Sunday, 22 January 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #31 - Todd Terje, "It's The Arps" EP

And while we're on the look out for good names, Todd Terje seems to have a finger on the faint pulse of puntastic titles on his new EP, "It's the Arps". (It's the what?) Opening track is called "Inspector Norse" - nice! And the second title is "Myggsommer", which I'm giving to understand is reference to the ITV middle-class slashathon, "Midsummer Murders". Then of course there is the artist's name - Todd Terry being a neglected hero of mine for his hyperactive attempts to fuse House and Hip-Hop in the late Eighties. Wordplay in the vein of Joy Orbison, but not as good.

It comes from Norway, this business. "Norse" is all side-to-side dancing, squelchy disco crap. By which I mean disco in the bad sense - that stuff that genuinely sucked in the Seventies; not the genius, sexy stuff that sent Middle America scurrying to their bonfires in a fit of sexual panic. You know, the stuff with people dressed as ducks! Intricate tumbling on"Swing Star, Pt 1", leading to nowhere in particular. "Myggsommer" is more inventive, sachaying about here and there to an inner Bontempi beat and lawnmower growls.  But I'm not really feeling it. There has to be some tension, some exploration and this just rolls on and on like Norwegian carpet. "Pt 2" starts with more promising plodding chewy synths, but before long, the virtual harp sweeps are back and the angels are swanning about once again, but the angels without swords or genitals. You know the ones I mean, the empty cassocks.

He apparently has a remix of Roxy Music on the horizon - either "Love Is The Drug" or "Avalon". Judging by the rather soft, flaccid disco he's got on the go here, I'd imagine the latter. It's a great tune, "Avalon"; but "Love.." would be more resistant to a cheesy makeover, I'd have thought.

Much seems to be made of the fact this is a small town boy from small town Norway, not least by the Nordic puns of Todd himself. Normally, I'm on the side of the provincial outsider with a gleam in their inner eye. But this time, I am not impressed. Nuh-uh. Except by the cover. Which is ace.

Rating: Cascading out of My Earline

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