Danish do it better; at least when it comes to electronica. No, I am not saying that just because I work in an office full of Scandinavian people, even if I have been exposed to a massive load of catchy electro-experimentations. Today I am stepping away from the electro-pop / dance-floor friendly artists. Let me bring you in the depths of industrial pop, trip-hop and…indietronica.I am rubbish at genre-tagging, so let’s just turn up the volume and listen to the music.
Danish 180° Virvar released debut ‘Choice is [insert word]’ effortlessly evades genre classifications, brilliantly juxtaposing bass-driven electro shocks and haunting goth pop (‘Adaptation’). 180° Virvar was founded in Copenhagen 2004. The inspiration in the early years was acts like Massive Attack and the experimental alternative scene, before connecting with the general Scandinavian dark-gloomy mood. The choice of singer Leonora Christine to convert to Islam two years ago, brought her to give up music for good (the title‘We lost a Friend to Religion who Lost a Friend to Religion’ might be a subtle hint to that). Indeed, choice is the lead tread of the whole release, as the nature of her choice and human choice in general provided the inspirational drive for the album and the theme is constantly popping up in the stories it creates. Vocals are surrounded by a blurry sensual aura, and are pronounced with a dragging, echo-laden robotic touch, emphasizing on polyphony, with a reminiscent aura of Zola Jesus and her ‘goth pop’. The broody, mystical doom pastiche is infected with industrial post-wave…waves (‘Erosion’),transporting the listener into a whole otherworld. Richness in sound alternates more minimal spectral-like ambience, conveyed by the wide spectrum of vocals, in an endless climax toward an invisible peak (‘Meadow’). Synths and drones sit neatly alongside marching drums and a slow-burning organ, creating an unexpected balance between the icy soundscapes and almost clubby interludes ‘Synergy’.
Like an onion, the album unfolds uncovering different layers, which steadily become more vivid with ever listen (okay, the onion comparison is not the most poetic one, but also Beatles had a song called ‘Glass Onion’, so why not?). Whether we like to admit it or not, Danish know how to deliver great music. Now turn up the volume, and get lost in the vibe.
Available on iTunes, Spotify etc