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Thursday, February 26, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 12.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily
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Sweden's Movits! blend hip-hop with humor that transcends cultural differences
The international language of fun
Silly dancing and Swedish rhyming.
Silly dancing and Swedish rhyming.
Credit:Daniela Trujillo

Madison crowds aren't always eager to dance, but they won't be able to stand still at the High Noon Saloon on March 31. That's when Movits! -- a group from Luleå, a town near the cold northern border of Sweden -- will hit the stage. For the past seven years, they've been making a unique brand of hip-hop mixed with big-band horns and a gradually increasing amount of electronic dance music.

Movits! have appeared on The Colbert Report and played at Madison's World Music Festival. With hyperactive brass and rapping that highlights the rhythms of their native tongue, they've become a global sensation. Their top 10 tracks on Spotify have upwards of 25 million listens. That's more listens than the Roots have racked up with their 10 most popular songs on the music-streaming service.

Movits! are touring in support of their newest album, Head Amongst the Clouds. Its first single, "Röksignaler," has a heavy drumbeat and up-tempo flows reminiscent of tracks by Quannum Projects standouts Lyrics Born and Pigeon John. Another single, "Nitroglycerin," would be a contender for summer song of the year in the U.S. if the lyrics were in English. Its guitar line is summery, and quirky bursts of horn make it memorable. "Limousin" is built upon dubstep rather than big band and sounds darker than some of the group's other material. Though it's stylistically different from "Thriller," I can't help but imagine the High Noon crowd breaking into the werewolf dance from Michael Jackson's classic music video.

Movits! rhyme in Swedish and deliver flows that sound more like those of U.K. hip-hop artists than those of Dirty South or Queensbridge rappers. With playful references to MacGyver in the song "Sammy Davis Jr." and silly dancing in its video, it's clear that they speak the international language of fun. In addition to dancing at the show, you're likely to find yourself laughing to the beat.

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