Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Röyksopp "The Understanding" (2005)

Röyksopp are a Norwegian duo of producers in the realm of Electronic music I found through fellow Norwegians, the Black Metal group Enslaved. Their cover of "What Else Is There?" had my curiosity sparked but imagine my excitement when none other than Karin Dreijer aka Fever Ray is the lead vocal on the track. It instantaneously felt like a song close to my heart and one I known I'll enjoy for years to come. I am a little saddened that she was just a feature on that track alone. I thought I had unearthed another project of hers but alas I wanted to listen to the whole record anyways.

The Understanding feels very much of its era, a post-Daft Punk Discovery world of Electronic pop music echoing shades of Techno, House, Downtempo and Trip Hop. It finds its feet with an appropriation of gentle, unobtrusive, calming music to politely invite you into its smooth and simple world. Temperate drum patterns groove on steady, repetitive beats and the range of synthesizer sounds drift from obscure and quirky, electronic and robotic all the way to light soft airy synths that linger in the atmosphere. A few songs into the record it builds up some gusto as the music expands with lively energetic drums and jiving baselines that play off Disco vibes of times gone by.

Alpha Male sticks out us a lengthy track that lures you in with its soft cinematic opening, slowly building its pace an intensity into an explosion of Electronic Progressive Rock on a exploratory tangent ever so similar to the ideas executed by Contact on their records. Its a warm, inviting record with little to fault other than being somewhat too subtle at times. Its always interesting, never quite engrossing bar a handful of songs that step away from the slow start the record kicks off with.

Favorite Tracks: What Else Is There?, Alpha Male, Dead To The World
Rating: 6/10