photo: Knut Aaserud
Kohib is the primary studio moniker of wildly talented Norwegian artist, Øivind Andersen Sjøvoll. The DJ, producer and club organiser has been actively producing exquisitely formed and far-reaching music for two decades, releasing cosmically-centred sounds on labels including Beatservice, Paper and Sprechen, and compilation series like Buddha Bar. Ranging in glorious tone from the sweetest sunset soundtracks to throbbing meta-disco deviance, his expansive sound palette is both rich with vibrant luminosity and refreshingly difficult to predict.
Hailing from Sortland in the north of Norway, he's been a key figure in the smouldering club scene in Tromsø since 1997, initially operating solely as a DJ before later adding the role of club organiser to his repertoire. Sjøvoll's musical debut came as a member of the band Parliavox back in 2001, where he and his bandmates skilfully blended a jazz-funk essence with elements of house and electronica. Continuing in the proud Norse meta-disco lineage, two years later his solo electronica production journey began in earnest, and his recording debut arrived in 2005 when his 'Truger' track featured on Beatservice Record's 'Prima Norsk 3' compilation. In 2010, Beatservice again provided a home for Kohib's first album 'Make Fire', with a remix edition following a year later, and 2020 saw the much-anticipated follow-up long-player 'In Mountains' launched to critical acclaim. The past two decades have seen Kohib deliver a steady stream of immaculately constructed singles, with some of many highlights including the 'Solar Day' and 'Tirakan' EPs on Beatservice, and 'Italovest' and 'Itchy Kitchy People' EPs on Sprechen.
Aside from his solo work, Sjøvoll has collaborated with numerous singers and artists – notably joining forces with Lydia Waits, Bel Canto's Anneli Drecker, Mari Boine and Dagny – and combining as Kohib & Kahuun for a pair of scintillating eponymous EPs. On top of this, he serves as producer and band member of the acts F.A.C.E. and High Heeled Giants, where still more captivating and at times pop-centric sonics are explored.
Kohib's diverse yet distinct sound palette has its roots firmly planted in the analogue realm, with some of the key weapons in his audio arsenal including vintage rarities like Mini-Pop Junior, MC-303 and MS-20, as well as contemporary favourites from synth legends Moog, Dave Smith and Roland. The beating heart of his studio is a small modular system, with a Doepfer Dark Time sequencer utilised to direct the pulse from one machine to another.
Outside of the studio, he has been no less active. In 1998, he and a few friends started the legendary club Yaz'n – Norway's smallest club – which quickly gained a reputation for its delightfully sweaty club nights. Following this, he owned and ran the revered club/cafe Circa for 15 years – a jewel in the Tromsø club scene – and now he is a part of the live stages at Storgata Camping and Amtmandens.
With yet more lovingly-crafted studio fire forthcoming over the coming months, Kohib is beyond doubt an artist whose exquisitely imagined work elegantly soars above the saturated field, and whose exceptional work continues to move and inspire in equal measure.
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