, rough and no nonsense, his music hearkens back to the tough looping minimalism of second generation Detroit techno, but with a gritty textural feel in lieu of that of his contemporaries.
Armed with a drum machine, synthesizer (namely the Dave Smith Evolver) and a handful of effects, Kuf’s production methods echo the techniques of the old school Detroit artists. Recording tracks in one take and with little to no post editing, his process gives his work a raw and untamed appeal, which contrasts well with the at times stark minimalism of the compositions. He squeezes an impressive depth of sound out of such seemingly modest equipment, and the live process of recording ensures his work contains subtle yet gripping humanistic imperfections.
Along with his associate Dold, Kuf runs the vinyl exclusive imprint Arsenik Records. With two releases under their belt and a third impending, the label is successfully pushing a particularly deep and discordant sound, and has already seen support from the likes of Samuli Kemppi on his popular Deep Space Helsinki radio show.
A testament to the quality of Sweden’s remarkable music culture, Kuf has a DIY ethos that keeps his work fresh and exciting. He and Dold have shaped themselves a characteristic sound through their label, with music that stays true to techno’s roots while also keeps in touch with the prevalent sounds of today.
Check out Kuf and Arsenik Records at the following links: