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Electro Dance band

"We had a fantasy about playing live with one really big instrument, so together with our very creative clan in Bergen we built a machine of metal with which we incorporated all our synthesisers and drum machines in one big device."


You could be mistaken for believing you were reading the new Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Korgs Under The Sea, but you'd be wrong. For these are the irony-free tones of Torbjorn Brundtland, one half of Nordic funksters Röyksopp with his partner in rhyme Svein Berge, chatting about their mechanical hobby.

And no two people are better suited to be releasing the first musical meanderings of the 21st century than these boys. If ever there was a more pure crystalline mix of 20th century harmonics flowing under 21st century stalactites of sound, we'll eat our icicles.

If the glacial imagery is all too much to bear, try picturing yourself growing up in Tromso, Norway (as near as dammit on the Arctic circle) where you played with the Northern Lights, not the latest Atari game, and the closest you got to "dance music" was the local reindeer farmers' barndance.

Fast-forward ten years from those frosty beginnings Royksopp have conjured up an album of magical leftfield beauty. "Back in 1993, we were in school and everyone was playing heavy guitar and we almost got beaten up for starting to experimenting with electronics!" laughs Svein now. Finding the Tromso school music room a bit lacking in electronic gizmos the dastardly duo hit on the clever ruse of borrowing pieces of equipment from electronic shops to "test them out," using them to make music then taking them back and choosing a different sound source.

Going their separate ways after leaving school, the pair had a reunion in Bergen a couple of years back when they plotted Röyksopp and sowed the seeds of Melody A.M.

So how do they describe their sound? "It's us searching for the truth," Torbjorn states bluntly. "But if we came up with one sentence it would be to combine the harmonies of film music and of classical composers such as Erik Satie and melodies of Francis Lai (arty porn film producer) with the analogue warmth of Seventies and the fatness of the Eighties over a thorough beat programming."

And you can't really add anything to that.

Except that Royksopp is something very special. Thanks to their work with Kings Of Convenience, Those Norwegians, and Drum Island the boys are at the heart of the Nordic funk. Their album twinkles like the Northern Lights, has the warmth of a well-worn Rhodes, and manages to mix up styles like Love Unlimited having a snowball fight with Mad Professor over at Brian Eno's pad.

As Svein says "we've found a niche and we think it's something people really want ... but maybe they don't know it.

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