One To Watch :: Tooli
Tobias Lidstorm, ‘Tooli’ is a pioneer of the house scene in his hometown of Stockolm in Sweden and is widely known for co-foundering one of the most exciting record labels around, Local Talk. The highly respected label, through hard work and consistent first-class releases is fast becoming a globally celebrated House imprint. Tobias together with his partner in crime, the world-renowned DJ and club promoter Mad Mats found the label in 2011 and since then the guys have built up quite a collection of artists with HNNY, Kyodai, Dale Howard and Claes Rosen all being part of the family among others. What we really love is Mad Mats and Tobias’ principles with the label which is to have a strong community, ‘anyone who released on Local Talk is part of the brand’, this is something we feel has been lost a little in the digital day and age with many labels being guilty of not doing this and so we, like many others find it refreshing to see a more unified imprint in action. Secondly, to ‘never ever compromise with the music’ - enough said.
In reading up on Tobias’ career thus far, it is clear that he is a music obsessive having set up 6 imprints along the way which is some feat. The first was named ‘24:HRS’ which also hosted highly acclaimed events in Sweden and interestingly began, as a blog, which we believe, was Tobias’ first taste of musical publicity. In 2013 Mad Mats and Tobias launched Telefonplan which is a label ‘dedicated to techno’ and yet another platform for this cohesive duo to convey their taste buds on say a tougher note. Aswell there are two sub-labels ‘under the Local Talk umbrella’, 1nce Again and OneOffs. These two sub labels give the pair an opportunity to release more alternative music to what is on mother label with 1nce Again laying out ‘classic and forgotten gems from back in the day, remastered with new mixes and reworks’. OneOffs is about ‘being musically curious, free and looking at House music with both retro, current and futuristic specs’ - expect the unexpected!! This year Tobias set up his solo label ‘Omena’ which has some luscious releases on it already and artwork to accompany the music, which is elegant to say the least. It will be exciting to see how the label develops and we look forward to seeing Tobias express his taste further.
We stumbled across Tooli when we heard his immaculate and beautifully constructed mix entitled ‘Have these tracks been played at the Berghain?’ – it certainly struck a cord for us and put fire in our bellys to dig further into his recordings. Upon doing this we weren’t disappointed in the slightest with an array of exemplary mixes to his name. We wanted to hear from Tobias himself and to accompany the words we’re proud to present a flawless mix that takes you on a real journey, here’s what the musical wizard had to say on it, “I recorded it at 5 AM just before daybreak really so it’s more chill - perfect for a Sunday listening session or driving around the countryside.” Enjoy!
What were your early musical inspirations?
A lot of different things, my father used to take me to record stores when I was very young, especially stores with imports and he also bought Record Collector and other magazine that I read. I have memories of trying to memorize all these artists and bands and imagine what they would sound like.
My two older sisters and big brother bought a lot of records they played out loud at home. New wave, punk, synth, classical music, heavy metal, hip hop. And then my father playing Little Richard, The Cramps, Bo Diddley. Really loud. There was a lot of music you could say.
I did listen a lot to radio too, writing down names of bands and went to the local record shop to find anything something by them. Even though I couldn’t afford to buy records that often I used to be in the store listening to everything for hours.
How long have you been DJing and how has your style evolved over time to what it is today?
Around 2007, that’s when it became a bit serious, so I guess I’m still fairly “new”. I did one or two gigs before but I have a note from April in 2007 where I wrote “DJ” in my diary. I’ve always been buying a lot of records, so I was prepared you could say. Back then I was part of “24:hrs Soundsystem” in Stockholm and we played a lot of disco, italo, soul, a little bit house. Good dance music. I never thought about which style I wanted to be associated with then, I just wanted to play every record I had I my collection. To be honest I’m not sure if I’ve developed any style thru the years but there’s two things that I really, really like and that’s bass and percussions. If a track got that - then it’s in my record bag.
How would you hope your mixes make your listeners feel? What do you hope to evoke?
Though one to answer but I do hope people get the mix as a whole, there’s some thought behind them, believe it or not. You should be able to listen to them from start to finish, without getting bored and hopefully there’s some good vibes coming thru. That’s about it I think.
What current artists influence you?
I’m a massive fan of Floating Points and Four Tet (who isn’t?) perhaps they’re not “current” but whatever they do I get inspired while listening. Shanti Celeste has done some killer stuff, the latest EP on Boardwalk is a must have and I can’t wait to hear what’s coming next from her, the same goes with Outboxx. They’ve been sending music and each new track is superb. I’m super impressed by Esa (Esa Williams AKA Esa & Mervin Granger). I met him in London earlier this year and we started talking about music and I got to hear some of the stuff he’s been working on – it’s all really good + we get a long very well ;). I’ve seenHauke & Matthias in Session Victimplay live two times this year and the energy and playfulness they deliver is ridiculously good…and I’m a really big fan of their music too. There’s a lot of great music coming from Sweden too but mentioning all the names here would take a while so I suggest you check ‘em out yourself ;)
In 2011 you set up the hugely successful ‘Local Talk’ with Mad Mats. How did you come about creating the label and what are the foundations behind Local Talk?
We got in touch with each other a few months after I played at a party Mats did for many years, Raw Fusion (Fusion earlier). This was late 2010. We had a few meetings, talked about how we should do it. Mats had a very clear idea of what he wanted to do and I’ve always wanted to start a label so it all worked out very smooth. I think the most challenging thing then was trying to figure out a name. The music was already decided – it should be house music, simple as that. For the name I actually wrote down a 100 and then picked out a few for the both of us to choose from and we had both picked Local Talk – so we went for that.
What do you look for when signing a production onto Local Talk?
Some sort of musical identity, hopefully it’s house music since that is what we release…and me and Mats has to like it. Simple as that.
What’s on the horizon for Local Talk?
There’s two more releases this year. Next up is a 12” from Crackazat with remixes from AD Bourke and HADE then in December we got a new HNNY 12”.
2015 is almost here too, we’re doing artist albums next year and first up is Crackazat. Both me and Mats have been playing tracks of it and the reactions have been amazing so we can’t wait to get it out, I described it as a “Floating Points meets Undergroud Resistance” and think it’s pretty accurate ;) There’s a few Local Talk family members returning to do releases + we’ve got some new people working on releases for us.
There’s label nights being planned too, we’re going to bring Local Talk to the clubs and bring some of the label family with us.
Business as usual I guess. We’re still having fun and trying to push ourselves and the label.
What’s the number one thing you'd like to be able to cross off your musical bucket list?
Probably have a jam session with Four Tet, Joni Mitchell and Theo Parrish.
What are your current favourite 3 tracks?
I’m going to pick 5!
Fatima - Do Better. This is from her album on Eglo released earlier this year. Every track is amazing so I could probably choose them all but this one I think everyone out there should listen too.
HNNY - 6.30. From the second release on HNNY’s own label Yummy. The vibe on this one is really neat + it’s one of those tracks you can lie down too and read a book while listening, you can slow dance to it with your best friend or bring it with you on a long train ride. It also reminds me a bit of Herbert and to me Johan (HNNY) has that playfulness in his productions.
Don Cherry - "Utopia & Visions" – This is from a new compilation called “Black Fire! New Spirits!: Radical & Revolutionary Jazz In The USA 1957-82” released by the mighty fine Soul Jazz. A lot of fantastic music on this compilation and everyone needs a bit of Don Cherry in their life I think.
Henry Rodrick – Daybreak – this is a demo I got sent the other day and it’s killer stuff, I must have listen to it 100 times by now.
Esa – Umatic 3000. This is from the upcoming Omena release “Gwalaka Fortune EP”. I remember starting to sweat while listening to it the first time.