The Knife‘s Karin Dreijer appears on two tracks in Junior’s midsection, and her efforts ultimately provide the hooks with which it sways from your mind and refuses to release. This Must Be It sees her reverberate over polished house, the chorus reaching tantalisingly close to euphoria; Tricky Tricky tackles Knife territory with aplomb, its curious turn of phrase and discordant progression upping the ante.
Between these spots the LP finds it soul as the devastatingly beautiful Royksöpp Forever ascends from gossamer-thin orchestral trip-hop to ethereal strings – as good as anything Royksöpp have ever done – then becoming the dramatic, stabbing, gothic theme to the best TV show never made. It’s absolutely thrilling.
It is with Dreckler, however, that Royksöpp’s sound is most natural, and she makes a further two appearances in Junior’s home straight. You Don’t Have A Clue channels the first album’s Sparks with greater licence to soar; True To Life’s restless paranoia bungles the listener into filthy dub with style.
Brundtland and Berge seem to have a knack for crafting tracks and soundscapes that, while easy on the ear, are never anything less than fascinating – a feat all too tricky for all but the most accomplished of their peers. Their first two LPs had such qualities in spades, and they provide the foundations for Junior’s ascent into the aural stratosphere.
Anyone with even a passing interest in Royksöpp – whose ears have been pricked by an Eple or Poor Leno – could do far worse than immerse themselves in one of 2009’s greatest releases. And it’s only part one of two. Fancy that.