Release Date: Jul 12, 2005
Record label: Astralwerks
Nick Hornby included Röyksopp's Night Out in his book 31 Songs alongside choices by Dylan and Springsteen, though for the Norwegians the compliment was backhanded. Their song, once a furtive delight for Hornby, had become so omnipresent that it now reeked of "vacuous monied hip". Hipsters themselves, Torbjörn Brundtland and Svein Berge may have empathised, having evolved from a dance scene where cool is currency, but thankfully they haven't taken a blind bit of notice.
When the Norwegian production duo Röyksopp dropped their first album, Melody A.M., it sounded as though they were on a stopover from another planet. Otherworldly samples and a crisp production sense combined to make the singles "Eple" and "Sparks" perfect examples of the downbeat form and near-ubiquitous inclusions on chillout compilations. As electronica artists from Biosphere to Boards of Canada had proved before them, a life away from the mainstream -- say, in the extreme northern climes of Europe -- was easily capable of freeing an artist from the demands of trendiness.