Harrys Gym: Attic
Bloc Party: Sunday
Lykke Li: Everybody But Me
The National Bank: Home
Foals: Olympic Airways
Spektrum: Moody Feels Good
Ost&Kjex: Boston Food Strangler
Lindstrøm: Breakfast In Heaven
diskJokke proves he’s got the magic remix touch with this strong compilation of revamped tracks by Bloc Party, Harrys Gym and Lykke Li.
Things have moved rapidly since Joachim Dyrdahl from Svelvik first got spotted by fellow dance duke Prins Thomas a couple of years back. The Prince signed him up for a few single releases on his label Full Pupp, and German label Get Physical soon caught wind of diskJokke's Norse Nu disco and slotted in a release on their sub-label Kindisch. Staying In, Dyrdahl's 2007 debut, was released on Smalltown Supersound to critical acclaim both home and abroad, and big names queued up to have their songs sprinkled with Dyrdahl's disco dust.
The results can be found on Discolated, a compilation chronicling diskJokke's remixes from 2007 to 2008 – a treasure trove where diskJokke lends his touch to English indie hotshots Bloc Party and Foals, and big Norwegian names such as Harrys Gym, Ost&Kjex and The National Bank to name a few.
The album kicks off with a wonky synth fanfare and diskJokke's disco dub version of English electro outfit Metronomy. Heartbreaker's original pop funk is taken on an epic excursion packed with analogue delays and lush synthesizers, and Joseph Mount's vocals against the pumping bassline makes it the dirty disco sidekick to Roger Sanchez's early noughties house hit Another Chance.
"I like you in the morning when you're still hung over", sings Kele Okereke on Sunday. Bloc Party's anthem to the mellow mood that so often follows Saturday night shenanigans is turned into an epic cacophony of oscillating synths and angst-ridden basslines. diskJokke gives the London-quartet Spektrum a similar tratment, turning the laidback punk-funk of Moody Feels Good into a dark and eerie affair build around the raw ESG vocals of front woman and Chrome Hoof leading lady Lola Olafisoye.
And how does Dyrdahl fare with his own folk?
It's hard not to think of Hercules and Love Affair when diskJokke meets Thomas Dybdahl and The National Bank. But where Andrew Butler and Antony Hegarty sound like a match made in disco heaven, Home feels more like a nice backdrop to friendly Friday night banter in a hip cafe.
Harrys Gym's Attic doesn't sound too far removed from the original at first, almost as if diskJokke's shying away from digging into what's already a great song. But Dyrdahl's got surprises up his sleeve. Halfway through and the guitar-based melancholia is out the door, replaced by a fabulously funky soca-influenced disco beat, complete with handclaps and a suggestive bassline. The dancehall version of Lykke Li's Everybody But Me picks up where Attic finishes, and coolheaded Scandinavians marrying Caribbean rhythms is starting to sound like a magic recipe.
Discolated ends with diskJokke's take on Norway's uncrowned king of disco. On Breakfast In Heaven he gives Lindstrøm a 10-minute epic space disco overhaul. The remix has a more spacious feel than the rather sparse original, and does occasionally sound like something off Lindstrøm's latest solo effort, the irony being that it was released about a year earlier than Where You Go I Go Too. This should come with a hint of schadenfreude considering that the media seldom mention diskJokke without a reference to the ‘real' father of Oslodisco.
Remixing is not just importing a song into your music software and dumping a different drum loop on it. It's craftsmanship, and with Discolated diskJokke proves that he has a unique ability to ditch the constraints of original tracks. As the playdo letters on Kim Hiorthøy's cover design indicates, he takes what's already in place, picks it to pieces and builds something completely new. And that's when remixing becomes interesting and something more than just bands' keen attempts to stay on the agenda or to reach new audiences.
Discolated is actually a step up from Staying In. And while we wait for diskJokke's next move, there's little to do but give in to the discolation.