Band of the Day

2011.11.26

Quadron

Stunningly cool and smooth electro refresh of classic soul and doo-wap
Have too much pleasure from illusions of right, it seems I'd rather lose a friend then a fight.
lyrics from Slippin

Quadron are an electronic soul duo from Copenhagen, Sweden. Made up of vocalist Coco Maja Hastrup Karshøj and musician/producer Robin Hannibal, the name comes from the fact that both band members are of one quarter African descent. The group formed when Hannibal, an experienced producer and Coco a young, up and coming vocalist discovered a shared passion for soul. Wishing to make timeless music that incorporated electronic textures, the group got to work creating their 2010 debut Quadron. With their influences ranging from 60s girls groups to soul, R&B and electro, Quadron have received critical praise. Coco's vocals are a rich, sultry take on classic jazz and soul sounds while Hannibal's production style splits the difference between Motown and more contemporary electronic tracks.

Quadron exude cool. It seems effortless for them, like their ultra smooth update of classic soul and R&B came together after they finished a game of bocci ball, put on some sunglasses and leather jackets, and said “alright, we've got 35 min to record, plenty of time.” Quadron are a Danish duo made up of singer Coco Maja Hastrup Karshøj and producer Robin Hannibal, and by all indications they are indeed, very cool. Their sound is deeply rooted in 70s soul and girl groups of the 60s, but they tweak it for the 21st century with fabulously warm synths and 90s R&B touches. This is music most at home in dimly lit lounges with plush red leather booths, but it's so rich and dynamic that it exists beautifully outside of that setting. Hannibal's production is masterfully reserved: R&B beats fit into the tracks so natively they're just there, strings swoop in then fade out, pianos twinkle, bass guitars rumble in quiet contentment, but never too much of anything at once. Hanibal wisely leaves tons of space for the main attraciton, Coco's velvety vocals. She sounds playfully dramatic dancing around Hannibal's productions with jazzy grace, and resurrects doo wap with flare when the time's right. Quadron's best known song, Slippin, has got the same minimalist, ultra cool confidence as British band The xx. But with the bass bouncing over handclaps and Coco's oh-so-rich retro vocals, it sounds like they poured buckets of steaming hot Motown soul on The xx's icy soundscapes. “Pressure” sounds like an homage to the Supremes, and Quadron nails it. “Average Fruit” brings in layers of strings and downtempo 90s R&B vibes for Coco to coo sweetly over. “Simili” delves even deeper into 90s R&B as Coco gets all breathy and double tracks her vocals gorgeously. With its skittering, verging on dubstep beat and delicate piano, Hannibal provides the perfect canvas. Quadron simultaneously sounds classic and fresh -a pretty tough achievement. These soulful nuggets of doo wop inspired R&B are incredibly sexy, and installed with enough hooks to keep you listening again and again.