5 Minute Album Reviews: Casiokids – Aabenbaringen over Aaskammen
I recognise this is a naturally tricky blogpost, as a decent proportion of your allotted 5 minutes has probably already been taken up by deciphering the title and wondering how to pronounce it, or whether there’s any point in attempting to pronounce it, or whether in this day and age it matters if you can pronounce or even spell the name of an album when you can just google it.
Well tough luck, you’re just going to have to skim-read.
This is an album that puts your love of dance to the test, as the rhythms, basslines, drumbeats and melodies are all you’re likely to understand, unless you speak Norwegian. Life is just too short to translate the lyrics, so the music has to make do. This concept of listening clearly does work in some cases; Sigor Ros have enjoyed a fair bit of Guardian-reader-success despite singing in their own language, but they’re a post-rock band. Why should singing in a language foreign to the listener work for a synth-dance troupe who can’t rely on heavily expensive production, when the main selling point of most charting dance acts is their easily tweetable lyrics?
It works, because this is dance music for your brain. The album swells from an beautifully gentle instrumental introduction whose wind instruments would sound at home in a wildlife documentary (as would the atmosphere-building bird sounds) before making way to songs such as Golden Years, which may not fit into your average Ibiza night-club (what a sweet world that would be) but manage to worm their way into your head with their scatter-graph mixture of interesting percussion, interesting synth-noises, interesting harmonies, it’s all just generally interesting. In a world where dance music has become something that prides itself on attacking its listeners with what my young niece would describe as ‘angry noise’ and turns the word ‘beats’ into a double-entendre, Casiokids provide music that is simply pleasant to listen to; Olympiske Leker’s raindrop-like beats sound like the soundtrack to a tropical-themed Dr Seuss book (yes, a soundtrack to a book, you heard me), Selskapets Triste Avslutning presents itself as The XX having a weed-fueled happ jam whilst musing on how life is just so great and single Det Haster plays the simple but effective trick of structuring an entire song around one infectious rhythm.
This is not music for every mood; the album’s habit of pursuing one riff until there seems nowhere left for it to go can grate when listened to in the wrong mood, but for those who simply want pleasant dance music that romances rather than challenges the listener, Aabenbaringen over Aaskammen is nigh-on perfect. Even if I had to copy and paste the spelling of the name from Google.