Stockholm’s Oli XL has emerged as one of the most intriguing new artists in underground club music via his work as a producer, DJ, visual artist, and as head of the W-I label. As a producer who released his first record at the tender age of 19 – now with three EPs under his belt – Oli is an artist to watch. FACT Magazine named him as such officially at the beginning of 2018. Perhaps it was his track on the PAN label’s celebrated 2017 ambient compilation Mono No Aware, or his appearance as part of Varg’s Nordic Flora showcase that year at Berlin Atonal (alongside Sky H1, Swan Meat, Ecco2k, and others, including Varg himself). Or maybe it was his contribution to Posh Isolation’s I Could Go Anywhere But Again I Go With You compilation, which came out in January, 2018. Probably, it’s due to the release of his 2018 EP Stress Junkie, which features the crystallization of a sound hinted at in previous releases: unconventional yet funky rhythms and a pop sensibility. He describes it as somewhere between Source Direct and Basement Jaxx. You could also call it speculative club music that “hits that sweet spot between crushing, syncopated drums and serene, reverb-soaked ambience.” As a DJ, Oli incorporates all of that nuance with an affinity for the UK’s hardcore continuum, filtered through a zeitgeist aesthetic for an eclectic array of dancefloor sounds.
FACT has also touted W-I as a key voice in the leftfield club sphere. It’s the space where Oli has overseen releases for friends like Celyn June, Chastic Mess, and Lokey, not to mention explored new ways to release physical music. His Relic project scavenged parts from cheap consumer electronics and planted them in 3D-printed shapes – he released the EP Location by Celyn June as sculptures that second as music players. While Oli recently closed W-I, he already has plans for a new label called Bloom, one he promises to be ten times as good 😉