‘Junior’ – Röyksopp.
This album is so fresh, and these two lovely gentlemen are so talented.
I’m going through a Scandinavian music phase, so on top of Sigur Ros and Bjork, I would like to add Royksopp; although unlike Bjork and Sigur Ros, Royksopp are from Norway.
Royksopp can be quite accurately described as the Norwegian equivalent of The Presets; two guys in their late 20’s with some juicy sounds and poppin’ beats. Royksopp don’t produce any music in Norwegian though; all of their stuff is still in English, so it’s quite easy for us ‘un-cultured’ Aussies to listen to.
If I were to compare Royksopp to other musicians to better describe their sound, I would use The Presets, Kraftwerk, Deadmau5, Basement Jaxx and The Chemical Brothers mixed in with some Norwegian accented vocalists (all singing in English of course).
Royksopp are an electronic, dance, beats and melody duo. I’m almost annoyed that Royksopp aren’t more well known on this side of the planet; they’re music is awesome, however the stupid people at radio stations churn music through a big propaganda machine which only produces teeny-bopper ‘one-hit-wonders’. Screw them all.
Royksopp’s music is smooth, groovy, boppy, tight, consistent, melodic, harmonic, eclectic, and clever. Royksopp layer sound upon sound, place all in a gigantic press, and wring out only the cleanest, most pure jam. The music isn’t boring – I haven’t had to skip or change tracks at all throughout the entire album; there seems to be difference and individuality expressed on every track of this album.
The album is quite an eclectic album; there are softer tracks like ‘Silver Cruiser‘, ‘Across the Graveyard‘ and ‘It’s What I Want‘. Then there are more up-beat tracks like ‘Happy Up Here‘, ‘Tricky Tricky‘ and ‘Miss It So Much‘. There’s lots of tight hi-hat, frequency meddling, flanging, swells and reverb; it’s pretty much the perfect electronic album.
To tell you the truth, I’m not a huge fan of electronic music these days; however, that’s mostly because all the electronic music I hear these days is the crap on the radio – and it really is crap. Whilst Ministry of Sound is fairly well-known in today’s pop culture, Royksopp seem to have slipped under the radar (either this or I am completely oblivious). Royksopp have featured on many Ministry of Sound albums; mostly on the ‘old yet timeless’ Chill Out Sessions series. However I am beginning to think that maybe the under-popularity of Royksopp is a good thing; I would absolutely hate Royksopp to ‘sell-out’ like a lot of musicians do when they reach the ‘big time’. For me, the ‘freshness’ of Royksopp is what keeps me buying every new album.
There is a song on this album called ‘The Girl and the Robot‘, and it could easily become the biggest hit on the radio if it were granted the air time it deserves. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIWRYwCGEF4
Royksopp have always been a very consistent ‘band’. They create their music; not just develop it; which means that there is an element of artistry in their music and this clearly shows. This entire album is a really good listen; it has been very well produced and sequenced.
I have three favourite songs on this album; ‘The Girl and the Robot‘, ‘Happy Up Here‘ and ‘True to Life‘. These three songs are probably the most ‘boppy’ on the album too; but give them a listen and see what you reckon.
Royksopp have worked with some fairly acclaimed artists; such as Coldplay, where they produced an awesome remix of their hit ‘Clocks’ (just be warned before Googling this version – it is VERY techno). They also have a reputation for turning down offers from notoriously crappy artists like ‘Britney Spears’ – respect; kudos for Royksopp.
Overall, this album gets 3.5 STARS (including the major kudos they acquire for turning down the likes of Britney Spears). The album is quite consistent with its standard, but doesn’t quite blow me away; Although, I was extra happy to hear that Royksopp have maintained their original sound. The album is good work, and definitely worth lending your ears to.