Artist Profile: Axel Boman

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Artist Profile, Blog

Stockholm’s Axel Boman pirouettes on the edges of the musical multiverse with an eclectic flair that’s deliberately off-kilter. Whether through his enigmatic DJ sets, vibrant productions, or the avant-garde label he co-pilots with Kornél Kóvacs and Petter Nordkvist, Boman has painted his career with broad strokes, dabbling in the soulful echos of Americana and threading through the pulsating thump of European House. A veteran of sweaty Swedish basement parties and a Red Bull Music Academy graduate, Axel Boman now joins JETLAGGED at Control Club on Friday, February 29th. 

Boman’s overall approach to his craft oscillates between self-deprecating humor and deep-seated earnestness. His productions often reflect a predilection for melody, allowing for captivating and cohesive productions. Nowhere is this more evident than in his debut LP, Family Vacation, an album that stretches to incorporate broader narrative themes-in this case, a murder mystery. Boman’s follow-up, Le New Life (Mule Musiq), would be released in 2019, and then, in 2022, he simultaneously released two albums, LUZ/Quest for Fire (Studio Barrnhus).

But before the full lengths, Axel Boman’s entry into the music scene occurred in 2008 with the release of the underground hit Arcimboldo on the obscure Ourvision imprint. It would be a track championed at the time by the likes of Magda and Seth Troxler. However, his journey took a definitive turn in 2010 with the release of the Holy Love EP on DJ Koze’s Pampa Recordings. It was the track Purple Drank that truly etched the Axel Boman moniker into the collective consciousness through dub-infused breakdowns and a journey through soft sounds and a leisurely tempo. This ability to marry depth with dynamism endeared Boman to DJs and audiences alike, ultimately cementing his status as a crossover phenomenon. In 2015, Boman returned to Pampa Recordings and released 1979 / Nokturn. It would be another release met with widespread acclaim, catching the attention of Gilles Peterson and earning it a nomination for track of the year. 

Aside from Pampa Recordings, Boman has featured across many of the world’s preeminent labels like Moodmusic, Third Eye Records, Permanent Vacation, Kompakt, Correspondant, and Hypercolour. His remix resume features diverse artists like Harald Björk, DJ Hell, Wolfram, Disclosure, Marbou State, Acid Pauli, and many more. 

However, Boman’s creative endeavors extend beyond his solo projects. He has ventured into notable works with Nordkvist in the pop-oriented DFA collaboration Man Tear. However, one of his most exciting partnerships is with John Talabot as part of Talaboman. This would be exemplified by the trackSideral and the experimental and engaging LP The Night Land (R&S, 2017). 2023 would see multiple Talaboman releases, including Madhouse Dub/Melbourne BoleroDiscodrums/Flash Forward, and Bosca Bosca/Bosco Bosco (The Night Land Records, 2023).

Boman’s narrative also encompasses his foundational role inStudio Barnhus, a label he runs with Kornél Kóvacs and Petter Nordkvist. The label’s ethos is rooted in a desire to share compelling songs. This mission has attracted like-minded artists and propelled Studio Barnhus to become among the most respected and sought-after labels in Europe’s vast house music scene. It has been responsible for breaking artists like Baba Stiltz, Bella Boo, Mount Liberation Unlimited, Off the Meds, and Carli.

It can’t be understated that Boman’s work ethic is second to none. The only thing more impressive is the resulting musical output, balancing extensive touring with a steady studio schedule. His contributions to XLR8R, Dekmantel, and Boiler Room, alongside regular appearances on Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space show and a Radio 1 Essential Mix with Stadio Barnhus, further reveal an artist who is as versatile as he is prolific. Marked by a refusal to be pigeonholed, a commitment to innovation, and a deep-seated love for music that resonates on the dance floor and beyond, Boman’s narrative is one of insatiable curiosity and a penchant for the unexpected.

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