Release Date: Jul 6, 2018
Record label: Smalltown Supersound
In many cases, much of the music we listen to today has been brought about as a result of certain musical pioneers. Much of the emotion-laden house music emerging from labels like Innervisions owe their roots to artists like Bjørn Torske. Krautrock and disco reign supreme in the artist's sonic palette, where Torske's signature has had a major hand in influencing contemporaries like Todd Terje and Prins Thomas. Eclecticism and peculiarity are basic tenets of Torske's sound, and on his first album in eight years, Byen, Torske revisits ….
Norwegian producer Bjørn Torske has always been wildly unpredictable. One never knows if they're in for chiptune dub, Mo Wax-style downtempo, or Krautrock-y grooves when dropping the needle on one of his records, and that doesn't even take into account his earlier collaborative work stretching back to the early '90s, which included Detroit-style techno (Ismistik) and breakbeat hardcore on Reinforced (Open Skies). Still, he's often associated with the Scandinavian nu-disco and left-field house scenes, as most of his solo material since 2006 has appeared on Smalltown Supersound, and he's collaborated with the likes of Rune Lindbæk, Prins Thomas, and DJ Sotofett.
A 2012 single from the mischievous Scandinavian dance label Sex Tags Mania came packaged with a shout-out: A message on the label of the 12" read, "Dedicated to Erot and Torske for giving Norway a true HOUSE era!" It was no exaggeration. At the turn of the millennium, in a country with no dance music tradition to call its own, Tore Andreas "Erot" Kroknes and Bjørn Torske hit upon a disco-indebted sound that would influence a wide range of their countrymen, from Röyksopp to Cashmere Cat, Annie to Todd Terje. Erot, who produced Annie's breakout single "The Greatest Hit," might have become a household name had he not tragically passed away in 2001, at just 23.
Seven years before Lindstrøm released "I Feel Space," cosmic disco's unofficial anthem, Bjørn Torske put out Nedi Myra. The 1998 album's sprawling, occasionally chaotic tracks helped form the blueprint for a new sound, once dubbed "skrangle-house," that bundled the exploratory mood of psychedelic rock with the familiar rhythms of house and techno, and one eventually taken up by high-profile Norwegian artists like Todd Terje, Prins Thomas and, of course, Lindstrøm. Back with his first solo album since 2010--though he released a collaborative LP with Prins Thomas last year--Torske delivers one of his more conventional releases, moving between a range of moods across seven cuts that are big on melody and smooth with groove.