Swedish House Mafia: They came, They saw, They failed
It is the night of March 26, 2018. There has been silence in Miami for 40 minutes. Tens of thousands of pairs of eyes focusing on the mainstage of the Ultra Music Festival. Millions of people are turning on the live stream worldwide. “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Axwell, this is Sebastian Ingrosso and this is Steve Angello; and Miami you know that we are the Swedish House Mafia.” That was it. The comeback of one of the largest – according to many – EDM project(s) returns five years after its end. The momentum had hit like a bomb, but what should follow? The answer was given by the three themselves: nothing. In any case, if you do not include overpriced merchandise, bizarre PR promotions, and canceled gigs. Many are already talking about the biggest fail in the history of electronic music. We light up the darkness.
Three points conquered the world
In 2010, three friends from Scandinavia ring in the era of EDM. With songs like “Miami 2 Ibiza“, “One” or “Antidote” they created, together with the releases of Avicii and Co., the commercial Progressive House. No matter what the boys touched, it turned in gold. All singles are lit. 2012 was followed by her album “Until Now“, which supplemented the hits with a few discs. Until then, everything was fine but in 2013 they said goodbye to the scene. The official reason was internal disagreements. From now on, they split into Axwell / Ingrosso and Angello as a solo project.
Preferably, one would have to sit down before deciding to revive a project to test whether something creative, innovative or simply “good”. Instead, as told also during Miami performance: “these are three friends who haven’t seen each other in 5 years.”
The Swedish House Mafia discovered merchandising early on. Quickly after the comeback, they set up an online store offering a T-shirt with the inscription “03 25 18” for just 50 euros – of course, without considering shipping costs.
The quality of the delivered items was bad. The fans complained rightly about cheap material, bad imprint as well as a loose fit. The SHM promised improvement. They should also get the opportunity because in the meantime T-shirts and hoodies had also been joined by scarves, caps and new designs. The items were supposed to be available for a limited time; instead, the shop was opened and close almost weekly.
Rightly, the fans are outraged. A music project that seems to be capable of everything but just releasing music. Such a marketing channel, as it’s the merchandise, becomes problematic when it seems the only thing you’re offering to the fans. The border between financing and money-making has been crossed. The negative comments utterances. The once so glorious Swedish House Mafia became a meme.
The answers under Instagram comments
The first negative comments started to pop-up under their Instagram pop-up stores announcement. The Instagram user Proxbeat spoke for many when he invited the guys, a few weeks ago, to release music. He conveniently called them “moneytakers”. Steve Angello, however, saw it very differently.
Angello presents himself and his friends as perfectionists answering: “You would rather have published music just to have music released.” Which, we think, it’s not what he meant as demanding music from a music project is not too far-fetched.
The comments under Swedish House Mafia posts become increasingly critical to the point the big date showed during Creamfieldswas just another merch shop. With the trio compromising their identity once again answering to comment like “I’m so sad to say this but I’m over it…” with “lol. Over and out. Bye.”
Such situations show that even for the Swedish House Mafia the nerves are bare. One and a half years without a single publication – that had probably presented differently. The PR team probably fell out of the blue as they read Angello’s comment.
The shows, all the way back in 2013
The gigs have been considered breathtaking by many. However, the shows are overshadowed by the character of a revival party. Needless to say, it is nice to be able to experience the anthems of that time in person but, we are no more in 2013.
Without considering the lack of new music (Underneath It All and Orchestral version of One have been pulled out from the tracklist), the long pause between tracks because “we no more make DJ set,” the almost exact same tracklist the tour started with huge problems as, the early cancellation of UMF Korea show followed by Weekend Festival and Tomorrowland’s rumors.
The comeback of the Swedish House Mafia is already a flop at this time. Mismanagement, faulty behavior and the continued pushing of the merchandise have trampled on the heritage and potential. Now is the time to release music. In the meantime, the merchandising should be discontinued. At this point, who was interested in it, has had enough time to buy it. Otherwise, the impression of a purely economic interest in the project on the part of artists and management can no longer be hidden away. It is also not convincing in giving away “Access All Areas Lifetime Passes“. The more ironic the statement on their website: “We see you, we hear you, we love you.” – No, just not.