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Röyksopp|Profound Mysteries

Profound Mysteries

Röyksopp

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Never say never. In 2014, upon unveiling the stunning full-length album The Inevitable End, Röyksopp vowed to never release another album–or, more precisely, anything else in "the traditional album format."  In the eight years since, the Norwegian duo have remained wholly faithful to their word, dripping out standalone archive tracks, random singles, and collaborations, but never once—beyond the straightforward vault-clearing Lost Tapes compilationindulging in anything that resembled a "traditional album." However, here we are, in the first half of 2022, with Profound Mysteries, a piece of work that very much seems like a "traditional album" from the three-singles-before-the-full-length rollout and bespoke website to the press-and-promo run of interviews and video premieres and 10-tracks-to-a-set composition. (There’s also a robust complement of independently produced short films that have little or nothing to do with the songs themselves.)  Still, the most important part—the listening experience—is album-like indeed, and yet it feels a bit askew. Yes, there are 10 tracks here, but two are under two minutes long, and one of them is a 52-second closing-track lock groove that sounds like the last robot you'll hear at the end of the world. The remaining eight tracks–while staying somewhat faithful to Röyksopp's traditional amalgamation of churning synths, driving rhythms, ethereal atmospheres, and occasional female vocal cameos (most notably: the house-music-in-heaven groove of "Breathe," with Astrid S)—seem to be careening off in multiple directions, with great sounds trying to find worthy ideas on which to latch. The longest cut, "This Time, This Place…," is also the most monochromatic, with a throbbing groove that feels caught between '80s car-chase soundtrack and an unending disco hangover that never seems to resolve; meanwhile, "There, Beyond the Trees" echoes the duo's 2013 track "Daddy's Groove," but prefers to lay back in its own shadow, settling between atmosphere and accent. Both cuts sound fantastic and easily evoke all the reasons why Röyksopp is so beloved, but they also exemplify the fish-nor-fowl essence of Profound Mysteries, which never seems to find a conceptual or textural throughline to bind its multiple parts. None of the cuts could easily be called "singles" in the standalone-bangers way that would make this a compilation of highlights of the duo's previous near-decades worth of work.  So while it makes for something of a disorienting listen, Profound Mysteries is also far from a disappointment. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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Profound Mysteries

Röyksopp

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1
(Nothing But) Ashes…
00:01:52

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

2
The Ladder
00:05:33

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

3
Impossible
00:06:27

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Alison Goldfrapp, Composer, MainArtist - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

4
This Time, This Place…
00:07:44

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist - Beki Mari, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

5
How The Flowers Grow
00:05:43

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist - Pixx, MainArtist - Hannah Rodgers, Composer

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

6
If You Want Me
00:05:39

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist - Susanne Sundfør, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

7
There, Beyond The Trees
00:06:22

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

8
Breathe
00:04:36

Torbjørn Brundtland, Producer, MixingEngineer - Torbjorn Brundtland, Composer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist - Astrid S, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

9
The Mourning Sun
00:06:09

Torbjørn Brundtland, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist - Susanne Sundfør, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

10
Press «R»
00:00:52

Torbjørn Brundtland, Producer, MixingEngineer - Torbjorn Brundtland, Composer - Svein Berge, Composer, Producer, MixingEngineer - Röyksopp, MainArtist

2022 Dog Triumph 2022 Dog Triumph

Album Description

Never say never. In 2014, upon unveiling the stunning full-length album The Inevitable End, Röyksopp vowed to never release another album–or, more precisely, anything else in "the traditional album format."  In the eight years since, the Norwegian duo have remained wholly faithful to their word, dripping out standalone archive tracks, random singles, and collaborations, but never once—beyond the straightforward vault-clearing Lost Tapes compilationindulging in anything that resembled a "traditional album." However, here we are, in the first half of 2022, with Profound Mysteries, a piece of work that very much seems like a "traditional album" from the three-singles-before-the-full-length rollout and bespoke website to the press-and-promo run of interviews and video premieres and 10-tracks-to-a-set composition. (There’s also a robust complement of independently produced short films that have little or nothing to do with the songs themselves.)  Still, the most important part—the listening experience—is album-like indeed, and yet it feels a bit askew. Yes, there are 10 tracks here, but two are under two minutes long, and one of them is a 52-second closing-track lock groove that sounds like the last robot you'll hear at the end of the world. The remaining eight tracks–while staying somewhat faithful to Röyksopp's traditional amalgamation of churning synths, driving rhythms, ethereal atmospheres, and occasional female vocal cameos (most notably: the house-music-in-heaven groove of "Breathe," with Astrid S)—seem to be careening off in multiple directions, with great sounds trying to find worthy ideas on which to latch. The longest cut, "This Time, This Place…," is also the most monochromatic, with a throbbing groove that feels caught between '80s car-chase soundtrack and an unending disco hangover that never seems to resolve; meanwhile, "There, Beyond the Trees" echoes the duo's 2013 track "Daddy's Groove," but prefers to lay back in its own shadow, settling between atmosphere and accent. Both cuts sound fantastic and easily evoke all the reasons why Röyksopp is so beloved, but they also exemplify the fish-nor-fowl essence of Profound Mysteries, which never seems to find a conceptual or textural throughline to bind its multiple parts. None of the cuts could easily be called "singles" in the standalone-bangers way that would make this a compilation of highlights of the duo's previous near-decades worth of work.  So while it makes for something of a disorienting listen, Profound Mysteries is also far from a disappointment. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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