Interview: Sharku

SHARKU - PUTEG by sharku

Sharku is an artist we recommended last week who cordially agreed to sit down and have a word with us. His music is a haunting amalgamation of hip hop, R&B, techno, and noise-filtered house…and that is hardly a fair description, to say the least. That his SOULGUTTED EP, released over 3 months ago, carries hallmarks of Andy Stott’s recently acclaimed Passed Me By LP is no small feat, and is a testament to the talent this relatively unknown producer possesses. Check out our interview below, listen to some samples, and keep your eye out for this Scandinavian musician…

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Sharku: hi!

The Kort: Hey man, how goes it?

S: All good, coffee and cigarettes :)

K: Let’s start with a little background, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

S: Well, I’m a recently Swedish but originally Norwegian electronic musician and DJ in my “early twenties”. I have been making music since I was 14-15, but I would say that I have become “serious” through the last two years. So that’s the cold facts, I think. I used to mainly make music alone as a hobby, but for the last two years I have started playing live, and I have also collaborated with other musicians. Notably the musicians’ collective 300AD in Oslo really inspired me to get more serious.


K: So you’ve become reinvigorated in the last 2 years through your work with 300AD…can you share some insight into 300AD as a collective?

S: Well, in addition to me there’s the “core” of Agen and Natassja, who started it together. They both DJ and produce as well as deal with the visual side of the projects. It really sprang out of us being friends and then starting to work as a creative collective, sharing ideas and tracks. I’ve mostly been involved with Agen, and making collaborative tracks with him…I feel the most important part of a collective is inspiring each other, and have high artistic expectations as a whole.

sharku & agen tearing up the toke again by agen

We have mostly been doing web releases so far, except for Natassja’s excellent DJ mixes, that has a cdr-release, but we have talked about trying to do some low-scale/high quality physical releases also.

K: I agree, it’s important to have like-minded individuals around you to encourage the creative process, you can feed off of each other’s productivity.

S: Exactly.

K: I see alot of Blackest Ever Black, Modern Love and Prefuse 73 on 300AD…Are these artists very influential for you guys?

 S: Oh yeah, and Demdike of course is a huge inspiration. About the Prefuse mixtape posted, for me, even though i really like Prefuse it’s more Zola Jesus that’s been inspiring me lately…I have been listening a lot to her.

K: How do you find the Tri Angle material?


S: I’m very fond of SALEM, but also Balam Acab are great… in terms of mood I really like the music from that scene, but I haven’t really submerged myself completely in it…

 K: It can be better to cherry-pick from different scenes, in an effort to create your own sphere of influence…Do you think your Scandinavian environment has an effect on what type of music you make?

S: Hmm… that’s difficult. I think that mood-wise there’s a lot of musical influences in Norway that have influenced my work, especially since I used to listen to black metal and a lot of stuff in the ambient electronic/avant jazz scene, like Biosphere, Supersilent…but directly, not especially, no. I think most young people today have a really international set of influences when it comes to (popular)music/culture.

K: That’s a cool way to look at it, that it’s more about the culture and media we consume that affects our tastes, than where we are located geographically.

 Now about SOULGUTTED…How did this come about? Produced in 6 days in March 2011?

S: yes.

K: Can you take us through your process on this? Maybe some of the equipment you utilized? The aesthetic of songs like “Alicia” struck me as very Andy Stott “Passed Me By” with the submerged, dragging production…

SHARKU - ALICIA by sharku

S: The very basic methodological approach came first. I set up some rules that would be the basic structure of the project. I sat in my apartment on a Sunday, deciding that I wanted to finish on Friday. I wanted to use one track from the R&B genre per tune, and limit myself to how I could manipulate those sounds into something other. Later came something like a feeling of what was happening when I dissected these tracks and reassembled them as my own golems, that’s where the SOULGUTTED concept came from.

I had a feeling of intimacy with the tracks that was almost obscene, but at the same time they really did not have any of their original “soul” left. As I remember I made both Alicia and Minoac in the course of one day, it was very intense. I didn’t use any equipment for SOULGUTTED except for Renoise, my sequencer. In terms of how the individual tracks came to sound how they sound it was an intuitive process, but I had a general idea of what i wanted to do with each one. And thank you for the Andy Stott-reference:)

K: It’s all quite impressive, not using outboard equipment, those first two tracks in a day…You mentioned you have started playing live more, what does your live show usually revolve around?

SHARKU - MINOAC by sharku

S: Well, it is pretty rudimentary at the moment, my laptop and a set of controllers, I improvise a bit and tweak. But I play a lot of stuff live that I haven’t released online, more heavy bass-centered stuff. Also I like to get physically engaged in the music when I play live, so there is dancing. I try to make up for the sparse set-up by acting out physically…But I have thoughts about different live concepts, more visual concepts, developing improvisation techniques etc.

K: Definitely. All an ongoing process, working on a live setup. One final question Sharku- you obviously love film and sampling from films, so what are 3 movies you’d recommend we check out?

S: Well, Django definitely, and I saw a crazy Greek movie the other day called Dogtooth, about a really psycho family where the parents have totally brainwashed kids. And also the Iranian movie Shirin.

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You can download Sharku’s SOULGUTTED EP for free here, and check out some of his other work here. Be sure to peep the 300AD site as well, these guys are on to something. Big ups Sharku and 300AD, this won’t be the last we hear of you, that much we’re sure.

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