Who would have thought it would be the Norwegians who brought disco back from its glittery grave?
Although they don’t deserve all the credit, disco nerds such as Hans-Peter Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Todd Terje, and Bjorn Torske are each offering a distinct approach to the sound. Torske’s Feil Knapp takes the essence of this dubby revival and applies it to a wider sonic range, reaching back to funk and reggae and all the way into outer space.
After a sleepy, ethereal intro, “Hatten Passer” serves up loungey disco led by some distant whistling, setting the mood early on. “Spelunker” pays tribute to long-lost Atari classics with its eight-bit sounds, but added dub rhythms keep the song from getting too silly. Later, airy pop synths float on top of a shuffling techno rhythm on “Tur I Maskinparken,” and “Loe Bar” manages to cover old-school deep house quite well. “God Kveld” turns the lights back toward the disco ball, with retro synths and bongos resulting in the album’s most dance-floor-ready tune.
There’s a bubbly playfulness to all of the melodies here, and it’s due to the abundance of vintage synth sounds. Some tracks come more out of leftfield, like the beatless “Orkenrotta” or closer “Fembussen Hjem,” which feels like the Boards of Canada doing disco. Feil Knapp has more depth than you would expect from the disco angle, and much more than what his peers from Norway are releasing. And even if the album lacks club classics, it shows Torske to be a jack of all trades.