The Wait is Over: Storken’s “Lille Vals”

By Tom Dembsky

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       The search for new music can come in many forms: a trusted playlist, a YouTube rabbit hole, or a night out with Shazam on quick draw. Some like to sift through the pile of mixes uploaded each day, and some go straight to a trusted platform, like Boiler Room, for a dose of what lies on the forefront of electronic music. The goal is to have that moment, the one where a song hits you in a way that excites you to the point of curiosity. When Boiler Room uploaded Gerd Janson’s Day/Night set earlier this May, it felt like half the internet had this exact ‘moment.’ All the comments were users trying to figure out the second song he played, an ‘80s influenced anthem that hooks you from the start.

         It didn’t take long for a few facts to bubble up to the internet’s surface; the song was called “Lille Vals,” it was by a Swedish artist named Storken, and it would be released soon on Gerd’s Running Back Records. A quick search and you’d find that Storken doesn’t have any music on Spotify, so how did he get his track in the hands of a tastemaker like Gerd Janson? The artist, whose real name is Thomas Henriksson, took to Instagram to explain some background on how “Lille Vals” came to be.

         Henriksson grew up around music. His parents were in an ‘80s cover band that practiced in his living room, which exposed him to the sound that would one day influence his own music. Ten years ago he began producing, and for the past five years he has been working on “Lille Vals.” Recently, Henriksson was at an afterparty in his home town of Åre, Sweden, coming straight off of a show he had with a group called Genius of time. He played his song for one of the members who responded “This is something that Gerd would want.” Storken promptly emailed the promo to Gerd as well as Disco powerhouse Todd Terje, and Gerd took the bait.

         After a few months of preparation, and exposure by DJs like Jeremy Olander, “Lille Vals” is finally out. The song is nothing short of a hit with its arpeggiated bass, complex synth stabs, and a melody that’s impossible to forget. Its energy is playful and euphoric, a refreshing contrast to its Business Techno contemporaries. It doesn’t hurt that Storken’s song comes right at a time where ‘80s revival is everywhere. From disco to industrial to new wave, a mountain of ‘80s sounds have infiltrated 2019, and I, for one, place “Lille Vals” at the top.

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