Inside a Swedish techno retreat taking bedroom producers to the woods

swedish-techno-retreat Inside a Swedish techno Retreat

Looking to take producers out of solitary studios and give them a community and support, Vivrant is a writer's camp – only with more kickdrums

The journey north from Luleå Airport takes around one hour, the scenery growing wilder with each mile the minibus clocks. Swedish Lapland is a breathtaking wilderness, whether it's midwinter's frozen lakes and Arctic tundra or the green blanket of summer. Our destination: a 1930s retirement home that's been converted into a guesthouse, a remote, award-winning design masterpiece.

Alongside five other electronic musicians, Dazed is attending the inaugural Vivrant Camp, led by label bossmen, DJ and producer Jeremy Olander and his longtime friend and manager Alex Drewniak. Taking its name from Olander's progressive house and techno imprint, it's the dance music equivalent of a five-day writer's retreat. For the first edition, Spanish melodic master Marino Canal and a quartet of domestic talent have been drafted: Viggo Dyst, Rebecca Scheja, Oliver Storgords, and Moa Lönnå, aka MOLØ.

The electronic music camp attendees stay together in the site's old farmhouse long-since converted into a B&B, all wooden fixtures and fittings with retro trinkets lining walls and shelves. From there, it's a short hike through the thick pine forest to Dragonfly, one of seven striking treehouses, now a pop-up studio. Three rooms offer mesmerising views across the vast Swedish emptiness as well as pack synths, drum machines, and more. A communal central area breaks up the workspaces with a table, bench seating, and fully stocked bar.

"We were really clear in terms of our communication to the artists that our only concern is that you spend the time with each other and actually make your way into the studio every day," says Drewniak, explaining they aimed to avoid any element of forced creativity. "We just wanted people to have fun, and enjoy each other's company, and maybe learn a thing or two from one another. And then if something comes out of it, that's amazing."

The approach pays off. Storgords tells us how the process helps him develop technically, citing a bespoke drum creation plug-in both Olander and Dyst used that he'd never seen before as one tangible example. Lönnå is quick to point out how much more connected the Vivrant roster now feels. "We learnt so much about each other," Canal adds. Strong bonds are forged over meatballs, fish stew, and plenty of French wine – sandwiched between hours spent honing track ideas together.

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