The Embassy: Fifteen – The Sound of 1988

Fredrik Lindson and Torbjörn Håkansson

The Embassy are one of Sweden's most influential pop duos. Bands like Tough Alliance and Studio respect them to the point of naming their labels Sincerely Yours and Information after Embassy songs. Since the 80s are often referenced when discussing The Embassy, the duo sent over their favorite 80s sounds. The Embassy's Sweet Sensation is out February 26 on <a href="http://theembassy.info/">International</a>.

The Embassy

At home with The Embassy. (courtesy of The Embassy)

FIFTEEN – THE SOUND OF 1988

Embassy are most often associated with 80’s band, whether it’s guitar pop or early house music. That’s maybe our favorite decade as well, where we have our roots and find most inspiration and ideas. In the end of the eighties we were 15 years old, this is what I sounded like when we were actually there.

Orup, “Du är i himmelen”

This kind of explicit smooth soul is of course common stuff in the US, but was at the time rare in Sweden. Orup and some other hipsters in Stockholm were kind of pioneers and took the soul to a wider audience, wonderfully shameless in their homage to the original sound. This is from his debut album from 1988 which became massive. There were some other hits we first listened to, but then we went deeper into the album and this song was the soundtrack to the summer of 88

Kool Moe Dee, “Wild Wild West”

I grew up in a pretty safe residential area but when we began in 7th grade our class was moved to a much rougher place. We were kind of confused in the beginning and the other classes hated us, but after a year or so it went ok. I began visit a guy near school and he had a great collection of exciting 12-inches – NWA, Slick Rick, EPMD, Boogie Down.. Most of it probably better stuff than this, but this is my strongest memory from that flat. This is what we had fun to.

The Stone Roses, “Elephant Stone”

When I was just about to move 16 I remember seeing a photo of a band. It’s like a frozen moment – I remember exactly how it looked like, where I was and with who. It spoke to me in a totally different way than I had experienced in music until then and I realized there and then: this was something I had to do and be part of. Later when Stone Roses album was released I bought my first Sony Walkman and was untouchable for months. It’s still a record and a band that truly affects and inspires me

Bomb the Bass, “Beat Dis”

Back to school; sometimes there where cars drivin around on the schoolyard while we had lessons. It was bored pupils that had “borrowed” cars in the hood, skidded around and doing burn-outs. We used to open the windows, laugh and wave or point fingers. But one time it was something else. A tune I’d never heard was pumping out of the car “stereophonic sound, stereophonic sound, get down to the funky beat”. I was paralyzed for a while. Then I went straight away to buy the 7”.

S’Express, “Theme from s’express

Another one with that collage-sound that was huge around this time. This was the #1 mainstream underground hit. On the local disco there were mostly Stock, Atiken and Waterman and so, but this was also a standard and played every week. I started dj:ing a few years later and I think that just the sight of Mark Moore’s face was a big influence

The Embassy's forthcoming album Sweet Sensation will be available February 26 from their imprint, International.

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