"The internet is crazy: location, language, and time don’t matter, but what to do with that...
Some years ago when I was first engaging with the site SoundCloud I started meeting people from across the globe through their music and messages. I was blown away by how amazing the community was and how our music was collectively touching every corner of the globe. The thought of having band members in a garage as the only way to make music was being replaced by new forms like dj mixes, remixes, and lots of bedroom musicians like myself producing original music in every way possible – generally making music like we always have but now with a global audience at our fingertips.
One day I received a message from a guy in Sweden asking if I may be interested in doing a remix of one of his songs. He mentioned being a fan of my music so I went to his page to check him out. It was a peaceful fall day at home in the sleepy seaside-town of Salem, Massachusetts where I remember putting on the Pocketful track “She Won't Steal My Thoughts Tonight” and hearing Jerker Rellmark’s voice for the first time. To say I was excited is an understatement – my girlfriend and I listened to this track on repeat endlessly while discussing the purity of his voice. There was something so different, so pure about it – a flavor completely foreign but so familiar at the same time. This is the moment I realized the power and opportunity of what was being presented to me.
"I was blown away by Jim’s remix. One thing that spoke to me was his approach to the voice, how he sees it as an instrument and is not afraid of doing what is needed to suit the purpose of the song. Starting with this remix, Jim also showed me that in order to develop your music you really need to be brave enough to take things a few steps further than you initially intended."
To fast-forward, Jerker and I released the remix, I designed the album cover, and we went on with our daily lives. Me in Salem, Massachusetts and him in Gothenberg, Sweden – 3,568 miles apart.
The fire was far from out for us though... I released my debut album, “Under The Chrome Sea” in 2012, and Jerker contacted me saying how he really wanted to cover the track “Floating” – a deep ambient track with me singing about ghosts through a vocoder. A year went by and we kept chatting about the possibility, me sending him the instrumental and patiently waiting. Finally he sent me vocals and we produced our first track – a wild vocal departure from the original that in many ways fully realized the original. We were so inspired by the result that I started sharing other instrumental tracks I had been working on and Herkka was born.
"Floating became the logical starting-point of the Herkka collaboration - it was as if our two vastly different musical backgrounds found a common ground in this song. I immediately fell in love with the emotional power of the piece and the arrangement was spot-on - the simple yet very effective riff, the ambient sounds, the sparse electric bass notes and those gorgeous vocoder voices. I realized that Jim had shown me a direction I wanted to explore further."
For the last year we marched through our busy lives on separate continents and different time zones producing music and endlessly chatting through a software called Trello where we kept our thoughts and files organized. The process wasn’t without challenges but was immensely rewarding. The majority of the time we worked at different hours so I would wake up and be rewarded by a few messages of what he had accomplished while I slept and vice-versa – modern life!
As perfectionists do, we labored over these recordings – probably far longer than we should have, but we are really proud of the result. When Jerker and I finally meet we will undoubtedly joke about this, and toast to friendship.
Enjoy and thanks for the continued support!