This celebrated Scandinavian electro-pop duo – composed of Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland – make distinctive, expansive, all-knowing music that also references their homeland’s tendency towards darkness and melancholia.
A haunting piano melody dominates opener (Nothing But) Ashes…, this track totally peaking thanks to a string arrangement that conjures a flock of rainbow-feathered birds in flight, zig-zagging in unison across an aquamarine expanse of sky. The Ladder reminds us of those fractal posters favoured by students living on campus in the halls of residence.
Track three, Impossible, is a deadset d-floor filler. At the point where Alison Goldfrapp’s otherworldly vocals achieve whistle-note gratification, her repeated “Aaaaah”s complete the listener’s fantasy. And If You Want Me is Norway’s winning Eurovision entry of the future (must be accompanied by Cirque Du Soleil-style flying trapeze routine, though).
Attention club DJs: seek out standout cut This Time, This Place… immediately (we swear the volume leaps as it kicks in!) – the first time we hear this biblical banger out and about, the dancefloor is in serious trouble.
Torbjørn has mentioned the pair used to lug around a portable DAT player when they were teens, to record “the sound of things like thick snow, boots in wet moss, broken twigs”, which could later be spliced-up to create Röyksopp’s beats: “The eerie ambience of a forest can be baked and rubbed into the music,” he pointed out – a-ha! Is this why we always fancy dancing to Röyksopp in a Norwegian forest?
Profound Mysteries by Röyksopp is out April 29 via Dog Triumph/PIAS.