Dödsknarkarna – S/T (1985)

July 8 2014 – A different shade of punk

Dödsknarkarna – S/T

Sista Bussen – SB 4007 – 1985 – Cassette

Side 1 MP3 320 kbps

Side 2 MP3 320 kbps


Image to the left: Dödsknarkarna – Bengtsson and Tompa Eken.

Dödsknarkarna, translation “The death junkies” is the evidence that punk can be an attitude rather than a specific musical sound. This acoustic duo consist of Tommy “Tompa Eken” Ekengren and Janne “Bengtsson” Håkansson. Both are more known for Swedes as profiles of Ultrahuset, possible Tompa Eken was the most well-known. Back in the summer 1980 he (then 30 years old) together with some activists managed to score an abandoned house in Handen (Southern Stockholm, Sweden) from the city to be used as a cultural center. Its importance for musical scene in Sweden should not be underrated. Over the eight years of existence bands played weekly: Ebba Grön, Black Flag, Asta Kask, the Hives, Morbid, Nihilist and KSMB just to mention a few.


Image to the left: Ultrahuset.

It was a quite simple system to get a gig: As a band you called Tompa Eken and he added you to the waiting list and you got a day when you could play. There was no need sending a tape or anything, if you got a band you could play no matter how good or bad you was. Over the years many trips to Handen was made. Most of them in a friend’s car, the only friend who had a a driving license. I remembered that doors of the car could not be opened, resulting in everyone had to crawl in or out of the windows. At Ultrahuset you paid a very low entrance and got a dot on your backhand by a magic marker. If you were broke you would get in anyhow. Right to the entrance there was a living room with a small stage. On the left there was a kitchen were Tompa Eken relentlessly baked fresh cinnamon buns to be served in the “hole in the wall” café. The beverage options were coffee, tea or lemonade. If you wanted something stronger you had to drink whatever you got outside the house. It was for sure “DIY” in perfection; one of few places really handled by the kids for the kids. What’s interesting is that Tompa actually recorded every gig on tape. That means that somewhere there are among all tapes a recording of my old band, hope no-one ever find it. As we played first that night, only Tompa Eken and two very drunk kids in mohawks saw the show. I can’t even rememeber the other two bands that played.

The kitchen at Ultrahuset

Image to the left: The kitchen of Ultrahuset where the infamous cinnamon buns were made.

Over the next 8 years some 2,000 band played in the tiny living room of Ultrahuset. In the end the city wanted to evict the house. It was located more or less in the middle of the suburbs and the politicians wanted to integrate the Ultra in the municipally culture and youth department. For the activist, true to DIY, this was unacceptable so the kids “occupied” the building and build barricades so the house could not be torn down. Eventually it escaladed badly, the building was put on fire and more than 100 of the activist were taken to custody by the police. The summer of 1988 was for sure a sad time for DIY in Stockholm and Sweden.

Part of the activist got involved in Hunddagis (Dog daycare center) named after its previous usage. It was active for a few years. Tompa Eken moved on to Café 44 in Stockholm, the place where most of the current punk shows are hosted.

This tape was released by Sista Bussen, a label situated not far from Handen (Huddinge). It had one foot in the Swedish left-wing “progg” movement and another in the more political punk movement.

I would like to thank long-time Ultra activist Johan Frölish who gave me this tape to share the world. Enjoy!!!

Click on the images to expand the higher resolution.

Inlay and Cassette

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