parody by nacrowe
my senior year of high school was CRAZY. as ive mentioned many times before, i was in KUWAIT while my parents were stationed there for work until 9/11 happened and i was sent off to finish the rest of the school year in SACRAMENTO where a relative resided. as soon as the year ended and my graduation was over i bolted to NEW JERSEY where my family had a place that we stayed during the summer in between overseas stints. it was during this time when i was enrolled at a local community college that i first came across the NORWEGIAN ELECTROPOP duo ROYKSOPP and their TRANSFORMATIVE MELODY A.M. (ASTRALWERKS, 2001) release. i should mentioned that other NOTEWORTHY artists i discovered during this period were LADYTRON, GOLDFRAPP, AIR and THE KNIFE. outside of DEPECHE MODE, NEW ORDER and maybe SUICIDE i was not particularly well versed in ELECTRONIC MUSIC writ large, much less a NORDIC variant. but what caught my ear was that BITTERSWEET sense of MELANCHOLY and NOSTALGIA that is through-line with all their collaborations and their entire catalog.
i felt i had discovered a PERFECT POP album. tracks like "IN SPACE," "SO EASY," "A HIGHER PLACE" and "SPARKS" are all so effortlessly CINEMATIC with a widescreen scope that seemed to encapsulate the collective emotion of all of humanity. it was ELECTRONIC MUSIC but it wasnt exactly DANCEABLE, it was more DOWNBEAT and almost exclusively INTROSPECTIVE in nature. the singles "POOR LENO" and "REMIND ME" where the first time id ever heard anything remotely like that and it was beyond CONTAGIOUS. it felt like new ground and really made me go back with gusto and seek out like-minded artists over the years like CUT COPY, M83, HOT CHIP, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, HOLY GHOST! and TORO Y MOI.
the third record JUNIOR SENIOR (WALL OF SOUND, 2009) with tracks was a welcome reminder of ROYKSOPP at the top of their collective songwriting and production powers with powerhouse tracks like "VISION ONE," "THIS MUST BE IT," "HAPPY UP HERE," and "THE GIRL AND THE ROBOT" providing a more UPBEAT counterpoint to their debut. i obsess over both records to date and wish to promote them as much as possible. definitely worth checking out.
embedded below is a DEER GOD RADIO episode on nonprofit internet radio station MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC that originally aired relatively recently last year in late 2022. the playlist includes music from throughout ROYKSOPP's INCREDIBLE catalogue. enjoy!