Once upon a time…
The beginning, 1995
It started in September 1995 when songwriter Bo Christo kidnapped some friends and took them into the studio over a weekend to record some songs just for fun. The first songs to be recorded were Keeps, Are You Still There and Horses. At that point they hadn’t yet started talking about any album releases (but eventually all three songs ended up on three different albums).
The first line-up was Patrik Sviberg (drums), Johan Werner (guitars), Jochum Forsell (guitars and vocals) and Bo Christo on bass and vocals. But soon more people kept pouring into the sessions. And they kept coming and coming. And today, twenty years later, over 40 different musicians have at some point been involved in Un Rodo Cora.
The band’s loose fit is a result of the frustration Bo Christo felt in many of the bands he played with in his youth, where a fixed setting often became a limitation, when the songs never sounded as fantastic in real life as the embryo did in his head. Instead of writing songs for the band, he decided to form a band for the songs.
First album: Paris-Stockholm
In 1996 Un Rodo Cora started working on what was to become the debut EP; Aerial Vault (released in 97) and the debut album: Paris-Stockholm (99).
The album title was taken from the ”hidden” the last track of the album, a sound collage made with two synchronized tape recorders simultaneously taping sounds in different locations in Paris and Stockholm. Those audio tracks were then mixed together with the sounds of Paris in one channel and Stockholm in the other.
The original line-up was still involved in the process, but they were now complemented with a number of new contribut0rs, like Patrik Lindqvist (keyboards), Stellan Wahlström (drums) and Arvid Krantz (guitar).
In 1999 the band also released a 5 track EP (Je ne parle pas nepalais), with some songs from the full-length album and a couple of leftovers from the previous releases. By then the band had already started to work on their second full-length album New York-Barentsburg.
Second album: New York-Barentsburg
On NYB the journey continued with the title spawned from the songs Iridium (a jazz club in New York) and the weird celebration to the mining town Barentsburg – a Russian settlement in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, in the middle of the Arctic Sea. Among the new regulars in the band were Danielle Dahlström (guitars and vocals) and Patrik Hedqvist (bass).
This time the sound and the songs were a bit more polished compared to Paris-Stockholm, but the main recipe was unchanged: listen to the song and add whatever ingredient you find necessary, regardless of what you already have or don’t have in your fridge.
Third album: Beijing-Bangalore
In 2008 the band released the first new song in over four years– Protection – as a first taste of the forthcoming album Beijing-Bangalore. But it wasn’t until December 2012 that the album was finally released, containing songs recorded over almost a decade. Some of them were initially meant to be featured on New York-Barentsburg, but they just didn’t make it in time. The album also included a couple of remakes of some of the earlier songs; Shark Tooth Town and Je ne parle pas nepalais. Among the new faces in the line-up were names such as Chino Mariano and Mats Wigerdal (both well known on the Swedish music scene since years back), New Yorker Amy Madden, and Swedish-Indian writer O’Yeah.
The Perfect EP
Two years later, in March 2014, Un Rodo Cora were back with a concept EP. Or not. Although all four songs on “The Perfect EP” have the word Perfect in the title the inspiration draws from many different sources, lyrically as well as musically. From the very personal to universal issues like alienation and religion. From classic pop to garage rock to some kind of twisted folk-inspired love duet. Among the new faces in the circle was drummer Niklas Janzon from Le Fever and Mount Liberation Unlimited.
Love Thy Neighbor
In 2016 Un Rodo Cora released their fourth album. Love Thy Neighbor is a departure from previous trips. Where the earlier albums were inspired by geographical locations, with titles like ”New York-Barentsburg” and ”Beijing-Bangalore”, the focus here is rather on a journey with religious and political overtones.
As always we are introduced to new travelling companions, such as Patric Westoo (Latvian Radio) and Janne Perning (Ace of Base, Secret Service). The album was recorded in Stockholm and Bengaluru, and mastered in Los Angeles by Reuben Cohen.
Twenty years after that first one-off weekend, the band seems to have no plans on quitting. And the loose fit structure is as solid as ever.