The pianist Benny Andersson took the rebellion, the excess, the scream and the sex from rock music – and gave the world Abba. The band split up, but the music stayed. Now a new album is to be released. About a successful Swedish model.
In the middle of Stockholm is the island of Skeppsholmen. When Sweden was a great power, in the 17th century, the navy was located there. Today it is a park that houses important cultural institutions in the country: the Modern Museum, the Architecture Museum and the Royal Art College. A workshop building stands by the water, with a view of the landing stage for the Finland ferries on the other bank. There is a music studio in this shed. It’s called “Riksmixningsverket” (“Reichsmischungsanstalt”) and belongs to Benny Andersson, the pianist who, together with the guitarist Björn Ulvæus, forms the male, composing half of the pop group Degradation formed. The location and name of the studio reveal that Andersson, perhaps more than any other member of this group, is dealing with a national institution.