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Röyksopp|Profound Mysteries

Profound Mysteries

Röyksopp

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Following 2014's The Inevitable End, Norwegian electronic icons Röyksopp swore off the traditional album format with an eye on freeing themselves of its expectations and cyclical obligations. For a time, the approach suited them quite well. During the latter half of the 2010s, members Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland engaged their various whims by composing the score to a comedic Franz Kafka stage show, contributing to Rick Rubin's Star Wars Headspace compilation, releasing new singles whenever they pleased, and unloading their vaults as part of a monthly rarities project that culminated in 2021's The Lost Tapes anthology. While their eventual return to album-making wasn't a foregone conclusion, bold proclamations in the music industry are often taken with a grain of salt. As with any Röyksopp endeavor, Profound Mysteries arrives on its own unique terms. Each of the ten tracks on the duo's sixth album is paired with a conceptual visual component, manifested here as a series of "artifacts" and music visualizers created by Australian designer Jonathan Zawada. The sleek, off-putting look of these visualizers provides an eerie foil to the music which is perhaps darker and more haunting than anything the band has previously released. Opener "(Nothing But) Ashes…" is both apocalyptic and wondrous, setting a dramatic tone that carries into "The Ladder," a lush midtempo instrumental with a slow, persistent build. Bringing in the ever-bewitching Alison Goldfrapp as a guest vocalist on "Impossible" was a stroke of genius, especially given the duo's long history with other left-field luminaries like Robyn and Susanne Sundfør. It's such a complementary pairing that it's surprising only in that it hasn't happened before now. Other newcomers to the Röyksopp stable include singers Beki Mari ("This Time, This Place…"), formerly of French group Nouvelle Vague, British artist Pixx ("How the Flowers Grow"), and fellow Norwegian Astrid S ("Breathe"). Reprising what has been one of the better European pop collaborations of the past decade, the great Susanne Sundfør once again takes the lead on the sweeping, melancholic "If You Want Me," a standout track that highlights each party's best assets. Less sonically aggressive than their previous album, Profound Mysteries still has something of an edge to it and its overall tone of ghostly enchantment makes for a strangely captivating listen.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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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

Following 2014's The Inevitable End, Norwegian electronic icons Röyksopp swore off the traditional album format with an eye on freeing themselves of its expectations and cyclical obligations. For a time, the approach suited them quite well. During the latter half of the 2010s, members Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland engaged their various whims by composing the score to a comedic Franz Kafka stage show, contributing to Rick Rubin's Star Wars Headspace compilation, releasing new singles whenever they pleased, and unloading their vaults as part of a monthly rarities project that culminated in 2021's The Lost Tapes anthology. While their eventual return to album-making wasn't a foregone conclusion, bold proclamations in the music industry are often taken with a grain of salt. As with any Röyksopp endeavor, Profound Mysteries arrives on its own unique terms. Each of the ten tracks on the duo's sixth album is paired with a conceptual visual component, manifested here as a series of "artifacts" and music visualizers created by Australian designer Jonathan Zawada. The sleek, off-putting look of these visualizers provides an eerie foil to the music which is perhaps darker and more haunting than anything the band has previously released. Opener "(Nothing But) Ashes…" is both apocalyptic and wondrous, setting a dramatic tone that carries into "The Ladder," a lush midtempo instrumental with a slow, persistent build. Bringing in the ever-bewitching Alison Goldfrapp as a guest vocalist on "Impossible" was a stroke of genius, especially given the duo's long history with other left-field luminaries like Robyn and Susanne Sundfør. It's such a complementary pairing that it's surprising only in that it hasn't happened before now. Other newcomers to the Röyksopp stable include singers Beki Mari ("This Time, This Place…"), formerly of French group Nouvelle Vague, British artist Pixx ("How the Flowers Grow"), and fellow Norwegian Astrid S ("Breathe"). Reprising what has been one of the better European pop collaborations of the past decade, the great Susanne Sundfør once again takes the lead on the sweeping, melancholic "If You Want Me," a standout track that highlights each party's best assets. Less sonically aggressive than their previous album, Profound Mysteries still has something of an edge to it and its overall tone of ghostly enchantment makes for a strangely captivating listen.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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