BJØRN TORSKE: Kokning (Smalltown Supersound)

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Posted on Dec 8th 2010 01:17 am

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Bjørn Torske: Kokning

BJØRN TORSKE
Kokning
STS196
Smalltown Supersound 2010
09 Tracks. 52mins01mins

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

With countless projects and collaborations under his belt, Norwegian musician, producer and DJ Bjørn Torske has had, since his first appearance, as Alegria on SSR Records almost twenty years ago, fingers in more pies than one could care to mention, but when he landed on Smalltown Supersound, a few years ago, he found his natural place alongside the likes of Diskjokke or Lindstrøm. His debut album for the label, Feil Knapp, combined elements of house and disco with more playful electronic forms and occasional Krautrock hints.

Krautrock appears to be the starting point of Torske’s latest offering, his fourth, and filters through much of the album, in various doses. Three years in the making, and the fruit of a painstaking recording process during which he experimented with a number of venues, set ups, overdubs and edits, Kokning is even more colourful and eclectic than its predecessor. Fueled by elegant electronic textures, touches of acoustic and electric guitars and quirky loops, the opening three tracks are strongly reminiscent of Harmonia or Cluster as heard through kaleidoscopic headphones, their respective soundscapes offering forever changing angles without ever noticeably evolving. While the opening title track drifts along a lush and warm guitar-infused sequence and Gullfjellet sinks into a sweet summery torpor, Bryggesjau appears to endlessly loop around its central theme, but imperceptibly picks up additional layers of sound and noise on its way to give it a much grittier aspect toward the end.

Later on, Torske gets closer to the Scandinavian disco shaped by Diskjokke, Prins Thomas or Lindstrøm, stacking up a pseudo-tribal beat on Langt Fra Afrika or linear grooves and catchy hooks on Bergensere, Nitten Nitti or Furu. Here, the seventies experimental impetus is replaced by something much more immediate, but while the latter three could easily find a proud place on the dance floor, Bergensere and Furu even eying up some of Lindstrøm’s cosmic electronica, it is ultimately never quite Torske’s concern, and he soon turns his attention to much more chilled grounds again with the somewhat mellow and accidental Slitte Sko, before drafting in some heavy dub textures on Versjon Wolfenstein.

The problem with Kokning is not its eclectic focus but more the fact that it occasionally seems to get a tad lost in its own topography as Torske hangs on to particular themes for slightly too long, especially on Gullfjellet or Slitte Sko. Yet, when Torske brings in a little diversity and ambition in his compositions, the mood instantly lifts up as he reaches more inspired shores.

3.2/5

Bjørn Torske (MySpace) | Smalltown Supersound
Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

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