Todd Terje is not your conventional electronic producer, if you happened across his essential 2013 ‘Essential Mix‘ you’d know that he likes to smear the senses with a heady infusion of flavours. Like any good mixologist the contrasting tastes blend seamlessly together in perfect harmony with plenty of hidden punch.
‘Its Album Time’ is Todd Terje’s debut LP and thankfully unlike many other electronic albums of the more immediate variety he hasn’t constrained himself to prevailing trends, preferring to delve into the past, present and future stealing era defining sonics to define his sound, all of which are summed up in the albums opener ‘Intro’. Intro (Its Album Time) is Daft Punk without all the pomp, its Kraftwerk sporting their finest flairs and luminescent sweatbands whilst DJing in 90’s New York.
‘Leisure Suit Preben’ truly opens proceedings, and here we find Terje at his most abstract, much like when Ross Geller takes to the keys in ‘Friends’ anything goes, with Todd taking us from a gaudy Vegas style elevator into a high rolling roof top Lounge Bar before dropping us off at the club. We’re not sure who Preben is, but you do get the feeling he’s having a good time as he sips fluorescent cocktails in his white flannel suit and Miami Vice pink T. By the time we hit ‘Svensk Sav’ inhibitions are gone, drinks are flowing and the dance floor has taken centre stage with a high energy Samba pulling at our hips before a whiff of 80’s nostalgia hits our sense with ‘Strandbar’. Strandbar opens with what can only be described as the backing to a buddy cop movie montage, where the main characters are chasing down a telling lead, this is all before a young Marshall Jefferson bursts onto the scene with an irresistible piano hook. ‘Delorean Dynamite’ swiftly follows with its rich arpeggiating neon infused synth layers leading the way before a bass line straight out of the Chromeo play book, slaps us in the face.
We’ve reached halfway and Todd Terje decides to take a break and play things down a bit. ‘Johnny & Mary’ is the slow dance of the LP where our 2 lead characters have stopped dancing around each other, making silly mistakes and realised that in their inebriated haze that they are meant for each other.
‘Alfonso Muskedunder’ kicks off the second half of the LP much like opener ‘Leisure Suite Preben’ with an exotically exuberant menagerie of sounds before two of the albums highlights ‘Swing Star Pt 1 & 2’ electronically slide onto the floor. Squelchy Moog type bass propels more classic synth arpeggiation in a cacophony of sound that envelopes you in a swirling wall of wistful summer holiday euphoria, assuming your vacations where mostly taken over 25 years ago.
‘Oh Joy’ the albums natural sounding closer is another 2 parter, with three minutes of build leading into an infectious Donna Summer / Giorgio Moroder type groover. However the fun doesn’t stop there as Terje has saved the best till last, and although in the natural order of life ‘Oh Joy’ would be the more natural closer no one really cares when ‘Inspector Norse’ washes over us like a warm Mediterranean evening.
Its Album Time is an exquisitely crafted record, pulling together groove, house, the past and the odd whimsical moment into a uniquely triumphant contemporary record, once again demonstrating the Todd Terje’s exemplary mixology skills. Highly Recommended.