For dance music purists, it might have looked like Rudolf Nordström and Oscar Wedren were going about it all wrong. The Swedish duo, better known as Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie, announced their arrival early last year with five EPs in six months, put out through their newly formed Karlovak label. In today's electronic music scene, where an infrequent release schedule is often thought to have a greater impact, it could easily have resulted in overkill. As it stands, though, the pair's tough, exciting take on club-centric house made heads turn for all the right reasons.
Looking at Nordström and Wedren, they make an odd pair. For one, Nordström, who hides long blonde hair beneath a snapback, like a young, Swedish version of Garth from Wayne's World, is nearly ten years Wedren's junior. He's energetic, sometimes frantic, while Wedren remains cool and collected. And yet their music has a magnetic, cohesive quality that many solo producers would envy. In many ways, their formula is a classic one: mix thumping, no nonsense beats with disco samples. And yet their music feels and sounds remarkably fresh. As a result, Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie have risen from near obscurity to become one of the scene's most talked-about newcomers.