One thing you can be sure of with Röyksopp is that they're always going to have plenty to say about their music. When asked to explain where the band's third proper album, Junior, fits in the band's discography, Svein Berge, one half of the Norweigan electronic duo, explains, "If Melody A.M. was a relaxed journey inwards on a Sunday afternoon and The Understanding was more uptempo, with more vocals and a hint of melodic catchiness, then the new album is a mix of the two."
Torbjørn Brundtland, the other half, goes on to confound the simplicity of Berge's description, "Making this new album was like mining in the mountains. When you think of a mine you think of one that is already many kilometres deep, and people work inside it. But sometimes one has to start a new mine, so you start digging the crust of the earth. And we had to find a good spot to start digging."
Junior comes four years after The Understanding and has Berge and Brundtland writing, performing, arranging, mixing and producing all 11 tracks. The only duties the duo were willing to dole out were the vocals. The album features longtime collaborator Anneli Drecker as well as guest appearances by Swedish artists Robyn, Lykke Li and The Knife's Karin Dreijer on two tracks, causing Berge to reflect, "It’s dawning on me now, that when we were digging for songs we must have been digging east, because in retrospect it’s quite evident that there is a strong Swedish presence on this album -- vocally at least."
Casting aside the mining metaphor Brundtland says, "Junior is an outgoing and direct album. It’s the youthful part of Röyksopp. We are young in bodies and old in heart. Or is it the other way? We have a certain schizophrenia -- we want to make both energetic and really quiet music." Berge adds "People should be on look-out for the more quiet and introverted Senior due out late 2009." While Brundtland concurs, "Yes, the concept of Junior will stand clearer after the release of Senior." Maybe these Scandinavians should just let the music do the talking. [Music Remedy]