Visitors to Röyksopp’s new web-site (which has been ‘under construction’ for some time now) will finally find signs of life from the highly successful Bergen electronica duo. A message reads: “New album is on its way!” and a barometer shows the studio progress. Judging by the web-site, fans can see that the new album is less than 50% from completion. Says Röyksopp’s UK label Wall of Sound’s Toby Peacock to Norwegian daily VG: “I’d rather say that the album is more than half-way to completion. I recently visited them in Bergen and listened to some tracks – it sounds amazing, though there is still lots of work to be done. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll release a single sometime before Christmas, but the album will probably not be ready until early next year.”
Since its release in October 2001, Röyksopp's debut album, 'Melody AM', has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon to the tune of over 750,000 copies worldwide, of which 400,000 are in the UK alone. The eclectic electronica-tinged release managed to reach out to a wide audience. Says Wall of Sound: “At various points it's synth-pop, deep house, breakbeat, ambient and electronic folk, but you can't hear the joins. No wonder its charm reached clubbers, comedowners and open-minded rock fans alike.”
” People haven't been able to define a genre for what we're doing," says one half of the successful Tromsø/Bergen duo, Svein Berge. "It's often just comparing, like 'It's a bit like Devo tag teaming Huey Lewis and the News at a Kitaro after-party in Brussels'
Melody AM's entry into the mainstream was a stealthy one. It finally reached the Top 10 in August 2002 and has sold steadily ever since, returning to the Top 10 in February 2003. In the process it's spawned a string of singles: 'Eple' (twice), 'Poor Leno' (twice), 'Remind Me' and 'Sparks'.
One ingredient of Röyksopp's success has been their energetic live shows. They have toured Europe with Moby, supported Basement Jaxx and Orbital and Pulp. Numerous festival appearances include a triumphant headlining performance at 2002's Big Chill. They headlined their own sellout USA tour in March 2003, and this summer they topped the bill on the second stage at Glastonbury and host two special outdoor shows at London's Somerset House. Not bad considering they started out with no live ambitions. Says the other half of Röyksopp Torbjørn Brundtland: "We consider ourselves more producers than performers but we really like a challenge. It's funny how things turn out."
Musicians are usually the last people to explain their own success but Svein has an idea. "One of the advantages of coming from a little shitkicking place in northern Norway is most people wouldn't know what to expect. We are not bound to shifting trends so we can mess around and do what we want to. We don't believe there is anything called Norwegian credibility”.
Röyksopp have also lent a helping hand in the studio to another up-and-coming Bergen act, Annie, who’s poised for an exciting autumn with the release of her “Anniemal” album. Read more on her here.