“I wanted to take over the world with my music”, reads an extract from an interview with Katja Lindeberg in 2015. Just over a year elapsed before her debut release, ‘Swedish Tribal’, arrived under the alias HAJ300, yet it would seem the crosshairs of world domination are finally well and truly aligned.
Despite the fact this makes up her first release under the moniker, it would be misleading to present the EURO2000 released cassette as Lindeberg’s first foray in electronic music. She is a founding member of the Stockholm based female and transgender collective Drömfakulteten, who are well-versed in live, improvisational electronics.
Improvisation probably isn’t a bad way to surmise the sounds included in the tape. The release is littered with idiosyncratic flourishes across a work which defies expectations. Dancefloor offerings are subverted by abrasive noise, at times breaking down completely. ‘DU TAPPAR DET SA LATT’ for example shifts forward jauntily, like something from Shed’s 140 BPM experiment, The Panamax Project. Spine tingling screeches of noise burst out unexpectedly, building to a grinding climax amid tremoring waves of synthesiser.
Static-workout ‘FUCK IT WHO NEEDS MELODY’ is another good example of this contrast with its unremitting dancefloor abrasion, while ‘FIRE RED ENGINE’ evokes Tresor-themed nightmares with earth-rumbling kicks, distant outcries and time warp sound effects. ‘FULT I’ & ‘FULT II’ are similarly full-throttle; jackhammer low-end and amp-driven atmospherics ploughing roughshod over all in their path.
Despite the generally rather foreboding tone of the release, there is dynamic here too. ‘DEADLINE MASTER’ sees the whole project collapse inwards, as HAJ300 momentarily becomes HAL 9000. The combination of computerised voices, glitched-out synthetics and delicate ambience reminds me of some of AGF’s work, yet with a streamlined, reductionist feel.
If I’m being honest, I’m surprised this release hasn’t garnered more attention. Lindeberg has tapped into an area which feels rather uncharted to me, her mastery of live electronics pushing the release into a space shared by few. This may be the first we’ve heard from the HAJ300 moniker, but I have every confidence it won’t be the last. The tanks are on the lawn.