Electrospective: Like The xx? Then you’ll love Röyksopp’s “Melody AM”
Elektro joins EMI in celebrating its Electrospective series, which pays homage to electronic music’s storied history and deep roots. We have combed through EMI’s massive 600-plus album catalog to pick out the best electronic music from years past; each week, we recommend classic albums that will open your eyes to the place of today’s stars in electronic music’s long timeline.
Dance and indie fans alike have been charmed by The xx's dreamy strain of synth-pop. The British trio is comprised of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith, old school friends who joined forces to create gorgeous soundscapes on 2008's xx. The album's big single, "Crystallized," has a moody guitar lead and airy vocals that combine for infectious effect. Other tracks, like "Fantasy" are more ethereal, and seem designed to enhance the album's vibe rather than tell a story. On this year's Coexist, the trio keeps the sound similar but adds reflective, emotional lyrics on stunners like "Chained" and "Angels." This is by no means jump-out-of-your-seat dance music, but rather perfectly crafted electronic beats that warrant close headphone listening.
If you're craving an xx-like sound – one that's downtempo and mood-driven – Röyksopp's 2001 album Melody AM is a must-download. Norwegian duo Torbjørn Brundtland and Sven Berge joined forces in 1998, and together they make tracks like the classic "Epie;" it creates a spacy, dreamy atmosphere with a solid drumline at its core. Melody AM stirs different emotions over the course of its ten tracks, but they are all united by an ability to make listeners lose themselves in the sound. "Sparks" is an ambling tune with mournful lyrics and no real goal, while "Remind Me" is reflective and hopeful, but the album flows seamlessly enough that these transitions won't feel jarring.