Distinguished as a Helsinki native, Öjskog unveils a captivating debut album in collaboration with Naarm’s Southern Lights label.

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Within this entrancing musical odyssey, a kaleidoscope of vibrant sounds cascades forth, enveloping the listener in a sonic tapestry marked by luminous undertones and entrancing drone infusions. Öjskog’s adept artistry shines through as they deftly navigate the audience through an intricate and enigmatic soundscape, inviting them to embark on a compelling journey into the realms of mystery and otherworldliness.

This inaugural release marks Öjskog as a notable force in the exploration of evocative and immersive sonic experiences.

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Öjskog introduces a groundbreaking trajectory that melds techno and experimental music, placing a strong emphasis on enigmatic soundscapes, minimalism, and meticulous sound design. This avant-garde approach marks a departure into the neoteric realms of musical expression, where intricate sonic tapestries seamlessly weave together elements of techno and experimentalism, offering a unique auditory experience that pushes the boundaries of conventional genres.

Hello Öjskog, how are you doing? Would you mind giving us a bit of an introduction about yourself?

First of all, thank you so much for having me! I am doing very well and am really excited about the album release that has been in the works for so long.

I am a Finnish artist and sound designer based in Helsinki, but originally from a small town called Korsnäs on the west coast of Finland. Currently, I am exploring my denser and more experimental side as Öjskog — my new techno-focused alias. I’m a pretty quiet and ordinary guy with a small circle, and I like to focus on my own things. I am extremely passionate about my creative process, weird sounds, sports, and contemporary art

Discussing the album, comprised of ten powerful tracks that blend techno and experimental music with a notable focus on enigmatic soundscapes, minimalism, and meticulous sound design. What inspired the concept for the album, and how did you come up with the idea?

The idea to create the Öjskog project originated in 2019. I had grown weary of the music I was producing at the time and found myself in a creatively stagnant state. I felt restricted by the music I was making and needed something entirely new to focus on.

I quickly realized how inspired I was when I started creating music for the Öjskog project. Initially, I didn’t have a specific concept in mind; I was just experimenting for fun. However, after countless hours, I found myself with a collection of music that I believed fit together seamlessly.

I wanted to change my production habits and embrace a new groove. I aimed to focus on a minimalistic approach, using very few sounds.

I soon noticed the unnecessary clutter I had added out of muscle memory. It was a process of rewiring my brain, as I had been working for so long with more commercial music, with basic structures, chords, and melodies that were essentially haunting me.

The album, titled ‘Dolda Byar,’ is in Swedish and translates to ‘Hidden Villages.’ It serves as a guide for the listener, creating a visualization for the music and, simultaneously, acting as a metaphor for my mind and creativity—always searching for the hidden parts. Overall, this album represents my journey of understanding myself and my creative process.

We are thrilled to debut the album through our magazine, offering an immersive journey into the realms of mystery and otherworldliness. Could you share insights into the creative process and the thought process behind the track titles?

The creative process was quite chaotic and long, at times very painful and frustrating and at other times very easy. I went through countless iterations, and it took three years to arrive at a point where I was completely happy with the sound of the project. At the same time, it was the most fun I have ever had making music, which in the end is the only thing I care about. I’ve used quite a lot of gear for this record. As I usually work in the box, it was really inspiring and refreshing to work with all these machines. Mainly I have been using equipment from Soma Laboratory, such as the Lyra-8, Pulsar-23 and Enner. ‘Enner Loop’ is for example Pulsar-23 on the drums and Enner doing the morphing synth. I have also been doing a lot of feedback processing with my old battered behringer mixer and a spring reverb, the track ‘’f o / r’’ is pretty much only that. It has of course also been a lot of work with my laptop, using digital sounds and mangling sounds I have recorded with the machines, resampling etc. Huge effect chains mangling sounds into unrecognizable things. Plugins from Unfiltered Audio have played a huge part in the creative process as well. 

The track names from the album come mostly from situations during the making of the record. For example, Snow//Silence was my attempt at creating a drone sound that would represent the silence that occurs when the first snow falls and all the noise and traffic get really dense.

Who are the musicians or artists that inspire you the most? If you had to highlight a few names that have had a significant impact on your career, who would they be?

There are so many, and so much incredible music out there at the moment. One that has stayed with me for a long time and been a huge inspiration always has to be Mika Vainio. His Black Telephone of Matter record has taught me a lot about silence, dynamics and time. Early Northern Electronics releases had a big impact on me. I also look up to artists such as Rrose, Alessandro Cortini and Aho Ssan that have created their own sound and you recognize their music in seconds.

How does the future look for you and the label?

I’m really focused on the Öjskog project at the moment and currently working hard on my second album. I will continue building this project and always try to create better music. I might do an EP release or something next year also, let’s see what the future holds!

As for the label Southern Lights, the owners Dan and Carlos have been wonderful to work with and they really respect your art and the craft. I am sure we will be collaborating in the future also!

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