The legendary band Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks turns 30 and Fanfar! is marking the occasion by releasing an elaborate collection of the band’s own favourites.
Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks was formed in Solna in November 1992 by the band’s eternal frontman Robert Johnson. Right from the start they put the pedal to the metal and the band’s signature style was equal parts Link Wray, Ennio Morricone, and rascally attitude.
Soon enough, they were a respected name in unabashed instrumental rock, both at home in Sweden and internationally. The breakthrough came with the album Fried on the Altar of Good Taste (2000) and the following year they were commissioned to score Fredrik Lindström’s comedy Känd från TV.
But soon enough – and typically for the band – they went against expectations and challenged their own audience by reincarnating as a synth duo. Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks have always gone their own way and they have done things with high quality after their own heart. 2017 saw the release of their latest original album – the acclaimed soundtrack (to a film that never made it to cinemas) Morte di Seeburg (also on Fanfar!).
Just in time for the 30th anniversary, we release Solna, Texas 1992-2022 – a limited edition vinyl compilation album. The lavish effort features Conny Nimmersjö of bob hund and KC BABY as executive producer. Conny has dug up the best master tapes possible from the archives and made sure the songs were remastered in the best possible way. A high quality product that we are very proud of.
The album release date is December 9, 2022.
In 2020, we released Cantona Gut Systems’ debut album Yoko: The Best Beatle. The Swedish music magazine Mono Magasin has named it the best album of 2020.
The LP Yoko: The Best Beatle is unique in Swedish music. Now, it’s only natural that we who are behind the record label Fanfar! thinks so, but regardless of opinion, one can probably state that Cantona Gut System debuts with something very unusual – an album that looks both backwards and forwards, which lifts up and which destroys with the same sharp hand.
This type of music usually faces some resistance, at least initially. Not least because of that, it’s incredibly fun that the magazine Mono Magasin has just named Yoko: The Best Beatle number one on its list of 2020’s best albums. As a bonus, we are really happy that The Mommyheads‘ latest album, New Kings of Pop, is also on the same list!
The best thing you can do is invest in these LP’s while they are still in stock.
This is how the magazine’s reviewer Peter Sjöblom describes Yoko: The Best Beatle in his review:
The album with the wonderfully provocative title Yoko: The Best Beatle (assuming you are easily provoked) is Cantona Gut Systems’ first, but the duo is not as unknown as it may seem. Both Robert Johnson and Johan Skugge come from relatively recently disbanded Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks, and this new project can be seen as the natural development of what the acclaimed instrumental band did, especially towards the end. Soundtracks to old Italian horror movies that never went to the cinema are of course a given reference, but Cantona Gut System adds even more dystopian shades. The horror no longer has Dario Argento’s strong colors but goes in blue-black, almost monochrome difficult-to-differentiate shades. This is so close to a Swedish version of Suicide’s debut album and Chrome around the time of Red Exposure. Dissolving a band as celebrated as Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks and then coming back with something even stronger, even more ruthless, even more visionary is both brave and praiseworthy. That it is the best I have heard from Robert Johnson in general only makes the achievement even greater.Peter Sjöblom, Mono Magasin
With the album Morte di Seeburg, Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks ended a two-decade-long renewal of rock music. The final album was supposed to be a soundtrack, but the film never came true. However, it turns out that the album inspired the author Maria Grund, when she wrote the crime novel Mortal Sin.
Detective Commissioner Sanna Bergling is the name of the hero in the crime novel Mortal Sin (or Dödssynden in the original Swedish language). The book is Maria Grund‘s debut as an author. She is already a screenwriter, and has been based in New York and London. Which may explain why there has been a great deal of interest in translations of the debut book in advance. The Swedish original edition is published by the publishing house Modernista.
Already in the first chapter, Morte di Seeburg with Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks appears (in my poor translation):
She turns off the radio, turns on the old CD player, and accelerates. Robert Johnson and Punchdrunk’s “Rabbia Fuori Controllo” crackles from the speakers as farms and crofts pass by. Meadows, fields and dark forests…
If you are the publisher of the said album, it is of course a bit dizzying to see this in writing. But the album turns out to have marked Mortal Sin even more. On her Instagram account, Maria Grund herself writes:
The soundtrack for my book. Or rather, for me while I was writing the book. It meant so much to me that my favorite track on the album – Rabbia Fuori Controllo – is actually IN the book. The song is the heartbeat of my opening scene and it is was playing inside my mind as one of my main characters – Sanna Berling – came to life. But more than anything, it is incredible music. Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks are sadly no more, but they have shapeshifted into a new group – Cantona Gut System – launching new music in April. Stay tuned. Find Rabbia Fuori Controllo on Spotify!Maria Grund on Instagram, March 18, 2020
Great fun, I think. And I can only agree, Morte di Seeburg is a masterpiece. You can find the LP here in our web shop.
Read more about Maria Grund’s book Mortal Sin (in Swedish) at Modernista.
In the spring of 2020, Fanfar! releases the debut album with Cantona Gut System. Robert Johnson and Johan Skugge opens your mind to dreams that your ears have never heard.
A few years ago, the legendary band Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks closed business with a worthy end, the masterpiece Morte di Seeburg. The obvious central figure Robert Johnson even went so far as to sell his guitars and intended to devote his free time to boxing and snooker. But then again, it’s okay to change your mind.
Together with Johan Skugge, who was also a part of the last edition of Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks, Robert now returns to the cinematic music – but with the new band Cantona Gut System all the controls has been turned a few more turns, in every direction. The debut album Yoko: The Best Beatle will feature music that hasn’t been heard.
We will get back on the subject matter.
For the time being: if you’re fluent in Swedish, please enjoy Fredrik Strage‘s chronicle in Dagens Nyheter – My guitar hero Robert Johnson is finally making a comeback.