Interview: Bambook

Sweden, a country known for its amazing sensibility for design, has been growing a muscle in another form of art of the modern times – house music.

The result is evident in its bulky juicy list of house music artists: Alex Boman, Ida Engberg, Petter Nordkvist, Kornél Kovács among many. Another addition to the portfolio goes by the name Bambook, who we had a chat with on Sweden, the dynamics of being a duo, family and, of course, the importance of album artwork.

Bambook is a duo, consisting of Eiad Sayegh and Hannes Netzell, said to be no strangers to the house scene. Starting off in 2011 on labels like Circus Recordings, Global Underground, Get Physical Music, Faceless Recordings, Kindisch, and Noir Music, the guys are now working a lot with Culprit, a label known for their careful selection of funky and modernistic underground house music.

During the course of the coming months, a 3 track EP with Name One, another in the making with Jennie A, remixes on Culprit, Guy Gerber’s Rumors, Visionquest and many many collaborations are in store, verifying their eagerness and prolificacy.

“[…] if you believe in your product you will give it the best possible artwork in relation to its contents”

There is not much known about your start, could you share a little on how did you start separately and as a duo?
The act Bambook was born in 2011 by Eiad Sayegh as a solo project then Hannes became part of Bambook in 2012. We both have been producing separately for years before that under our names and different aliases.

Do both of you guys come from Sweden?
Eiad: I’m originally from Nazareth, Israel but I live in Stockholm for the past 15 years and Hannes is Stockholm born.

What, do you think, are the particularities coming from the dance music in Sweden?
Sweden has always been a great place to produce music and I believe it’s due to the professional mentality people have here. No bullshit, just get it done! Swedish artists have mentality and the confidence to make it out there as this country has exported many successful artists, songs writers and producers over the years and specially nowadays so that is a big advantage. Long winters could become challenges as it starts to get dark early and very cold and sometimes it’s very hard to get inspiration and be creative. But yet again, if you have an exciting project going on neither the cold nor the dark can stop you!

What are your music origins? And what each of you brings from it to the table?
Eiad: To be perfectly honest, I’m a Pink Floyd, The Door and Led Zeppelin fanatic so I draw all my influence from these masters as they prepared the way to what is natural for me today. Of course Depeche Mode, The Prodigy, Massive Attack has a big part too.

Hannes: Hip-hop, East Coast rap, Beastie Boys and RUN DMC – classical music and Motown.

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The artwork is argued to add another dimension to the sound, it can embrace or diminish it. How do you choose the artwork for your releases?
100% true in my opinion! I love good invested artwork specially if it’s going to be releases on vinyl. Even in the digital world artwork should be invested in much more as the cheap lazy ass artworks are all over the place, which is sad. The beauty of a good artwork is that it never fails to grab your attention to click and hear what is it behind that image.

Of course music comes first, but music is a product, and like any product it needs to be packed correctly and with care & love to be able to reach the consumer. To conclude if you believe in your product you will give it the best possible artwork in relation to its contents of course. When we sign music its usually labels we have close working relationships with, so we get involved in the creative process of finding the right artwork that suits the music in question! Allow me to stop now because I can talk about this the whole day.

Reoccurring in your social media photos and followed by a hashtag “FamilyIsEverything” there is this cute little fella. Do you think this industry makes it easy for embracing a family life?
That little fella is my son Christian aka Bambook’s little helper :) Then there is my big helper aka my wife, which without her support and love I would not be doing what I’m doing so certainly and most surely ‘family is everything’ at least in my eyes. The industry has no choice but to embrace family life at some point coz most of us want to have children and continue working and traveling. Now, its definitely not easy, I must say. But once you find the mechanism and arrangements for things to function in the daily life then that brings balance and harmony. Of course not to forget that work of a DJ starts in the weekends, so we have time to spend and nurture family life during weekdays, which is great.

In one of your interviews you emphasized your aspiration for creating a high tech sound. Why is that important to you? How do you define this sound?
Most music moves with time, evolves and adapts to its new environment from technical, fashionable and influential angles. Surely we try to draw our taste of music from the timeless music out there that has a real value but at the same time its important for us keep an open ear for the sound of now – combine both and you get Bambook sound.

What are your must-haves of equipment for producing? What are you newest exciting toys?
Prophet-08 and Juno-60 are essential. Lately we got the vintage AKAI MPC 2000XL.

Do you think in general the dynamics of being in a duo, including creative and organisational compromises, makes it more challenging or easier?
Working as a duo certainly has lots of compromise and complementation, but in its right positive forms. It is two minds at work, not one, and that is a plus!

If one of us gets stuck in the creative process we make sure that other one is there to lead the way. We try to divide the work. For example one of us works on finding an idea for a track and work on puzzling everything around to create solid creative process. Once this is achieved the other half is ready to give the idea sound and find the best technical way to nail it. After that we both hit the studio and finalize the project!

If we both believe in the idea (fire starter) then there is no place for contradiction.

Moments from Sonar, Fabric, and Paradise festival are highlighting your Facebook profile as great memories it seems. What is more embedded in your nature, as Bambook, playing to the crowd or producing? Who of you leans more to which?
E: Both really, I could be leaning more towards playing to the crowd and Hannes leans more to producing.

See also: DHA Culprit Podcast #001 By Bambook

What’s next in store for you guys?
Been up to lots lately! Working on new 3 tracks EP with Name One. New exciting EP in the making with Jennie A. I have also started project under the alias Quina (as mentioned above) along side my good friend and Miami based Emilio Arias.

I’m involved along side my long time friend and ally Alessandro Flashmob in the Limited Collective label. We have created a force to be reckon with from showcase to be announced soon to quality releases by artists like dj wild, Phil Weeks, Mennie to mention a few. Also expect top-notch artwork and vinyl press with each release.

The track you wish you’ve had created and why that of all?
Oh that is tricky question as there are many great tracks out there! I’m not going to pick up a track from the old days just to show that I know the roots of house music and blab la bla… rather I choose one of the tracks that I really love from recent years produced by one of my very good friends Chaim called ‘Love Rehab’ on Bpitch Control the fact that I still play it in every set does answer your question why.

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