Sir Was

Connected Swedish saxman gives himself an electronic music knighthood

Who He?

Sir Was is long-haired Swede Joel Wästberg. He wasn’t a member of Was (Not Was) but he has been around for a while, just not as an electronic musician. He started out playing sax, garnering a decent rep on the global jazz circuit before getting switched on to African rhythms. He left his horn in Johannesburg and hasn’t bothered to go back to retrieve it. Wästberg went on to work with Sean Lennon and fellow Swede José González on a version of John Lennon’s ‘#9 Dream’ for the soundtrack to ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’.

Why Sir Was?

Sir Was’ debut EP for City Slang, ‘Says Hi’, is properly all over the place. This is about throwing as many things at the mixing desk as possible and miraculously creating songs you’d never believe would work if you saw the idea written down on paper. We’re talking wonky, half-rapped vocals pitched somewhere between emotional and impenetrably vague, deconstructed hip hop beats mixed with African polyrhythms, found sounds, and layer upon layer of intriguing synth loops and broken melodies. It all sounds very calculated and precise, but that’s what happens when you’ve spent nigh on 15 years fiddling with this stuff.

Tell Us More

Scandi gear is achingly hip right now and Sir Was is doing nothing to dissuade us that hot things come out of cold places. Now where did we stash that bottle of Absolut?

‘Says Hi’ is out on City Slang

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