Rocket Number Nine will release their second album through the Norwegian imprint Smalltown Supersound.
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Mungolian Jetset’s Pal Nyhus, aka DJ Strangefruit, is one of the unsung heroes of Norwegian electronic music. While nowhere near as celebrated as compatriots Hans-Peter Lindstrom, Prins Thomas and “Todd” Terje Olsen, he’s been the glue that’s held the Oslo disco scene together for the best part of a decade. Originally a DJ on Norwegian national broadcaster NRK – he hosted Norway’s equivalent to Pete Tong’s Essential Selection – he broke free of the shackles some years back and has progressively got odder ever since. No trip to Oslo is complete without an audience with the elder statesman of Norwegian electronic music; it’s a thrillingly debauched experience.
Norwegian producer Lindstrøm has revealed details for his second album of 2012, entitled Smalhans.
Given that they released their first 12” nearly 20 years ago, it’s somewhat surprising to find that Cellar Door is the Idjut Boys first “proper” album of original material. There have, of course, been other albums – a 2002 collaboration with Quakerman on Glasgow Underground, 2009’s Rune Lindbeak hook-up as Meanderthals (on which they were rumoured to have done most of the work) and a string of typically dubbed-out disco re-edit collections (Phantom Slasher, Noid etc) – but nothing that could be called a definitive Idjuts album.
Smalltown Supersound are seemingly in the midst of a vintage year, treating our ears to material from the likes of Lindstrom, Idjut Boys and Todd Terje and now preparing to unleash one of the more interesting propositions in Neneh Cherry & The Thing.
The Cherry Thing, the debut album between the iconic singer and the jazz troupe arrives next month sporting a series of cover versions from artists as varied as MF Doom, The Stooges,Martina Topley Bird and the singer’s late step father Don. Another one of the album’s tracks, Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” has been given the re-rub treatment from Four Tet in quite excellent fashion. Stretching the originals proceedings out slightly to nearly nine minutes long, a sense of restraint is surreptitiously shown throughout until a glorious procession of percussion rains down on the final few moments unannounced.
Our first encounter with the sounds of Joachim Dyrdahl (aka Diskjokke) was his brilliant breezy disco injection to Lykke Li’s “Everybody But Me”, then later with another impressive remix for the xx’s “Basic Space”. Dyrdahl, much like his Norwegians counterparts Prins Thomas and Lindstrom, keeps disco interesting by exploring new avenues, while still retaining a style very much his own.
His second album, En Fin Tid (“A Happy Time” in Norwegian) on Smalltown Supersound, is a brilliant space opera soundtrack. Weaving inspirations of Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream and Arthur Russell throughout his spacesuit, Dyrdahl creates cosmic sounds that are incredibly full and vibrant, pushing it further with tinges of Italo and afro here and there.
Stroll into zero gravity with its lush openers “Reset and Begin” and “En Fin Tid”, while the bold “Big Flash” engages you into battle mode with its feverish 4/4, claps, and stabbing synths wavering in and out. The following track, “Rosenrød” takes the cake, as its beatless sweeping build-up for the first half is the most beautiful moment on the album. The synths quiver here over huge atmospheric sweeps and echoing bleeps, as though a beacon floating in the distance beckons for the beat to drop. Other great standouts include “1987”, and “Bastard Alliance” (with its cowbells reminiscent of “Brazilian Love Affair”).
With a total play time just under an hour with only 8 tracks, Dyrdahl still delivers top-notch cosmic material on his latest, where you can really feel that putting it together was definitely a fun time. Somebody please give this man a soundtrack to bless. Shingo Shimizu
It seems Hans-Peter Lindstrøm can do no wrong. His latest album, Real Life Is No Cool, has been rapturously received by every publication from Pitchfork to the Irish Times, and the praise is wholly justified. Whether he’s knocking out a 40-minute cover of Little Drummer Boy, or crafting a superb full-length album, the man has a svelte touch that appeals to pop fans and disco beards alike. We spoke to Lindstrøm about quitting the DJ circuit, his next productions and how he almost covered Boney M.
Title: Don’t Stop
Label: Smalltown Supersound
Genre: Electro House
Buy From: Juno Records
Don’t Stop is the second studio album by Norwegian songstress Annie, self-described purveyor of pop with strange edges. Featuring production work from long term collaborators Richard X and Xenomania, the album’s release was pushed back from its original date in early 2008, now seeing daylight on her new label Smalltown.
There are a number of highlights: Fans of Girls Aloud will appreciate “My Love is Better” – the British popsters lend the backing vocals, while the albums standout track and first single, “I know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me” chugs along with a memorable chorus over an electro bassline.
The end result is an album which is undoubtedly sincere – Annie’s music has definitely evolved since Anniemal. It will be huge anywhere where electro-pop rules, from the bedrooms of teenage girls to the dancefloors of the club scene.
Review: Peter Carroll