Royksopp Techno Cloudburst
Heart of Norway
Meet Torbjorn Brundtland and Svein Berge. Both form the techno sound of Royksopp. They are super-charged techno 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 until they hooked up in Bergen, Norway. All I can say is this is an 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. When they tell you about Tromso, you hear about a very healthy drug-free music scene. They talk more about the joy of creating electrifying music for their audience with an atmosphere of strobes and blinking lights.
An interesting interview with Barcode is when Berge talks about the gradual excitement of their music, “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 shocked techno fans. Royksopp 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. You understand the meaning “mushroom cloud” after a nuclear bomb blast. It's a supercharged 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
Success did not come to them 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. 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 plays in memory of the riots in Paris in 1968. The Understanding placed 33 on the UK charts. Not their 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 different but successful reaching number one on the Norway charts. 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 found satisfaction remixing well-known artists from Peter Gabriel to Coldplay. Berge explained to Barcode they have continually used as an outlet, producing another artist’s music. TToday, they are making music and even have a trailer from last year. I’d love to hear another album, but no avail. You can visit Norway and find them playing there.
© 2018 Kenna McHugh