Royksopp Techno Cloudburst
Heart of Norway
Meet Torbjorn Brundtland and Svein Berge, both comprise Royksopp. They are super-charged electric music performers from Norway. They are from Tromso, a city located in the heart of northern Norway. Even though they are from the same city, they never met there but hooked up in Bergen, Norway. All I can say is this is a very unlikely techno group. Still, they look odd but fit in with the electric music by sustaining a career in the industry.
I find it interesting that they grew up in the same city but never met there. Yet, ask them to describe Tromso, you will hear about a very healthy music scene that is drug-free. They talk more about the joy of creating electrifying music for their audience with an atmosphere of strobes and blinking lights.
An interesting interview Barcode had with Berge, “When it came out it didn’t really work, it grew in popularity over quite a long time; spreading by word of mouth. So it happened very slowly, like someone dimming the lights upwards very slowly until you realize ‘oh, the light’s on in here’.”
The techno duo forged a new sound with down-tempo music and mood-sculpting. Creating and working hard to make their unique sound until 2001, Royksopp’s first album called Melody A.M. arrived. Pundits called it classic techno, which wasn’t expected. Fans liked their blends as pop with a hint of moody. If you are in the mood to dance, it does have a strong kick with undercurrents of anger.
The word “Royksopp” is defined in any Norwegian dictionary with several definitions. The one that fits is “a little fungus.” But, the English translation is "puffball." Let’s stick with “a little fungus” and we get an idea of stepping on a fungus-like a mushroom, which bursts into a cloud of spores. Simply you get the meaning “mushroom cloud” after a nuclear bomb blast – very charged subject. Is it a fungus or a nuclear bomb blast? Like the duo, they fancied a name that is very unbefitting. Still, it is so techno, and I can see why the pundits call their music classic.
Slowly Success Arrived
Their success did not come quickly as expected. Melody A.M. took some time to catch on with the techno crowd. An interesting interview Barcode had with Berge, “When it came out it didn’t really work, it grew in popularity over quite a long time; spreading by word of mouth. So it happened very slowly, like someone dimming the lights upwards very slowly until you realize ‘oh, the light’s on in here’.”
Yes. The fans woke up and screamed for Royksopp because it seemed like they arrived suddenly even though they had been on the scene for some time making music under unrelated names. Such as releasing their first extended-play single at the young age of 17 and 18. Still, Melody A.M. will always be their first album.
A second album arrived called The Understanding. The theme is based on the riots in Paris in 1968. The Understanding placed 33 on UK charts. Not the best, but still their fans hit the dance floor.
The third and fourth albums arrived between 2009 and 2011 called Junior and then Senior. The albums were successful hitting number one on the Norway charts. Both albums were very different from each other. Senior being strictly instrumental.
The duo released another album after recording a couple of popular singles. Do it Again did well since Royksopp were also touring at the same time. They just kept recording singles until they joined a unique collaboration based on one of the most popular movie franchises.
Star Wars Headspace
Star Wars Headspace came out in 2016 as a compilation remix of Star Wars songs. Royksopp produced one song, Bounty Hunter, for the album. Receiving mixed reviews as a techno dance album, the name alone give the compilation enough thrust to hit charts worldwide.
Playing in Norway
The duo enjoyed remixing popular artists from Peter Gabriel to Coldplay. Berge explained to Barcode it is an outlet that they have continually used, producing another artist’s music. Today, they are still making music and even have a trailer from last year. I’d love to hear another album, but no avail. Yet, you can find them playing in Norway.
© 2018 Kenna McHugh