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Datarock
Datarock
Nettwerk Music Group
www.datarockmusic.com


Norway's premier techno-pop duo Datarock interweave acid punk with electro-pop soundwaves on their debut album Datarock. The album produces an amalgam of glamorized punk and modern disco that purveys a likeness to trip-hop artists like Peaches and LCD Soundsystem and '80s new wave groups like The Information Society, Vitamin C, and The Escape Club. Datarock's songs are pure club music like the disco-spun tunes played at Studio 54 during the late '70s only Datarock's songs have a modern-pop flare packing an Euro-club froth.

The duo of Frederik Saroea (lead vocals and multiple instruments) and Ket-Ill (backup vocals, programming, and multiple instruments) spins total party escapes with multiple synth channels, passages of club beats, and disco-flanked trips. Saroea's vocals range from a lounge pop voicing to funk-rap syncopation surrounded by synth pitched melodies and acid punk soaked rhythms. The music is modern disco similar to Madonna circa 2006 and Ladytron. It's hard to determine how much of the music is fan-based paying homage to disco, glam punk, and electro-pop and how much contains Saroea and Kat-Ill's own sketching. The music may not be innovative because a lot of it has been done before. It is made purely for club purposes and it shares common aspects with Euro-club artists past and present including Kraftwerk, Bauhaus and Telepopmusik.

Tracks like "Bulldozer," "See What I Care," and "Princess" have a glam punk truss that glams up the rebellious kicks and punting of Goons Of Doom with some synth pop frippery. There is an avant-pop persuasion on "Computer Camp Love" that can be likened to Talking Heads and the disco synth ringlets circling "Fa Fa Fa" touch base with Ladytron. The electro pop passages on selections like "I Use To Dance With My Daddy" and "Ugly Primadonna" act like sonic fillers influenced by the way DJ's form songs by attaching layers of effects and synth files with an opiate feel. It's a continuous stoner-like stream of club beats and electronic phrases being looped into run-on sentences.

The numbers "Ganguro Girl" and "Laurie" have an electro lounge pop smoothness that glams up a Michael Buble-like creaminess in Saroea's vocals with some airy violin twirls and symphonic synth effects. "The New Song" has undertones of a haunting organ dirge while the soft synth melodics of "The Most Beautiful Girl" elate a bright sunny pop spectrum. The funky vocal melody of "Sex Me Up", with a likeness to George Michael, contrasts the suave vocals of Saroea and the sweet-pitched harmony vocals of Norwegian songstress Annie on the final track "I Will Always Remember You." The airy violins along the acid house synths give the tune soft textures and a symphonic magnitude so the disco tints are absorbed in orchestral tones and lounge pop branding. The duo saved the best track for last as Annie's vocals really compliment Saroea's here.

The band has a little history with Annie in that December of 2000 found Fredrik and Ket-Ill making their debut performance at Annie's monthly club night, Pop Till You Drop. The duo has played for several multi-media shows and acrobatic stage productions over the years. In 2003, they found themselves playing the main stage at Barcelona's Sónar Festival. Recently, they have performed at the Good Vibrations Festival in Sydney to a crowd of over 15,000 and the Meredith Music Festival near Melbourne to more than 10,000 in the audience.

Saroea explains how the duo adopted the name Datarock on the band's website, "In Norwegian, you would call a computer a 'data machine,' so in the beginning, Datarock was making fun of all the rock people that thought electronic music was simply computer-generated music. But in English, 'data' means information, which is even more appropriate because Datarock is essentially the product of 30 years of the information society."

No matter what Datarock means to the band, the music is electronically based and disco imbued. The album has acid house soundscapes and club beats that go together with trip-hop music like cookies and cream.

-Susan Frances


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