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Staying In

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Album Review

From Röyksopp's resplendent downtempo to Björn Torske's quirky, dubby house to the expansive cosmic disco of Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas, Norway is responsible for some of the most lavish, appealing, and accessible instrumental electronica of the 2000s, and diskJokke's debut full-length fits solidly within that tradition. Joakim Dyrdhal's fanciful electro-disco productions bear some commonalities with all of the aforementioned, but most of all with his admitted influence Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, arguably the Scandinavian electronica scene's de facto figurehead, with whom he shares a label (the increasingly buzzed-about Smalltown Supersound), a strong focus on melody and musicality, and a knack for compositions that feel simultaneously playful and majestic. Though they definitely evince a certain airiness, laced with starry-eyed synths and the occasional woozy swell, his tracks stop short of Lindstrøm's furthest-out, spacy excesses, rarely stretching beyond the six-minute range and maintaining a more or less consistent foundation of sturdy, midtempo disco beats (although he's not afraid to break it down and built it back up mid-song.) Those grooves help ensure a base level of dancefloor functionality without hampering the sense of restless creativity which is perhaps Staying In's most notable quality, though it also turns out to be something of an Achilles' heel. Somewhat paradoxically, the internal variety and subtle complexity of many of these pieces, which seem to unfurl a dizzying array of melodic and textural ideas over their gradually fluctuating beats, can leave them feeling somewhat formless and even faceless. Certain tracks do stand out in the context of the album — the atypically non-melodic, slightly hard-edged techno of "Cold Out," for instance, with its busy, D.F.A.-style percussion pile-on — but apart from the cheeky trumpet blasts on the title track and the wonderfully dense, swirling piano figures which open the album (and crop up again later in the dynamically shapeshifting "Folk I Farta," which also has one of the album's simplest, most distinctive synth motifs), there aren't many moments here memorable enough to remain in one's mind once the music has finished playing. That might be an unfortunate limiting factor to its not-inconsiderable crossover appeal, but this is still a charismatic and frequently exhilarating album, which neatly pulls off the enviable electronica coup of being equally well-suited for dance parties and headphone listening sessions, and works just fine in the background too. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Cosmic Man!

An amazing debut, logo-rhythmic in its intricacy of sound and production; a must have CD for the informed Cosmic Disco enthusiast...great performed live (Fabric) and Joachim's is a great dj (Sunkissed - Oslo) together with associate, Winny, were dynamic last summer at the Big Chill festiival. More please!? Lunatic Dreyfuss - London


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Hailing from the small town of Svelvik, located just southwest of Oslo, Norway -- an unlikely but proven city to breed and export influential electro artists -- Joachim Dyrdahl, otherwise known as diskJokke, makes acid house beats perfect for moving dancefloors and lays down chilled cinematic pop ideal for lounging. At five years old, Dyrdahl started playing the violin, and at 14 he started spinning records. After going to school to study mathematics in a Trondheim university, he relocated to Oslo...
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Staying In, Diskjokke
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