Morning A.M. (Astralwerks)
by Tim Den
The arctic, Norwegian skies of Röyksopp are dripping with static. The static forms a low hum that, backed by pulses from another planet (or from hibernating animal hearts beating in unison), mutates into seductive repetitions of beat/melody/tranquility. Melody A.M., indeed. You can hear the dawning of another clear, frozen day from each and every one of the tunes here.
To call Röyksopp “downtempo” would be short-changing them. The duo brings a certain something to their creations that few other electronica outfits can. Enigmatic moods? Icy tundra barrenness? Whatever it is, it wraps them in a shroud of mystery: Not the untouchable kind, but the sort that carries charisma like a badge. And when they decide to break down the barriers and dish out pop tunes (with guest vocals from Kings Of Convenience’s Erlend Oye), mountains echo with joyous hooks and pure pop bliss (“Poor Leno,” “Remind Me”).
Norway is slowly proving that they’re the New Sweden. With Röyksopp joining the likes of Poor Rich Ones and the aforementioned Kings Of Convenience, melody and rhythm have never felt so perfect together.
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