The band known as Koop is really just a duo, Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simonsson have been making music together since 1995. The Swedish jazz movement was just taking shape when Zingmark and Simonsson joined forces to create one of the singular most influential and unique musical sounds to come from the movement. As collaborators, they blended samples of other music and sounds to create a style of fusion jazz unlike any other.
Simonsson and Zingmark met in their hometown of Uppsala, North of Stockholm, Sweden. The pair met at a student club, where Zingmark was working as a DJ and Simonsson was playing in a jazz quintet. The young men decided to mix a tune for Zingmark’s DJ sets, and their first attempt was “Debussy mixed with jazz.” They worked hard together after to produce their first album in 1997, “Waltz for Koop.” The band albums all feature the duo dressed in makeup and women’s clothing. When asked about this statement, the pair said that they began this exploration with a picture they had taken which was later the cover for Waltz for Koop. They enjoyed it so much that they have done so ever since. They go on to further distinguish their individuality by shunning the macho image that is often portrayed by artists on their album covers.
The duo can credit influences such as hip-hop, trance, dance techno and house music as all blending together to create something altogether new. Zingmark and Simonsson spend endless hours creating each composition by meticulously mixing samples from a huge variety of sources, such as vintage albums, radio recordings and sounds of individual musical instruments to create their own sound. The band credits such influences as Swedish folk and jazz artists from the 1960's including Jan Johansson and Monica Zetterlund, United Future Organization and Jeff Mills for their musical leanings.