There’s something particularly Nordic about Röyksopp. Somehow their music really captures the cold, lonely, and deeply beautiful pine forests and fjords. For this Vinyl Moment, I decided to start with the lovely Someone Else’s Club Mix of Remind Me.
This is a curious single – Side A clocks in at well under four minutes, and for some reason runs at 45 RPM while Side B is 33. I’ve reflected previously on what might have happened with this version, and can only conclude that it’s a work in progress between the original version and the Someone Else’s Radio Mix that brought Röyksopp to my attention back in 2002. What would become the chorus – the “remind oh remind oh remind me” part – is still hiding in the middle section, and the squealy synth part that was originally where the chorus ought to be is still here.
So it’s maybe not quite as good as the final radio version, but it’s still very good indeed. From the second 12″ of the same single (or it might be the first – who knows which way around they’re meant to be heard?) I picked Ernest Saint Laurent‘s pleasant Moonfish Mix, an electro version which skips most of the lyrics, but still explores some interesting territory over its seven minute duration.
I don’t recall being entirely convinced about either side of the two-track promo for Sparks, so on a whim I picked Derrick Carter‘s So B.H.Q. remix of So Easy. Sparks was an awkward final single from Melody AM, with some very odd remix choices, and this is a particularly curious one, although it’s better than I remembered. It’s mainly built on some tribal beats and a funky acid bassline, working around the computerised “so easy” from the introduction. There’s even the occasional hint of the original melody here and there, if you listen very carefully. I’m still not sure how much I like it, but it isn’t too bad.
Jumping ahead a couple of years, we arrive at the “difficult” second album, and its exceptional lead hit Only This Moment. The remixes were a mixed bag, but I opted for Alan Braxe and Fred Falke‘s version on Side A of the 12″ single. This mix turns out to be a massive, throbbing deep house reworking of the original, which is actually reasonably good, in spite of some slightly awkward chord changes.
The 7″ single for Only This Moment provides something very special – at the time, it would have been the first taste of the adorable What Else is There? but even now it’s an exclusive edit, which is something to treasure. Hidden away on Side B of a long-forgotten single, it sounds particularly fantastic, although it does end rather suddenly, leaving you wanting the unedited version.
Second single 49 Percent delivers another selection of remixes, and I decided to go for Ewan Pearson‘s Glass Half Full remix. It’s an interesting version, mainly building on the original by adding some more beats and bonus noises here and there. It works though – this is every bit as good as the original version.
Last but not least, the curious 7″ picture disc of 49 Percent, for the time being the last Röyksopp single that I own on vinyl, which I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually listened to before. As its b-side, it includes a track which also appeared on the bonus disc of The Understanding. Maybe it’s not as good as most of the things on the album, but it’s still pretty uplifting, and it makes a pretty strong statement to conclude this first run of Vinyl Moments.
So for now, Go Away. The next series of Vinyl Moments will follow in the New Year.