With lots of new music emerging during what is normally a quiet period of the year, it’s also worth switching focus to more established acts who have also been quite active during the winter period. Enter Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp, who have served up an excellent outing in the form of ‘Impossible’, which also features the unmistakable vocals of Alison Goldfrapp.
Back in 2014, Röyksopp (aka Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland) had platformed The Inevitable End as their last album, feeling the format had run its course. “We’re not keen on repeating ourselves…” ran a statement from the duo at the time. Although they continued to dabble in quirkier adventures (including penning some jingles for Norwegian public broadcaster NRK and contributing to a Star Wars-themed compilation album), it wasn’t until last year that they started to flag up their next project titled Profound Mysteries. The duo describe the forthcoming release as “an expanded creative universe and a prodigious conceptual project”.
‘Impossible’ represents part of a series of compositions that Röyksopp have been issuing since January that slot into the Profound Mysteries plan. This latest offering, however, has attracted interest due to the involvement of Alison Goldfrapp. “It’s been great working with the wonderful Svein & Torbørn from Röyksopp” suggests Alison, “I’ve been a fan of their music for years and it was a fascinating joy creating ‘Impossible’ together. I truly hope everyone enjoys the track as there’s more to come.”
Röyksopp are no strangers to collaborative efforts. Their previous work with Susanne Sundfør, for instance, stands out for the sublime ‘Running to the Sea’ and a stunning cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Ice Machine’.
Unsurprisingly, ‘Impossible’ is a solid piece of work employing Röyksopp’s distinctive crunchy synth fills, but also weaved in with a smoother set of textures producing an intriguing contrast of sounds. Alison Goldfrapp’s hypnotic vocals glide through with a silken allure, suggesting hints of Felt Mountain-period Goldfrapp, particularly when the song deploys some effective operatic trills.
‘Impossible’ serves as a suitable companion piece to Röyksopp’s earlier releases this year, the shimmering ‘(Nothing But) Ashes…’ and the stylish groove of ‘The Ladder’. All of which suggests that Profound Mysteries will be a musical project worth sticking around for.
‘Impossible’ is out now: https://royksopp.lnk.to/impossibleYo
Profound Mysteries is due for release 29th April 2022.