Röyksopp on constructing a inventive universe for his or her new work
“After seeing Mulholland Drive in the movies back in the day, we went out and we started talking. What was it about? How it ended and so on,” recalls Svein Berge, one half of Norwegian music duo Röyksopp. “And then we overheard a person saying, I understood everything – meaning it. And that just undermines everything! If you did, I feel a bit sorry for you. That’s not really the object and the idea of it.”
That’s the idea that the childhood friends turned long-time production partners want to latch onto with their new project, Profound Mysteries. “It’s that kind of sentiment, obviously not as dark as in Lynch’s universe, but we want to evoke, stir up something rather than just being, you being, or the listener being, or viewer being passive,” Berge explains.
Profound Mysteries comes 21 years after the release of their heralded debut Melody AM, which kicked off a journey of five albums, drawing to a climax with 2014’s The Inevitable End. It was their “goodbye to the traditional album format”, as they put it at the time, and dealt “with things ending and death … so it felt like a natural send off at that point”, Berge says today.
What prompted that change of course? “I think the somewhat pompous answer would be that we felt we had done the things we wanted to do within the traditional format. And also, given the times we’re living in, in terms of how music is being released and distributed and so on, rather than looking at those things as a hindrance, we saw that as opportunity and finding new ways of releasing the music in the future,” he explains.
Profound Mysteries cover artwork by Jonathan Zawada