Various Artists Studio Barnhus Volym 1 Studio Barnhus
For a label with 60 releases to its name, it’s surprising that this is the first full-length compilation Studio Barnhus has released, especially given its propensity for championing new and emerging artists from its home city of Stockholm. Volym 1 continues to do so, also enlisting some older affiliates for a snapshot of the scene’s left-of-centre music makers from Stockholm and beyond.
Each of the label’s three heads appear, with Pedrodollar’s Reality World in particular capturing the off-kilter jubilance of the collection at large. DJ Koze’s Hawaiian Souldier is a typically self-referential outing and album highlight from a man enjoying a purple patch after his brilliant album Knock Knock.
There are a couple of turns away from typical Barnhus fare: Qaadir Howard’s skittish storytelling is a welcome outlier, while second single Currency Low by new ‘supergroup’ Off The Meds brings some South African swagger and breakbeats under the label’s umbrella: another highlight. Consumed in full over 90 minutes, a few tracks wash by and fail to capture the imagination, but those who pick this up will add to their collection a varied encapsulation of the label’s quirky, exuberant aesthetic.