Royksopp: Bubbling over

The wait is almost over. After a partnership spanning more than ten years and four definitive albums, in less than a month the mighty Royksopp will visit Australia for the first time. Ahead of the long-awaited visit for Big Day Out and inthemix presented sideshows, we spoke to one half of the Norwegian duo, Svein Berge.

Proving himself to be as humorous as he is musically adept, Berge was firing on all engines and as excited as we are for the imminent tour. It’s been a good decade for Röyksopp – and to bring in he next ten years, the lads are looking forward to some positive energy from Australian audiences. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem.

With the ridiculous array of musical tools available to the pair, the logical first question for Berge is to ask how he and Torbjí¸rn Brundtland approach recording. Do Röyksopp have any affinity with Brian Eno, whom professes to deliberately limiting the software and hardware he uses?

“We are definitely in the Brian Eno school,” Berge responds. “We work on the same equipment that we’ve been working with, well, basically since we started. I still have the synth that I bought when I was 13. We still work on those synths. We still have the same software. We have one additional piece of software, but we don’t use Macs, we don’t use Pro Tools and all that stuff, so we’re working on really limited gear.

“It’s more time consuming the way that we work, also given the fact that it’s only Torbjí¸rn and myself,” he continues. “We do everything from setting up the gear to engineering, playing, recording, producing, engineering, all the way up into mastering.”

Clearly then, the recording process isn’t a particularly speedy one – especially “being two guys with 80 per cent alcohol running through their blood stream 24/7”, Berge jibes. “And then also being mentally challenged doesn’t help either. So we just sit around and, I don’t know. I’m sometimes amazed in my sober minutes. I’m amazed that we’ve even managed to release music.”

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