Beat Fantatic = One Funky Swede
Beatfanatic, Beat, Fanatic, Conductor, Ture, Sjöberg, Berlin, Nights
The Beatfanatic sound is all about cutting, re-editing and chopping up those old school rhythms from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Funk, disco, samba, jazz, soul, hip hop, latin and reggae/dub are all in the mix, but always with great respect to the original recordings in order to get that authentic feel. This is basically a cat that is a strong believer in the full vinyl experience. Ture Sjöberg aka Beatfanatic began his musical history in the early 80s when he was a guitarist with a great love for The Clash and Dub-Reggae. When Rund DMC and the whole Def Jam thing kicked off in the mid 80’s this opened a whole new world which resulted in buying the music (crate diggin’) instead of performing it. The need to locate all the originals from the Hip Hop jams took him on a musical journey, which have now shaped the sound you can hear today.
After a couple of years of academic studies he decided to go back from where he started and to start producing or “re-creating” music again. This resulted in a demo that got released in 2003 on Raw Fusion as “Joaganda Capoeira / Cookin” and is today one of the biggest selling records on the label.
Following the success of this release Beatfanatic released the rhythm-packed LP “Adventures in the World of No-Fi Beats” on Raw Fusion. The record was hailed by DJs and critics as a landmark in re-editing classic soul, disco and latin sounds. Beatfanatic then topped himself with “The Gospel According to Beatfanatic”, “a thrill-a-minute romp through the world of nifty-fingered sampleadelica” (i-d magazine). Released on his own Soundscape label it delivers the Beatfanatic sermon in all its funky flavors and guarantees to put the heat in any rumba. More recently (and long after this interview took place), the funky Swede remixed José Gonzalez; “Killing For Love” and released the EP “Loaded”. His new full length “Progressive Music For Eclectic Minds” features 12 new tracks of funky fusion.
Mundovibes JC Tripp chatted with Beatfanatic to get the recipe on his spicy beatsauce.
Mundovibes: What makes you such a beatfanatic?
Beatfanatic: I have always been fanatic about the beats and basslines of a good track. To me beats and basslines is more important than melodies. The core of any good track gotta consist of a solid beat and bass groove. I really like all this broken beat stuff that really takes this approach a bit further. Just listen to Domu and his remix of “Calledon”, just amazing. And what would a classic track like Risin to the top by Keni Burke be without its magnificient drum and bassline.
MV: You make sampling sound fresh and relevant. What is your approach?
BF: Maybe my hiphop approach to making any kind of music; jazz, latin disco etc.
MV: Who are your musical inspirations?
BF: My musical inspiration comes from Lee Perry, Patrick Adams, Pete Rock, MAW, Leroy Burgess and many more. At the moment I listen to a lot of broken beat stuff. Moonstarr and Bugz is one step further most of us other. I also love what Quantic and Domu are doing.
MV: What is the Beatfantatic philosophy?
BF: Like the O´jays said; the love of music. I would also add hard work. Beacause the boat isnt rocking by itself.
MV: What is it about Sweden that makes it funky?
BF: We like to sweat during the cold winter!!!
MV: Tell us about your release, “The Gospel According to..”
BF: It is a mixture of latinfunk beats and ruff soulful disco beats. The first part of the album is concentrated on the funky downbeatside of Beatfanatic. The second part is mainly deepdisco beats. But those who enjoyed my first album will not be disapointed.
MV: Did you grow up listening to alot of soul, boogaloo and funk?
BF: I wouldnt say I grew up with soulmusic when I was young. Soulmusic wasnt a big thing in Sweden/Scandinavia untill at least the the late 80`s. Rock was the predominant music on most clubs. My first contact with “black music” came through the Clash and their reggae tracks. I first got in touch with afroamerican music with the early raprecords that Sugarhill released. But soulmusic didnt come into my life until the samplingcraze started about 87 with Def Jam, Beastie Boys and stuff like that. I got really curious about all those original samples and started collecting Jimmy Castor Bunch, Mandrill and those great funk groups.
MV: Are you comfortable with the “sampledelic” label?
BF: I hope to move on with my artistic career and moving into more electrinic stuff. Funky but electronic combined with soulful vocals.
MV: Do you have any collaborators or do you prefer to do it all alone?
BF: Me and label mate on Soundscape Stockholm Cyclo have a joint venture called The Disciples. We are releasing our first 12″ on Soundscape records. It is my beats and samples combined with his additional keys. I am also collaborating with NYC band Kokolo. We do some tracks together in the near future. I have also remixed one of their tracks called “Mama”. It was released on their album on Freestyle Records. I like to work more with singers in the future, but good singers with soulful voices is not easy to find overhere.
MV: Is your music all about the beat and why?
BF: My music is almost 100% concerned about be a great clubtrack, thats why all the beatness.
MV: How does your approach to sampling differ from the rest?
BF: It is cool if people think I differ from the rest. But I think me and Freddie Cruger have a mutual aprooach to how to use samples. Maybe their is a Swedish approach to sampling and funky music?
MV: What would be the ulimate setting for your music?
BF: A soulful singer like Aretha, latinpercussion, discoboogiebasslines combined with a evil broken beat bass, fender rhodes, ewf styled horns and a drummer that knows how to make discobeats funky. Yeah!
MV: What is your local musical environment like? Are you the local soulboy with the huge record collection?
BF: I tell you for sure Stockholm is packed with soulboys searching for a new rare record for their huge recordcollection. I am not alone. A lot of cut outs reached scandinavia so finding good 70´s soul records havent been that hard in Sweden. Until now…
MV: Do you eat a lot of spicy food, or what puts the “caliente” in your music?
BF: Today my tomato sauce was really caliente. My wife complained it was to spicy. But that how I like my dishes. But I guess my “caliente” in music also is due to my rocknroll past.
MV: Ten artists that you cannot live without?
BF: Marvin, Quasimoto, Curtis, Lero Hutson, Miles, Lee Perry, Clash, Pete Rock, Blaze, Fela .
MV: What moves a crowd on the dancefloor?
BF: I hope they are moving to the beat. But a lot of clubbers is more in to singing along in the chorus. I wish they would learn to move to the drum and bass a lot more.
MV: If you were to die and come back as another artist who would it be?
BF: I would really like to be a singer with a awesome soulful voice. Why not Stevie??
MV: Where do you do your crate diggin? Is there a lot of good vinyl in Sweden?
BF: My record collection was founded manly in carbootsales/fleamarkets. I spent the late 80`s and the 90`s mostly collecting vinyl from the 70´s.
MV: What is it about classic, old school beats that cannot be matched today?
BF: The analog atmosphere from the ’70s cannot be created. But I guess in 20 years kids will be raving about the unique sound of the 90´s.
MV: You pull from many sources, disco, soul, latin, etc. What makes one beat better than another?
BF: A beat where the percussion and the drummer is really working things out is when I belive the beats gets to another level. Just listen to those classic Fania recordings; they know how to make beats/grooves.