Over one year on from the most dramatic night in dance music history, and the return of Swedish House Mafia at Ultra Music Festival 2018 in Miami still continues to hog headlines as the biggest story in the industry’s all-time pantheon.
The historic return of the iconic trio marked not just a seminal moment in dance music history, but also the reunion of the first ever act to have elevated themselves above the pantheons of a ‘DJ’ or ‘Producer‘ tag. Since their inception a decade or so ago, the names Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso have steadily grown in stature, with the triplet of performers gaining ‘Rockstar’ like status.
Whilst many electronic music performers come and go both readily and frequently – others stake their claim for a place in folklore by cementing their spot at the upper echelons of the industry for prolonged periods. The double-decade spans of acts like Carl Cox, Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, Armin van Buuren or Tiesto a prime example of this.
But others – go even beyond that level, merging the realms between the dance industry, and bona fide music legends. For EDM lovers, these names are now the modern equivalent to Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Freddie Mercury. With the trio set to kickstart their 2019 tour and ‘official comeback’ with a triplet of shows in Stockholm this weekend,We Rave You investigates… What can we expect from the return of Swedish House Mafia?
ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER:
The popular phrase ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ has certainly never been more true than in the form of Swedish House Mafia (aka Ax, Seb, and Steve)- who had somehow actually managed to grow even bigger – in their 6 years apart, and 7 since their last release (‘Don’t You Worry Child’ in 2012). Sure, the latter continued to grow his solo presence with iconic shows at Printworks, and the release of his highly anticipated ‘Human’ album, whilst the former blitzed all before them as a duo with headline shows at Tomorrowland, and their own Ushuaia Ibiza residency, but like salt & pepper, or in this case – salt, pepper & salt – the hidden ingredient for both acts’ success seemed to rest on the attendance of the other.
ANTICIPATION & RUMOURS:
By the time Steve had ‘followed’ his former pals across social media again, rumours began to circulate. As the opening chords of the aptly chosen ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ rippled through the Ultra crowd that night, the box lifted back up to unveil three familiar figures who had been delivered by private police escort to the audience, standing high above their crowd. Figuratively, their position gave them the look of Gods scanning over their earthly children, and soon, millions of cries and prayers were answered as Axwell bellowed his familiar introduction to the crowd – albeit it with a slight 2018 twist.
“My name is Axwell, this is Sebastian Ingrosso, and this is Steve Angello, and Miami… You know… We are the Swedish House Mafia.”
Whilst many dance music fans clamour for the golden age of progressive house to return (Alesso was even the subject of online abuse by passionate fans who felt the producer had abandoned his progressive roots during his Tomorrowland weekend one performance), a resurgence in the movement led by the Swedes might not not quite pan out the way that fans who long for ‘Greyhound 2.0’ initially expect. Judging by the sound of Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s 2018 ID ‘Behold’ and the various heavy tunes dropped in the trio’s Ultra set, (Salvatore Ganacci’s ‘Antidote’ remix, ‘Cobra’ by Magnificence etc), 2019 could see the musical landscape shifting to a much bassier tone than many may initially predict.
With their triplet of nights at Stockholm‘s Tele2 Arena now just a few days away, the trio were asked about their return at a globally broadcast press conference last October, adding:
“It was time.”
Not just for themselves, but for the dance industry as a whole.