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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Staying In
Smalltown Supersound

Rating: 8.2/10 ?

March 10, 2008
2007 was a great year for Norwegian electronic music, with releases such as Datarock's Datarock Datarock and the Smalltown Supersound compilation release Sunkissed, the latter of which featured acts closely connected to the Oslo club of the same name. DiskJokke was one of the more notable of the Sunkissed acts, and 2008 brings his very own full-length to the shelves.

DiskJokke's debut might be named Staying In, but don't let the title mislead you; staying in is the last thing you'll want to do after listening to it. Staying In is a great collection of club-ready tracks from one of the most talented artists to come out of Oslo in recent years, and "Dance Your Heart Out" would be a more suitable title for it.

The album showcases the full range of DiskJokke - real name Joakim Dyrdahl - as a musician, covering a wide swath of sounds, from slow beats to harder, more danceable tracks. When dissecting the album it's hard not to think of the German scene, circa 1993, a time when Sven Väth and the Eye-Q label set about re-writing the history of electronic music with their organic and earthy techno. Now, 15 years later, the echoes of that sound have surfaced a few hundred kilometers to the north, repackaged and updated with an Oslowian twist, and the result sounds great.

The album's opening track, the oddly-named "Folk i farta," is a prime example of how DiskJokke's sound has been infused with German influences; anchored by a hook that's almost impossible to get out of your head (what the Germans would call an Ohr-Wurm), the track is insanely danceable. The cuts BPMs will not set any speed records, but the cadence is dependably steady, ultimately advancing at a glacial pace to reach for the Northern skies whilst at the same time rooting itself firmly in the foundations of Oslodisco. Just as was the case with his German predecessors, DiskJokke shakes off the heavy industrial/electro mantle of Kraftwerk, instead lacing a huge amount of warmth through his music. Enjoyed as easily with a cup of tea as with a vodka-Redbull, album's choice of sounds and the speed of its beats are mapped out like a manual on how to make people feel good. In an age when one-man electronic acts are shoveling out singles as fast as they can, its refreshing to come across an album where everything is thoroughly thought through.

DiskJokke's ability to make a sound that was the big thing 15 years ago sound vibrant and contemporary, combined with his enormous attention to detail and penchant for making synthetic music sound really warm and cozy, is testament to the fact that Dyrdahl is not only a great song-writer, but also an extremely talented producer.

With plenty of long winter nights and warm summer days to mull over the fruits of their labor, its no wonder that Norweigan composers are taking the electronic music world by storm. Röyksopp did it a few years ago, Datarock did it last year, and now DiskJokke has released an album that will definitely be in the running for "Best Norwegian Electronica Album of The Year". The Norwegians are proving themselves over and over again, and being from Sweden I can only take my hat of and congratulate them (whilst quietly protesting that A-ha was never bigger than Abba).

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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