Röyksopp – Remind Me / So Easy

It’s rare that I cover singles in the review section, and when I do, they have to be very special indeed. This one definitely is. This week in 2002, Röyksopp seemed to appear pretty much out of nowhere, with this gem.

Of course, their appearance wasn’t really quite that sudden. Over the preceding year or so, the singles Eple and Poor Leno had each appeared at least once already, and the album had been floating around in the lower reaches of the charts for some time as well, but this was the moment they really found fame.

The Someone Else’s Radio Mix of Remind Me is sublime. Whereas the original album version was a simple lounge piece which plodded along very pleasantly with a great vocal from Erlend Øye, this version brings enormous retro synth backing, and adds an actual chorus. Röyksopp have recorded some fantastic songs in the fifteen years that have followed, but nothing has ever been quite this good.

So Easy comes next. It wasn’t originally going to be on the single, but then the BT advert appeared in the UK, with the huge baby’s face, one of those adverts that you probably still remember today, and so it had to be included. It’s a great track, which only falls down slightly when you realise quite how much it’s been stretched out in order to last three and a half minutes. But aside from that, it’s really rather beautiful.

James Zabiela‘s Ingeborg mix of Remind Me closes the first CD, a pleasant chilled out version which adds urban samples and an enormous bass line to the original album version, but doesn’t quite have the shine of the single version. But that would be asking a lot – this is still excellent.

There’s really very little to fault here, with a beautifully designed CD sleeve showing cloud nestling, probably in a fjord or something, two great versions of Remind Me, and the adorable So Easy as well.

Unfortunately the second disc is a bit of a waste, and seems to have been thrown together a little too quickly – we get the album version of So Easy again, followed by the album version of Remind Me, before finally getting Tom Middleton‘s Cosmos mix of the main track, a long house version which isn’t quite as good as the remixer’s reputation would make you think it should be.

Worth tracking down are the 12″ versions, which bring you Someone Else’s Club Mix of Remind Me, which I suspect might have been an interim version between the album and radio mixes, and also Ernest Saint Laurent‘s Moonfish mix, which is probably as close as anything on this album can get to electro, but at the same time pulls some of the more chilled elements out from the album version.

If anything in Röyksopp‘s early years helped shape the sound of future albums The Understanding and Junior, I suspect it was the remix of Remind Me which led this single. It’s extraordinarily good, and is definitely worth owning in its own right.

If you prefer to buy new, the best you can manage now seems to be an oddly tagged collection of MP3s here. Otherwise track down the original CD release, which may or may not be here.

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Retro chart for stowaways – 15 May 2004

I’m off on my holidays at the moment, so here’s the album chart from twelve years ago this week!

  1. Air – Talkie Walkie
  2. Pet Shop Boys – PopArt
  3. Goldfrapp – Black Cherry
  4. Dido – Life for Rent
  5. Erlend Øye – Erlend Øye – DJ-Kicks
  6. Zero 7 – When It Falls
  7. Sugababes – Three
  8. Dubstar – Stars – The Best of Dubstar
  9. Bent – Programmed to Love
  10. Sparks – Lil’ Beethoven

Albums chart of the year 2015 for stowaways

It gives us great pleasure to unveil the top albums of 2015! Here’s the chart:

  1. New Order – Music Complete
  2. Leftfield – Alternative Light Source
  3. Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?
  4. Little Boots – Working Girl
  5. The Future Sound of London – Environment Five [released 2014]
  6. Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica 1: The Time Machine
  7. The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
  8. MG – MG
  9. Erlend Øye – Legao [released 2014]
  10. Röyksopp – The Inevitable End [number 1 of 2014]
  11. Étienne de Crécy – Super Discount 3
  12. Pink Floyd – The Endless River [released 2014]
  13. Camouflage – Greyscale
  14. Shit Robot – We Got a Love [released 2014]
  15. MG – MG EP
  16. The Chemical Brothers – Born in the Echoes
  17. Björk – Vulnicura
  18. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses [released 1989]
  19. Delerium – Rarities & B-Sides
  20. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon [released 1973]

Deepest commiserations to Erasure and Madonna, who were only just outside of the top twenty this year! Better luck in 2016!

Music for the Masses 37 – 23 April 2005

The post-Easter run of shows introduced two new features, both pre-recorded mixes. The Live Bit consisted of ten minutes or so of live material, while the Electromix was a trio of dark electronic tracks mixed together. I had a lot of fun with this week’s by trying to censor My Robot Friend‘s track in creative ways.

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Show 37: Sat 23 Apr 2005, from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: Delerium.

  • Jakatta – American Dream
  • Björk – Army of Me
  • Lemon Jelly – Make Things Right
  • Faithless – Tarantula
  • Delerium – Daylight
  • Alpinestars – Burning Up
  • Portishead – Sour Times
  • Happy Mondays – Hallelujah
  • Groove Armada – At the River (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Client – White Wedding (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Erlend Øye – Sudden Rush
  • Paul Keating (Closer to Heaven Original Cast Recording) – Positive Role Model (The Almighty Definitive Mix)
  • Delerium – Fallen
  • Moby – Spiders
  • Everything But The Girl – Mirrorball (Jazzy Jeff Remix)
  • Ultravox – Vienna
  • Tiga & Zyntherius – Sunglasses at Night
  • Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence
  • Death in Vegas – Hands Around My Throat [Electromix]
  • My Robot Friend – Sex Machine [Electromix]
  • Leftfield – Phat Planet [Electromix]
  • Goldfrapp – Hairy Trees

The Live Bit and Electromix features from this show both still exist, and will appear in a future Playlist for stowaways.

Beginner’s guide to Kings of Convenience

We’ve covered Erlend Øye‘s latter career already, but when he started out he was merely a member of a rather good acoustic duo, Kings of Convenience.

Key moments

They managed a number of minor UK hits, with Failure, Toxic Girl, and I’d Rather Dance with You, but they’re definitely an album band.

Where to start

Start at the beginning with the brilliant Quiet is the New Loud (2001). If you never buy anything else, you do at least have a great chillout album.

What to buy

Follow up the debut with its companion remix album Versus (also 2001) for a very different perspective on many of the same tracks. That leaves the second and third albums Riot on an Empty Street (2004) and Declaration of Dependence (2009), neither of which quite has the charm of the first, but both have some great moments.

Don’t bother with

Any of the singles. Also, if you weren’t too sure about the second album, you might want to give the third one a miss – each one is marginally less memorable than its predecessor.

Hidden treasure

Velferd‘s free 2013 remix of unreleased Rule My World is great, if you can still find it floating around anywhere.

For stowaways

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Music for the Masses 34 – 2 March 2005

For the second week running, the webcam was refusing to take pictures during this show. It did see a brief return of the Unsigned Act slot, with an entry from Subculture, and the many-talented William Orbit was the Artist of the Week.

Show 34: Wed 2 Mar 2005, from 6:05pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: William Orbit.

  • Gotan Project – Época
  • Rob Dougan – Furious Angels
  • Depeche Mode – I Feel Loved
  • The Space Brothers – Forgiven
  • Energy 52 – Café del Mar
  • Apollo 440 – Astral America
  • William Orbit – Via Caliente
  • Peach – From This Moment On
  • Jean Michel Jarre – Je Me Souviens
  • Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls (DJ Hell Remix)
  • Subculture – Dead in the Day (Demo) [Unsigned Act]
  • Erlend Øye – Every Party Has a Winner and a Loser
  • William Orbit – Million Town
  • Kraftwerk – Expo 2000 (Kling Klang 2002 Mix)
  • Manu Chao – Bongo Bong
  • Erasure – Don’t Say You Love Me
  • LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk is Playing at My House
  • Wolfsheim – Wunderbar
  • Jan Hammer – Crockett’s Theme
  • William Orbit – Satie’s Ogive #1
  • Bent – The Waters Deep