Gabriel Bødker Johnson is a Danish multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the emerging solo, pop recording project thirdcurl. Interestingly, Johnson’s latest thirdcurl single “with you,” a collaboration with fellow multi-instrumentalist and producer Casper Iskov can trace some of its origins to when a 14 year old Johnson met Iskov, who was a local music legend at the time. Much like Johnson, Iskov began his music career when he was 12.
Around the same time, Johnson was honing his skills with DJ equipment and FL Studio. Pioneer released a YouTube ad featuring new DJ equipment, which featured a deadmau5 remix of Daft Punk captured Johnson’s interest — and it began a lifelong obsession with deadmau5. Sometime later, the acclaimed electronic music producer and DJ hosted live streams sharing his creative process, and a young Johnson watched as many of those streams as possible. There’s a reason I mention Johnson’s obsession with deadmau5: you see, the first song that Johnson wrote back in 2011 was a version of his latest single “with you,” which at the time as the Danish multi-instrumentalist and producer explains “was a complete copy of a traditional deadmau5 track. I put it on YouTube because I was simply so proud to have made my own electronic track.”
As for the track “with you” is a radio friendly pop confection, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, Iskov’s plaintive vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook — and as a result, the single manages to sonically nod a bit at New Order and Tame Impala. “With You” got a brand new life, when Iskov heard an early mix of the track, loved what he heard and contributed lyrics to the new version — and of course, it marks the first collaboration between the two.
“Casper and I moved in together in an old house outside of Copenhagen together with Emil Kiltsgaard, who helped me to do the cover for the track, and Andreas Frandsen, who plays bass with me on stage,” Johnson says in press notes. “During this time, Casper and I sat down and finally managed to finish the track in 2018. 7 years it took to finish “with you.” We’re very proud of the track, as it features the same lyrics he wrote back then and because it still features the main elements of what I’d made so many years ago. But above all “with you” played a part of us becoming friends.”