Discovering Norwegian Music – Röyksopp

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Röyksopp band photo

One of the best known electronic acts in Europe formed in Arctic Norway.

After discovering Datarock, Erlend Øye, Sondre Lerche and Team Me so far, I thought it was time to write about an act I was well aware of before moving here – Röyksopp.

One of Europe's best known electronica acts, Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland met through the arctic techno scene in Tromsø. After several years break and a move to Bergen, the duo released Melody AM to global acclaim.

Along with other electronic acts of their time such as Moby, their music was heavily featured on TV adverts; but rather than seen as selling out this only served to explode their popularity.

The Melody AM album was one of the soundtracks to my university years, OH HOW IT TAKES ME BACK! Remind Me and Eple conjure up long-forgotten images from those years. I adore the info-graphic video for Remind Me, which scores geek-points way off the scale+++++

Having been blown away by Tromsø last December, it doesn't surprise me that Berge and Brundtland frequently talk of the influence a childhood spent in arctic Norway had on their early music.

Stood on top of this mountain (below), with Melody AM playing in my ears, well, the world just made sense.

View across Tromsø in the December daylight
Tromsø – The atmospheric home of Norway's techno scene

Röyksopp exploded back onto my radar in 2009 with the release of Junior, or more specifically hit single The Girl and the Robot, featuring Swedish superchick Robyn.

The strong female vocals over a beautifully choral yet fearfully intensive rhythm just hits all my buttons. As such, it's a track which still features heavily on my playlists today, in fact I'm playing it RIGHT NOW!

Röyksopp and Robyn – a Scandinavian match made in heaven!

Beyond their four studio albums, the duo are renowned for their elaborate live performances, DJ sets and remixes.

It's clear these are a pair who love their craft! In addition to Robyn, their collaboration and remix credits include Lady Gaga, Queens of the Stone Age, Coldplay, Roots Manuva and The Streets.

Two tracks for Röyksopp fans to check out are those included on the Arctic Circles compilations, Your Hands and A Quiet Life were recorded in the days before Melody AM.

To me, A Quiet Life sounds like it was inspired by a frickin' cold night out in the arctic wilderness, watching the aurora borealis come out to play.

What other Norwegian music should I be checking out?

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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1 thought on “Discovering Norwegian Music – Röyksopp”

  1. Hi David, I appreciate that this is a 2 year old post but my love of Norwegian music is finally moving me to Norway! Having the love and experience of music that you clearly do, you are probably already very familiar with all of these artists but some of my favourite have been: Do You Love Melena (a kind of Oslo, all star supergroup), Hope I Die Virgin, Goonfight, Pow Pow, Aristillus, Blood Command (they are so good it’s not even a guilty pleasure anymore), Le Corabeau (featuring Henrik from Rumble in Rhodos), Kamikaze a Go Go (the best post hardcore band I have ever heard to this day)… just to name a few. It was actually Thomas Bratlie Haugland (…I think, could have been one of the other guys) that put me in touch with Kristian at Tiger store, a little indie record shop in Oslo who sent me some local compilation CDs, the Bransjevelter series.

    I have to say I am in love with this site and it’s only enticed me even more to Norway. I am hopefully coming to Oslo in August to visit the university as I am moving here to study in January.
    Keep up the good work.
    Thanks for making my day 😀


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