Album Review: Standing On Top Of Utopia by Kasper Bjorke
Very Good, Based on 2 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Kasper Bjørke's lengthy career through 2010 had only produced one full-length album by that point, but his second proved to be something spectacular. Perhaps the strongest full-length electronic release from Denmark since Trentemøller's The Last Resort, Standing on Top of Utopia found the DJ/producer creating not merely a solid album but a strong and surprising one. If anything, it had the sense of being the equivalent to the Lindstrøm/Prins Thomas and fellow travelers empire -- only instead of "beardo disco" imagining a never-never world of space rock/disco Ibiza, Bjørke looked instead to a wired, early electro-disco that was far more Gina X than Italo disco.
Thanks to Röyksopp and Kleerup, we've developed expectations over the past few years about dance-and-pop-minded producers from Scandinavia. These studio auteurs may wander between genre borders, but their penchant for listenable electro-pop offset by voices (almost exclusively female) tinged with melancholy tends to help make their albums feel like organic units rather than tossed-together jumbles. Not so with Kasper Bjørke, whose vocal-aided tracks are odd and disparate and whose instrumental cuts are even more schizophrenic.