Published in Onboard Magazine Issue 119, January 2011

To Usher in 2011, here are four record providing you with the perfect soundtrack to your next road trip up the mountains, while scandinavian Kalle Ohlson shares his current music preferences with you in this month's audio pro.

Birds & drums – The Bewitched Hands – Sony

As the fi rst notes rang out on this previously unheard album that landed on my desk the other day, I could have sworn I was listening to the return of The Cure. But that was just a fi rst impression, the flood of guitars and sumptuous melodies are indeed present, however for the rest of this young French rock group’s modern and somewhat nostalgic tone is quite different. With three guitarists making up the six-man band, the compositions are complex, often with two or three different melodies making up a song all climaxing into memorable choruses. Other than The Cure, there are also similarities with Blur and The Strokes. A promising début album, with more to follow soon.

Klaxons – Surfing The Void – Polydor/ Because

Founders of the New Rave scene and gaining cult status after little more than fi ve years in existence, the Klaxons are back in the limelight with their sophomore studio album, Surfi ng The Void, which has taken them two years to put together. Darker than Myths Of The Near Future, Surfing The Void possesses all the sonic power you would have expected. However this time working with esteemed producer Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, At The Drive-In), the group re-invent themselves with ever more adventurous tracks ranging from progressive rock to space-age folk and Kraut rock. Standout tracks include the urgent ‘Venusia’ and the psychedelic rave rock hit ‘Flashover’. If people struggled to defi ne the Klaxons’ music with their first album, with their second they’ll only find it harder.

Magic Kids – Memphis – True Panther/ Beggars

Deeply inspired by the likes of the Beach Boys and Alex Chilton, this latest album by Magic Kids clearly pays homage to city of Memphis, the band’s original hometown. Listen out for producer Rostam Batmanglij’s (Vampire Weekends) talented contribution on the more intricate tracks on the record. And while nostalgia for the ’60s might seem like the recurring theme throughout this record, there’s also plenty on the album to be upbeat about. The critics out there will certainly say the Magic Kids haven’t come up with anything original but if you’re more a half-full rather than half-empty type then you’ll know that the world goes round in circles, and you’ll get plenty of throwback easy listening out of this new release.

Jamaica – No Problem – Control Freak/V2

Despite the band’s name this group has in fact nothing to do with reggae or ragga. Jamaica actually consists of Paris-based electro rock duo Antoine Hilaire and Florent Lyonnet, aided by one of the most sought-after producers of the moment Xavier Rosnay de Justice and Daft Punk’s sound engineer, Peter Franco. Proof again that it’s possible to light up a dancefl oor without churning out the same old tedious electro tunes. From the

power pop ‘I Think I Like U2’, re-issued in its original version for the occasion, to hard rock track ‘Cross The Fader’, the range of material on offer will satisfy even the most demanding critics. A gleaming release that fi nishes off in style with a heavy metal touch ‘When do you wanna stop working’; who would have thought of it?

Audio Pro: Kalle Ohlson

If you’ve never heard of swedish schlager music then just tune into the next Eurovision contest. You’ll quickly understand why Kalle Ohlson can’t stand the shit. But for the rest, the ripper from Örebro’s taste in music is pretty wide-ranging.

Do you have a particular type of music or do you listen to everything?

I’m an all eater I would say, but that doesn’t mean I listen to all music out there... Like reggae for instance I can’t live with that!

Any stuff you can’t listen to?

Reggae, Swedish schlager music or any schlager music!

Why do scandis have the reputation of listening only to either heavy Metal or Euro Dance?

Hmmm. Don’t know really, cause most of us do I guess...

What does music represent for you? Is it just for chilling, for partying? Or a total lifestyle?

For sure not lifestyle, for me it’s mostly to get amped, I mostly listen to music that gets me pumped and happy!

Do you listen to music when you ride?

Nope, almost never. Only if I ride by myself which I never do pretty much!

What particular tune reminds you of your first snowboard trips? A tune that says ‘let’s go shred’, kind of?

Iron Maiden - Trooper

Can you list the tunes you had on all your video parts?

Nope, kind of bad style but I really can’t!

Did you get to choose those tunes? Or how did it work?

I haven’t got to choose my tunes, or actually kind of, but all the tunes I suggest are always way to expensive, but you gotta give it a try!

What song would you love to have in a future video part?

Haven’t given to much thought on that but Bon Jovi’s Run Away would be sick!

A good band/singer you discovered recently?

Swedish House Mafia has some good party bangers!


Finally, could you give us your top ten tunes (can be at the moment or all timers)?this changes all the time but I’ll give you my right now top ten!

Dio - We Rock

Bon Jovi - Runaway

Eminem, Lil Wayne - No Love

The Grassroots - Live for Today

Robyn - Dancing On My Own

Swedish House Mafia - One

Lil Wayne, Eminem - Drop the World

Edward sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home

Guns’n’Roses - Welcome to the Jungle, live

Rock Fiest – It’s a Sin