2021 started with their single ‘Abu Simbel’, named after the spectacular site of their legendary Cercle performance, which was released with Cercle’s label wing, and served as the emotionally-charged opener for the performance in March 2021. A second single called ‘Nefertari’ followed shortly after, this time a collaboration with Patrice Bäumel.
WhoMadeWho have been hinting at a new studio album ever since they dropped Mermaids back in May 2021. Some of the new album tracks could already be heard on the band’s contribution to BBC1’s larger-than-life Essential Mix series that was broadcast in August 2021. Following the global success of their subsequent singles – Summer, Silence & Secrets, UUUU –and a slew of remixes from the likes of Grammy-Award winning Black Coffee, Adriatique, DJ Tennis, &ME, and Frank
Wiedemann, the Scandinavian outfit finally release their upcoming long player, UUUU in May 2022. UUUU is the band’s seventh full-length studio album. A beautifully crafted record featuring thirteen original productions.
This latest stylistic shift in the band’s evolution highlights their versatility and passion for creating new challenges for themselves - all three band members relishing the chance to explore different terrain in great depth. Part of WhoMadeWho’s charm lies in their divergent musical backgrounds, meaning that they approach various styles with a touch of innocence;
Høffding and Kjellberg perhaps referencing Pink Floyd during a studio session, while Barford may allude to Carl Craig and vice versa, for instance. It’s what makes them such a fascinating group, capable of producing varied musical styles with a refreshing combination of vulnerability and confidence. As a group they are a unified force with three very different egos burning at their core working as the catalyst for their creative energy, with a little extra sparkle added by inviting other artists to join them in the studio.
Modifying the songwriting and production process to cater for the dance floor has been particularly enlightening for the group, as it requires a hypnotic use of rhythm, melody and vocals that can be difficult to achieve. It’s about tapping into that feeling of being on the dance floor when a simple, yet contagious hook infects your mainframe and refuses to let go.
Coming from a songwriting background means the group has adopted a more reductive method for creating parts of their songs; producing trippy, narcotic melodies and vocal hooks that are alluring and enchanting. The process has stimulated their appetite for making music, stretching them artistically while they’ve added a whole new dimension to their production process by including other musicians in their studio operations.
On stage too the trio have evolved from the traditional band blueprint to fresh configurations designed for the club. Their 'Hybrid DJ Set' places Barford in the booth playing a DJ set while one of his bandmates complements the music with improvised singing, keys and effects. While their new 'Live Set' deconstructs the band format and reassembles it as their current live show: One member handles programming and mixing while the other two band members are singing and playing a range of live instruments including bass, guitar, synths, effects, theremin, glockenspiel and more. It’s daring, playful and exciting, for both the band and their audiences. The scintillating Hybrid DJ setup was showcased at Burning Man aboard the Mayan Warrior art car, where the three men played a mesmerizing sunset show. The next shows and tours after the non-voluntary hiatus of the past year and a bit are already penciled in and WhoMadeWho can’t wait to present the results of their extensive studio work on stage.
Always pushing forward, WhoMadeWho are pouring enigmatic energy and positive dance floor vibrations into their current exploration of electronic music. It transports them back to their beginnings, when playing improvised jam sessions that merged their influences was all they wanted to do. They’re a band that are willing to push themselves, to grow, to stretch themselves creatively and explore the full spectrum of their potential. With a renewed focus on dance music, a collection of new songs and their alternative stage setups, they are entering the next phase of their existence.
In the wake of their illustrious career, packed with groundbreaking productions, boundary-pushing performances, and a constant re-imagination of their sound, WhoMadeWho is set to embark on yet another momentous journey.
Combined with visuals produced in collaboration with hand-picked artists such as flora&faunavisions (Berlin), Solo Avital & Ariel Vromen (Los Angeles), and Chris Mulligan (New York City), this is destined to be a live show that elevates the concert experience to a form of avant-garde art. Amidst the anticipation of the tour, the trio has also teased a new studio album slated for release in 2024. If their recent releases are anything to go by, fans and critics alike are eagerly awaiting another masterful blend of their iconic indie touch to club music. With an ever-evolving sound, a dedication to innovation, and a genuine passion for their craft, WhoMadeWho continues to cement their place as trailblazers in the music industry.