Is it a record label or is it an art project?

It is neither, it is both.

Johan Billing, founder

Electric Fantastic Sound was founded by Johan Billing in 2005 with the intention of being just another record label, releasing albums and singles on compact discs like everybody else. The first sign of life was the 6 track compilation “Electric Fantastic Sound No.1 2005” that contained two tracks each from Diskodiktator, Johans primary band, Topgun that was the output of the other member of Diskodiktator, Magnus Johansson, and finally Basswood Dollies that was a new group by John Lindqwister of Cat Rapes Dog fame. The idea was to release a series of compilations and to get fans to subscribe so that they would receive CDs on a regular basis. After failing epically another plan had to be worked out.

Digital music was nothing new in the early 2000’s, and pirated mp3-files of current and old CD albums were flowing freely on the internet. A number of music industrialists were trying hard to find a way to stop the hemorraging whilst others were looking for the next thing. The label Electric Fantastic Sound were one of the first in the world to focus on digital releases – even before it was an actual release form!

EFS teamed up with Swedish start-up and started releasing music on their platform in a tempo that left the competition in panic. Some even claimed our releases weren’t “real” because they did not make the detour via CDs before they were digitized and made available online, but an ever-growing number of people got the idea. Electric Fantastic Sound was featured in the American tech magazine “Wired” as well as in the Swedish design magazine “Cap & Design” regarding the shift from physical to digital releases. As the internet became more widespread with the public, along with the increase of broadband connections at home and on smart phones, streaming services appeared and suddenly digital releases were not such a big issue anymore…

While the label started out with just a handful of bands more or less personally connected to Johan, more and more bands found their way to us. Some bands released just one or a handful of singles, others stayed with the label and kept outputting music for several years.

In 2015 when Electric Fantastic Sound turned ten years old a celebratory album was compiled to mark this milestone. Each track on it represents a significant song from each of these years, and it gives a fair estimate of how we would like to be seen and remembered. After 2015 the label slowly came to a more or less full stop, just releasing the occasional single or album by key artists.

In the beginning of 2024, while doing something completely unrelated, Johan re-discovered the folders on his computer marked “EFS” and a journey down memory lane started – a journey that is still ongoing thanks to you reading this very text. Various documents and files were compiled and sorted, and several gigabytes of music were labelled in an organised way, not to mention the tedious work of trying to sort out the hundreds of different cover art files, in almost as many different graphical formats. Some of them are forever lost and are only available as low resolution images, others have been revamped and are now published in glorious high definition.

We hope you enjoy what we have done so far.

Johan Billing

A brief background of the artist:

  • Graduated Malmö Musikpedagogiska Institut in 1989
  • Founded the label J-Axel Industrial Art & Interiör in 1991
  • Performed as Plasteroid with S.P.O.C.K 1994 to 1998
  • Founded the band Diskodiktator in 1996
  • Cofounded SubSpace Communications in 1996
  • Registered the site in 1998
  • Founded the label Electric Fantastic Sound in 2005