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Skatebård Takes Italo-Disco for an Icy Spin on ‘Palais D’Amour’


Norwegians know their way around Italo-disco at this point, as Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Todd Terje lead the way (in most listeners’ ears, at least) around the strobe-lit roller rinks populated by bongo-driven synthesizer arpeggios. But there’s another one you should be paying attention to: Bård Aasen Lødemel, who with the moniker Skatebård seems to have the same cheeky sense of humor as Terje. 

His latest effort, however, is a deadly serious exercise in metallic hues and the kinds of strobe-lit beats appropriate for a former heavy metal drummer and hip-hop MC. “Palais d’Amour,” off of Skatebård‘s forthcoming new album CDIII, pumps the seven minutes with enough hissing hi-hats to feel like you’re in a club full of smoke, as a nasally murmur sandwiches the stiff percussion with another amorphous synth line percolating overhead.

Of the track, Bård says, “I wanted to make something very percussive and melodic at the same time, just a combination of some of my favourite sounds; marimbas for the main riff, polysix for the 16th note bassline, dry eighties kick drum, sharp and consistent hi-hats, bongo samples and then glassy synth strings for the atmosphere. I find it pretty driving, but was still surprised to see it work as well as it did on the dance floor.”