Röyksopp, 'Junior' (Astralwerks)

Critical Mass
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by Barry Walters

Despite their wintry chill-out origins, Nordic keyboard pair Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland create smooth, sunny sounds perfect for roller-skating on rainbows. With vocal help from fellow Scandinavians Robyn, Lykke Li, and the Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson, they push the tempos, pumping up previously latent synth-pop tendencies and heightening the details on their hallucinatory soundscapes: "My favorite record is playing again," they reflexively sing on "Happy Up Here," as a pert Parliament sample doubles as a hook and love object.

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