Norwegian duo Wild Flowers, aka Øyvind Morken and Kaman Leung, have developed a kaleidoscopic sound that brings in elements of synth-pop, electro, Balearic pop, Italo disco and a myriad of other genres, but which is very much their own.
Having undertaken their first sonic experiments back in 2007, it wasn’t until more than a decade later, with Morken now a resident at Kaman’s nightclub, Jaeger, that the two forged a closer musical union, and Wild Flowers was born. Classic synthesisers and dusty drum machines underpin the duo’s sound, with new album Reactivate showcasing their eclectic, dancefloor-driven style.
Released on Snick Snack Music, a label founded by fellow Norwegians Ost & Kjex and Trulz & Robin, the nine-track album landed on 29 April, and can be downloaded/streamed here.
909originals caught up with them.
Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. How are you both doing?
Thank you for showing an interest in our album. Spring is finally here, so we are in good spirits. The Scandinavian spring is second to none. After such a long, dark and cold winter, we Scandinavians can’t wait to be ‘reborn again’ with nature turning green. People tend to go a bit mad… in a positive way.
I’d love to know what the music scene in Oslo is like and what was it like to grow up there?
We met in a record shop back in 2003/2004. It’s a very divided scene, people tend to keep to themselves, and just do their own thing when it comes to making music. The radio and other media never really showed an interest in electronic music here. So, we have been left to our own devices.
It has really grown in the last 10 years, though – clubs and parties are happening. Kaman is co-owner of a club in Oslo called Jaeger, which we both DJ separately at, with weekly residencies on different nights.
We are total opposites as DJs; Kaman favors urban music, Øyvind comes at it from a more leftfield-electronic-dance-music approach. The place has a basement and an outdoor dancefloor. Both spaces have killer sound and real DJ booths.
You have previously mentioned that you were drawn together from sharing the same appreciation of early techno sounds from the UK and Detroit. Who inspired you at that time and were there any particular experiences you had which got you on to these early techno sounds?
Not only techno, but also house, electro, Italo-disco, new beat, digi-dub, hip-hop, street soul, jungle, post punk, pop music. We could go on forever. We are music lovers, first and foremost.
Apart from one day back in 2007, where we laid down a track on the MPC, we basically just talked about music and life from 2004 until 2017, before we started to jam out some tracks on Sundays when we shared a studio space.
The thing about early techno music, it was more spontaneous and free. Today’s techno is far from that. It lacks the ideas and musicality of the first and second wave of techno. It’s all function before form. We hope we manage to get back to a bit of form, with some functionality. But that’s not for us to judge.
What was your inspiration behind the new LP, Reactivate?
Hanging out, laughing and/or moaning. Trying to use the negative energy you get dealt, and turn it around and create something positive. Creating something is a beautiful feeling, and inspiration comes from creation.
What does this release represent to you both?
That a good time was had. And that it is something that we hope others also can enjoy and also have a good time with. We made most of it under the spell of coronavirus restrictions. And since the album is dropping when Spring hits and restrictions are removed, we think Reactivate is a fitting name.
What’s the creative process like when you both get together in the studio? Is it more of a regimented affair or are you more free flowing?
It’s a bit like a jam session at first. We jam out on drum machines and synthesisers, and record separate tracks into a computer. Then Øyvind arranges it into tracks/songs and mixes it down.
We have no interest in making a specific sound or style of music, so ideas are always flowing, and it’s a really fun and healthy working relationship.
How was the lockdown for you both personally? Was it a productive period generally, or did you find creating more difficult?
It was really hard at times. But you also learn so much in a situation like this. I guess we were productive in the studio in periods, and not so much in other periods. We were always looking for new music though, on most days, even when we couldn’t DJ. So the passion was still there.
What else can we expect from you the rest of the year?
We have loads of unfinished jams and sketches, within all kinds of music styles. We would also like to produce more song-based music. Whatever we can learn from.
Let’s see if people will like what we did with Reactivate. We also work on solo productions – this actually just started out as a nice way to hang out, and a chance to feel that we are being creative, and not just sitting on a bench, drinking coffee as life passed us by.
Also, loads of love and respect to Ost & Kjex and Trulz & Robin at Snick Snack who are putting the record out.
Thanks to Wild Flowers for talking to us. Reactivate is out now on Snick Snack Music. Click here for more information.
3- Entering Uranus
4- Art Foley
5- The Sobchak Play
6- The Web
7- Consistently Ace
8- Back From The O.C- (Lost My Keys Mix)
9- Vibed One