Me in my studio: Club 8
Nearly two decades into their career, eclectic Swedish pop duo Club 8 are on the verge of releasing their eighth album, Above The City.
Here, ahead of the record’s arrival on 21 May, multi-instrumentalist and synth fan Johan Angergård talks us through the band’s gear and studio set-up.
You can check out the album’s lead single, Stop Taking My Time, over on SoundCloud now.
Johan: “We did a New York tour with The Legends when I released Over And Over in 2009. 6 shows in 5 days.
“One or two of the shows were in Brooklyn and I found a really good guitar shop there. Unfortunately I don't remember the name.
“I found this guitar there. I think it looks great and has a very special sound. It doesn't sound like any other guitar I've tried. In one mode it's quite sharp and lo-fi and in another mode it's warm and thick.
“I used it all the time on The People's Record. I usually wanted clearer guitar sounds on Above The City but you can hear it on Straight As An Arrow and a bit here and there. Another good thing about the guitar is that is very light - it fits a non-bodybuilder like me.”
Bjärton 12-string guitar
“I bought this guitar in the last months of the recording of Above The City. I think I've only used it once and that's on the chorus of I'm Not Gonna Grow Old. I have a feeling most people don't even notice it there, but it adds a lot of rhythm and luxury to the chorus and it'd actually make a big difference if we removed it.
“I've been listening a lot to Go Betweens’ 16 Lovers Lane lately, and I'm starting to think that Love Goes On might inspire me to use this guitar a lot more in the future.”
“This is exactly the kind of synthesizer that one wants today - ‘90s non-analogue sounds. My friend Henrik who's in Pallers with me bought one and shortly after that I found this one really cheap. I used it for a driving, synth lead in the chorus of Stop Taking My Time. Works nicely.”
Violet Design The Globe
“I can't say I'm a big fan of how it looks. It does however sound very good. Crystal clear and smooth and very detailed. Almost too detailed at times.
“I mostly use a Summit Audio 2ba221 preamp to add some warmth to the sound. If it still sounds to clear and detailed and I want more warmth and a little rougher sound I use Art Tube MP.
“Karolina sings very quite so it can be a little too noisy. But we used it on Travel and I think it sounds great there. And it's very cheap so everyone should have one.”
“My mother got this piano from her parents when she was child. And then she had it in the house where I grew up for 40 years or so until she gave it to me in 2011.
“I'm definitely not a good piano player but it's still a lovely piece to write songs on. Pallers Nights was one of the first songs I wrote on this and that wouldn't never have happened with a keyboard.”
“I was at a birthday party with, mostly, people I didn't know. Luckily there was this guy who was really interested in synthesizers.
“Synthesizers have been one of my favourite subjects from time to time in the last years. Anyway, he recommended I'd buy this one and I ended up ordering this copy from Japan. There's something really special about a synthesizer from the '70s. It's futurist in the same way as old space movies. I love the warmth and roughness of this.
“And speaking about warmth and roughness the Korg Monotron adds this, and a lot of noise, very nicely. It sounds very good when I hook it up with my Arturia Minibrute. Another thing I'd like to hook up with the Minibrute is the CS10. Arturia CV gate video tutorial someone? Link to buy the right cables...?”
"I'm Not Gonna Grow Old was the first song I mixed in these monitors. It was such a relief to finally hear everything in the mix. Our old Tannoy Reveal didn't, er, reveal that much.”
“It's a Fender. What can you say? It's standard to have one. I really like how the Jaguar looks though and I must admit it's the electric guitar I use most of the time on Above The City.”
Peavey Combo Classic 50
“This is Niklas' - my brother who sings in Acid House Kings - amp actually. I don't own a decent amp.
"This has a really clear and full sound. I do a lot of changes to the guitar sound on the computer so this provides a nice starting point for the guitar sound.”
“I use quite lot of different percussive instruments like shakers, tambourines, castanettes, bongos and so on. I love buying this kind of stuff when I'm abroad, it's like each country has their own unique stuff.
“Here are some of the things I use. I don't know what the shaker furthest to the right is called. It was a present from Brazil. I love getting presents like that.”
“My first analogue synthesizer. If you listen to all Club 8 songs ever made in chronological order you can easily hear when I bought it.
"It's great for those growing, bubbling passages up to choruses and things like that. You can hear that typical sound before Miranda speaks on I'm Not Gonna Grow Old.”
Cubase VST 5.0
“This program is from 1999 or 2000. It lacks most of the abilities to do tricks of modern DAWs. It has the best editing function for cutting multiple takes though. Can't understand why they changed that.
“I've stated that with less advanced technology at hand you need to create your sounds in a more hands on, inartificial kind of way. Which is true. It's also true that this is the first recording program I ever learned and I doubt I'll ever feel as comfortable with another program as I do with this one.
“I do have Logic 9 on my laptop though and must admit I did a few things there for the album, including most of Into Air.”
Above The City is released on 21 May.