Magnus P. Eckhéll’s techno label Maskinmusik is the expression of more than 30 years of love for electronic music. This is his story.
Preview the new EP coming to Eckhell’s new techno label Maskinmusik on June 23rd:
In the early 90’s he was a frequent record digger, dj and techno connoisseur in Stockholm. In the new millennium, he founded his own design studio named Polygon Design. Under this banner, he served several prestigious record labels, not limited to Drumcode, Svek, Truesoul and Inside Records. Now, Magnus Eckhéll has a love-child project of his own: Maskinmusik.
In the 80s, Magnus grew up listening to electronic music and synthesizer pioneers like Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Ralf Lundsten. This was followed by a fascination with Industrial and Synth. Bands like Depeche Mode, Human League and Ultravox became an important part of his teenage identity.
At the end of the decade, when dance music was bursting out from Chicago and Detroit, Swedish records stores didn’t stock much of it. Eventually, this all changed.
The Arrival of Acid House
“I still remember the moment – I was standing in a record store in Stockholm. A quirky, fiddly tune with a simple, dry beat streamed out the speakers. Hearing this music for the first time was a real moment of revelation. I guess it was a lot like in [the film] Blues Brothers when Jake and Elwood Blues step into a church and they see the Light”.
The track Magnus heard was Phuture by DJ Pierre. It was love from the first beat. Genre trends come and go; most people jump between this and that. Magnus, on the other hand, has stuck with House and Techno. Since then, these two genres have been an essential part of his life.
Thirty years onwards, Magnus produces his own music in his Magma Studio, located in the idyllic surroundings of the Stockholm Archipelago.
“Techno isn’t designed to be dance music…”
“Sometimes a dream has to mature before you can create something tangible out of it. For me this process has been a very long one. Eventually the pieces of the puzzle came together. I simply took the decision to give music production a go. Three years later I’m producing my own music, and building a techno label with my own artwork. For me, this project is a catalyst. It feels exciting to be able to combine my experiences over the years into my own love child, closing the circle”.
Magnus likes to experiment with different styles and ways of producing his music. It’s a creative process, “with a lot of trials and errors”. It can look chaotic when you look into the studio, but his workflow is actually focuses on getting things done.
”I hope I can keep this playful mindset and keep exploring, not just follow the trends on what is considered to be purist techno at the moment. I love the quote from Jeff Mills saying that Techno wasn’t designed to be dance music; it was designed to be a futurist statement”
Magnus expresses that it’s important to let oneself step outside one’s comfort zone from time to time.
”For me, techno is like a perpetual machine in constant motion, exploring and trying out new ideas and expressions. Otherwise, your music will just follow the same blueprint as everyone else in the scene. Dare to try the unorthodox. It might not always work out in the beginning, but chances are that you happen to step into new uncharted territories that can open to new worlds in the Universe”.
On June 23, Balance Act EP [MM002] will be out in most available online stores and streaming services such as Beatport, Juno Download, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Tidal, Amazon and many others. The EP features 6 tracks which span from dark techno to dreamy frequencies. Perhaps, somewhere deep in the DNA of Magnus’ music you will detect some distant memories from the golden days of the Stockholm rave scene from the 90’s.