travelmusic Compiled and written by aleksi kinnunen The Bergen boys The hugely popular Norwegian duo Röyksopp call their new album Junior (EMI) "failed heavy metal." What more could one expect from a pair of sensitive, eccentric lads who enjoy taking sauna baths while driving the streets of Bergen? Named after the puffball mushroom, the electronic duo Röyksopp started out in Tromsø, northern Norway. After relocating to the larger town of Bergen, the group gained a worldwide fan base with their haunting pop sound after the turn of the millennium. Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Bergen's first album as Röyksopp, Melody A.M. (2001), sold more than one million copies globally. For a moment at least, Bergen seemed like the capital of indie music, as it simultaneously spawned internationally successful acts such as Kings of Convenience and Annie. The electronica music boom has faded but Röyksopp is still going strong, celebrating its tenth anniversary in December. In March, the group released its third studio album, Junior. According to Brundtland, the group spent the last four years, oddly enough, hanging out in saunas and solariums. "We like taking saunas in weird places," he says. "Svein has an old Volvo with a sauna in the back. Cruising down the street half-naked is a beautiful thing. There's nothing better!" The colourfully bubbling new disc features guest vocals by Swedish pop stars Robyn, Lykke Li and Karin Dreijer Andersson from the band The Knife. Brundtland says the collection is the first part of a two-part musical entity. Later this year, the group plans to release its sequel, Senior, which will showcase the duo's quieter side. The first single from the new CD,"Happy up Here," bears a striking similarity to the group's breakthrough hit, "Eple." According to Brundtland, he and Bergen wanted to lift people's moods during a recession with an upbeat, happy tune. röyksopp plays a variety of gigs throughout europe this summer, including ilosaari rock in joensuu, Finland on july 19. www.ilosaarirock.fi http://royksopp.com Stian Andersen Röyksopp's singing stars The vocals on the album Junior are handled by some of today's trendiest Swedish singers: robyn This Grammy-nominated singer started out recording dance pop in the '90s. Her "With Every Heartbeat" rose to Number One on the British lists, earning Robyn a spot on Madonna's European tour. lykke li This 23-year-old singer, who first gained popularity through internet music blogs, has gone on to success in Europe and the US. Lykke Li's debut album Youth Novels came out last year. karin Dreijer anDersson The leader of the highly acclaimed band The Knife recently released her solo debut album under the name Fever Ray. Many remember guitarist José González's version The Knife's hit "Heartbeats" from a Sony Bravia television advert. Finnair flies nonstop to bergen five times a week during the summer season. röyskopp's Torbjørn brundtland and svein bergen make "music to lift people's moods." must-sees in Bergen one "Behind a museum on the hill, there's a great garden. It can get crowded on beautiful days, but the atmosphere is always laidback and quiet. You can hear the birds sing there." Two top3 Röyksopp's The arboreTum anD boTanical garDen aT milDe Marcus Palmqvist "The cable car takes you to the top of the highest mountain near Bergen, which is 631 meters high. Standing in the middle of a crowd of tourists at the top can be stressful, so it's best to find your own quiet nook." iStockPhoto mounT ulriken anD The cable car (ulriksbanen) Three "An area by the seaside with lots of old buildings and plenty of nightlife." bryggen lykke li is one of the guest singers on röyksopp's new album junior. Bergen, Norway. 14 blue wings MAY 2009
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