DISKJOKKE: Staying In (Smalltown Supersound)


Posted on Mar 25th 2008 12:59 am

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DiskJokke: Staying In

Staying In
Smalltown Supersound 2008
10 Tracks. 56mins05secs

If staying in is the new going out, DiskJokke is the shiny banner that advertises it. Hailing from Oslo where, alongside like-minded characters like Prins Thomas and Lindstrom, he is at the forefront of the new Swedish dance scene, Joachim Dyrdahl has spent the last few years honing his dance floor potential at Sunkissed, one of Norway’s most notorious clubs, where he is a regular behind the decks. First spotted by Prins Thomas, who released three of his tracks, Dyrdahl has since, under the DiskJokke banner, had tracks featured on a handful of compilations, released a couple of EPs and is fast becoming a sought-after remixer. He is now signed to Norwegian imprint Smalltown Supersound.

Staying In, Dyrdahl’s debut album, incorporates elements of classic disco and house, sprinkled with hints of electro and Detroit techno to give his sound a slightly more angular form. Dyrdahl also pays much attention to his melodies and to the mood of each of his creations, which ranges from atmospheric to playful moments.

The opening sequence of Folk I Farta sounds tailor-made to soundtrack the arty TV ad of a German car manufacturer, but once it’s slipped into its party gear, it is all systems go for the DiskJokke disco machine. The track slowly builds momentum as a cascading piano rains on a gentle melody until the main synth theme finally takes over and firmly sets it into orbit. The title track, which follows, has a video game feel to it, at least in its opening part, but, while the cartoon-like mood lingers on, the sound fills up and the melodic structure becomes more complex as Dyrdahl adds layer after layer. Større Enn Først Antatt draws on more openly techno tones and shows some deep connections with Detroit, especially in the way the melodic aspect of the piece is intrinsically linked to the sounds applied.

Later, it is impossible not to think of Daft Punk’s Da Funk on Glatt, but, in Dyrdahl’s hands, the robotic template favoured by the French duo becomes much more human and emotionally charged. Elsewhere, I Was Go To Marrocco And I Don’t See You is like a processed re-reading of Soft Cell’s Tainted Love with steady house beat and warm electronics to back up its stripped down instrumental form. Cold Out shows off some interesting African flavours in its rhythmic structure but, as elements pile in, end up somewhat lacking coherence, especially set against stronger compositions, such as Interpolation, which precedes it, or the rather beautiful Flott Flyt, which follows it. The album concludes with the elegant The Dinner That Never Happened and Some Signs Are Good which, despite being somewhat different, see Dyrdahl deploying sumptuous warm electronic waves over haunting themes.

Staying In is a juicy guilty pleasure, filled with melodies devised to keep the heart warm and beats to keep the head nodding and the feet tapping all the way through. This is not an album in the pure disco tradition, far from it, but Joachim Dyrdahl openly plays with the party tone inherent to the genre, giving his debut album a thoroughly enjoyable feel, yet his approach goes further by playing on a wide palette of emotions, making Staying In a very accomplished dance record.


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