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
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
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