The genre-straddling Norwegian collective Rotoscope was originally formed in the fall of 1999 by composer/multi-instrumentalist Andreas Mjøs, with the goal of combining modern electronica with more experimental approaches to songwriting and production. While initially formed with the specific aim of performing a live show at a music festival in Norway, Rotoscope is primarily a studio-based outfit, one that thrives on technology at least as much as it does on live interplay between the musicians. In addition to leader Mjøs, Rotoscope's lineup includes vocalist Christine Sandtorv, vibraphonist/percussionist Rob Waring, drummer/percussionist Knut Aalefjaer, electronics wielder Rune Brøndbo, saxophonist/clarinetist Lars Horntveth, and producer Jørgen Traeen. Together, this cast brings a diverse range of experience, running the gamut from pop and electronica to contemporary classical music, jazz, and experimental noise. Mjøs and Lars Horntveth are both members of the ten-piece jazz/electronica/fusion outfit Jaga Jazzist; Aalefjaer plays with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Sandtorv sings in a well-known Norwegian pop group called Ephemera; and Brøndbo has produced several albums of breakbeat-driven electronica under the name Sternklang. In addition, several of the group's members compose music for films, television shows, and/or classical ensembles, and several are also active as collaborators or studio instrumentalists with Norwegian pop and rock bands of various stripes.
Rotoscope recorded their first album, Great Curves, in mid-2000. It was released the following year on Norway's Jester Records, the label of Christopher Rygg, who is otherwise best known as the frontman for the acclaimed post-metal bands Ulver and Arcturus. Because of Rygg's following among metal listeners, Rotoscope -- like Jester labelmates When, Bogus Blimp, and Origami Galaktika -- Rotoscope managed to attract some attention in corners of the metal underground despite stylistically having nothing to do with metal. ~ William York