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The Records That Shaped My Sound: Kornél Kovács

Stockholm based producer, DJ and label co-founder Kornél Kovács has been building a real rapport in dance music since 2011, blessing the dancefloor faithful with his own eccentric blend of house music. He cemented his legacy in 2016 releasing his debut album the Bells, an album of joyous abandon that elevated his playful approach into the mainstream. He along with Axel Boman and Petter Nordviskt have nurtured Swedish house into what it is today, through the label Studio Barnhus that they have co-run for the past ten years. The label is set to release a compilation album to celebrate the labels tenth birthday. We spoke to Kornél Kovács about the tracks that have had shaped his sound over the years.

The first record you ever bought?

The first record I remember buying was Leila K's Time single on 7'' vinyl. I had definitely bought some CDs and cassettes before that, but I don't remember buying them... I guess I was around 9 or 10 at the time so maybe 1995? Peak CD days and this vinyl single was already collecting dust at a Stockholm antiquarian. The single had been released in 1990 - two years before "Open Sesame" and Leila's proper breakthrough. It's fairly typical for the Euro-pop-rap sound of the time, nothing super special. Leila is an amazing artist though, she had some very tough years after the success but seems to be on the way up now, doing some shows in Stockholm again and apparently working on new music.

A recent record released on Studio Barnhus is our first compilation, Studio Barnhus Volym 1. It's by far the biggest project I've been involved in as a record label person - collecting 19 tracks from 19 different constellations of artists and making them work together was definitely a challenge. I must say I'm very proud of the result! A Record you've being playing a lot recently?

A record I've played a lot in my recent DJ sets is Magnet by Marcelus on Tresor, the title track in particular. Gorgeous weirdo afro-techno that's really deep and repetitive but still seems accessible to most crowds. One of the best dance tracks of 2018 for me.

A important record from your childhood?

An important record from my childhood is Kraftwerk's Computer Liebe which my mother owned on cassette. She used to play it loud while cleaning the house cause she figured the robotic sounds would make her more effective or something. The tracks on it have become part of my musical DNA and I just never get bored of it.

A record that inspired you as a DJ?

Michael Mayer's Fabric 13 is a record that really inspired me as a DJ. After a short stint as a very young drum'n'bass dj in the 90's, I was just getting back in the game again, going to clubs and starting to focus more on new 4/4 sounds, when this dropped in 2003 and blew me away. I still hold it as a reference point of what a good "storytelling" dj set works like. My most played mix cd over the last 15 years by far.

He learnt his craft as a DJ in Stockholm, nurturing an early love of jungle and drum and bass from an early age, playing his first set at just the age of just 12.. Kovács has made quite the transition in regards to his sets over the years, to now be deemed as a seminal figure in Swedish House. His endless ability to switch between genres is displayed in his stylistic diversity when it comes to production.


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