While so called classic dance albums from Basement Jaxx and The Gorillaz have been selling shit-loads Fused have gone and released "Audio" - a fine album of summer beats and lush string arrangements. Poppy enough for the house wife's, cool enough for the Ibizathan dance heads and organic enough for the "real music" fans. We caught up with mainman Sam to find out how this years best dance album was made in a damp basement flat in London.
Q: There's so much going on in there. What would you call the Fused sound?
A: Alternative Dance mainly although we didn't aim to do a dance album. Me and Max have got the dance background but more in techno and house and Petra used to sing in a funk band so when we got together we changed the sound completely.
Cos when we came here we were all a little fed up with dance music. In Sweden its not a big scene really - you go out and its not proper dance clubs like in England - and here in England its so wherever we went on the television or radio it was just dance music.
We still like dance music but we've tried to do stuff a little unconventional. For example instead of having the standard hired loops and samples we had proper drums sounds, electric guitars and my parents on strings. There we just the two of them recording strings up to 15 times for each song just to make it sound fully orchestrated.
Q: There's a big 70s pop sound to it though as well?
A: Yeah, were big fans of that sort of music so I think its maybe thanks to Petra's record collection as well. We moved here 2 years ago so we had the studio in the flat and have basically done everything there - singing in the cupboard, guitars send from friends over the internet, friends popping through the flat adding their stamp - its all home-made and the album was basically recorded in the bedroom.
Q: You've also done some big name remixes. Do you want to rattle of that list for us?
A: We've just done Ricky Martin but that's more housey than the Fused stuff. Tom Jones, Faithless, Art of Noise. We've got the studio now so basically its just a case of waiting round for the requests to come in.
Q: When you recorded it wasn't there some illegal raves on the floor below?
A: We had some neighbours here that ran a nightclub. I think he was in jail, got released and wanted to celebrate so he started renting out flats for parties - they had bouncers with metal detectors and guestlists!!! When you woke up in the morning you'd look out your window and see them off-loading a big P.A.
You didn't have any choice but to go down and join them. It was so loud the pictures were falling off the walls so the best thing to do was get pissed on a bottle of tequilla and pass out. It makes a change from Sweden where my neighbours used to complain about me.
Q: And the future for Fused is.......?
A: I'm listening to a lot of jazz at the moment cos' its so relaxing - I just want to learn how to drink coffee properly. I'd love to sit there with a coffee and a nice sandwich but the sad thing is I don't even drink coffee. I must start learning how to drink coffee properly!!!
I'm getting so pale over here in England so I really need a vacation - the only tan i've got is from the studio monitors. When we went to Spain they called me the "le guy de la tomb" or something which means "the guy from the grave". I think its time to take my hairy legs and perch my butt on the beach!!!
"Audio" is out now