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Relaunching The Persuader

Interview with Jesper Dahlbäck

Relaunching The Persuader

10-07-2013 | 10.26

This Friday SWTBOX returns with yet another edition filled with intense techno. Beside Nuno Dos Santos will be playing the Irish duo Psycatron and The Persuader aka Jesper Dahlbäck. You’ll might find that last name remarkable, since the Swedish techno icon hasn’t released anything under that pseudonym for years. That’s why we decided to ask him a couple of questions.

Hi Jesper, thanks for the talk. First off, i'm curious to find out why you chose to relaunch The Persuader?
"The sound of Svek never seems to go out of fashion and this winter I got a request to play in Paris for the Concrete guys. They wanted me to play as The Persuader, which is my old project pseudonym I used on Svek. The guys from Concrete also asked me for a Persuader release on their label so I went in to the studio and wrote some new material in the same spirit as the old Persuader stuff. It worked out great and now I will do a series of live shows as The Persuader with this new material as well as some old classics."

What would you say is characteristic of Swedish techno?
"I think a lot of Swedish producers, including my self, has had a lot of inspiration from all kinds of techno and then tried to improve the sound in the studio. That's a pretty typical swedish thing maybe. Music has always been a big thing in Sweden with many studios and writers. Some say it has to do with the social security system. Even if you don't have a job, you could always find a way to buy a guitar for Swedish tax money, which is a good thing I think.
There are a lot of producers and everyone knows each other. People like to exchange ideas and studio tricks, there is no real competition. I don't think you can really define a typical Swedish sound, but it has given a lot of Swedish producers the knowledge and the confidence to start labels and release music."

As a man who’s been in the business for twenty years: what would you say has been the 
most important (technological) innovation or change in playing electronic music?
"I guess it's a bit of a cliche, but the electronic music scene would never have existed if it wasn't for MIDI. It's a technology that is now more than thirty years old and is still being used to communicate with hardware synthesizers and sequencers. My studio has gone through many changes since the start some twenty years ago, but MIDI has always been there to control everything."

What is the last album you gave you the chills? 
"Probably one of the Lonnie Liston Smith reissues, still such good music!"

How does the party scene in Sweden compare to other European countries?
"Well, Sweden is a small country. Unless you are in a big city, there is not much going on. It's also far between the biggest cities, at least a good six hour drive or so. Traditionally, Sweden is a very rock-oriented country and just recently the EDM scene grew to a mainstream level here. Before, you had to search for good clubs playing electronic music. Most clubs also close at 03.00 so people get drunk very fast!"

Which song is your #1 played in iTunes?
"I don't use iTunes. My favorite music actually resides all over the place. Sometimes I listen to my old vinyl records or even my old cassette tapes. I also have a bunch of harddisks with lousy mp3's from the time I downloaded a lot of music. Nowdays, I usually just stream from services like Youtube, which is great for both newer and rare older stuff, or Spotify."

What can we expect from you at Trouw?
"I will do the premiere show of The Persuader live and hopefully it will work out great! Remember that I can't take any requests, it's all live..."