Late Night Tales
The ‘two-headed, Norwegian monster’ Royksopp have released a compilation as part of Late Night Tales – a project established in 2001 inviting such artists as MGMT, Snow Patrol, The Flaming Lips and Arctic Monkeys for their take on the ultimate ‘late night’ selections by curating artists from their music collections. Royksopp’s 19-track contribution to this project is a mix of ambient, synth/prog-pop and serves for an incredibly soothing listen – at times resembling The Beatles and at others sounding like something off a Cirque Du Soleil score.
The first track, Daddy’s Groove eases you into an otherworldly atmosphere. After continuing this through the first few numbers (including an exclusive cover of Depeche Mode) the album surprises you with the introduction of folky guitar, blues and seriously croony scatting. The compilation features Australian supergroup Little River Band, Rare Bird’s 1975 B-side track Passing Through and German psych-pop Richard Schneider Knr.
It is an eclectic mix –lofty vocals, surreal sounds, west coast jazz and blues, ambient waterfall soundscapes and bird songs – but one that truly embody the spirit of the night. The duo have at times been criticised for the ‘waiting room’ feel of their music, but its beauty and appropriateness for a variety of settings, whether a dinner party or music to fall asleep to could warrant admiration just as much.
At times it certainly takes on a Sigur Ross/Bon Iver essence. It maintains the warm, adult electronica the band have come to be renowned for since they debuted in 1998. Royksopp have been nominated for a Grammy and have won several Spellmannprisen awards.