Feil Knapp is the first album from musician Bjørn Torske since 2001, and it's arriving at just about the perfect time, as a slew of Norwegian artists (like Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas) have really started making solid names for themselves. I first heard the work of Torske on the excellent Sunkissed mix that came out last year, but his song on that album only hinted at his varied output.
Originally a part of Biopshere's live shows clear back in the early 90s, Torske seems to effortlessly blend styles and sounds on his newest release. It doesn't always make for a smooth listen, but the sheer entertainment level is high, as you never really know what he's going to throw out next. The album opens with "Hemmelig Orkester," as multiple layers of vintage synths create a beautiful ambient wash that calls to mind several early 70s artists. Like several other songs on the album, "Spelunker" takes a couple sounds that don't feel like they should have any business being together, then somehow melds them. Drifting along with a dubby rhythm, the track lets loose with video-game sounding 8-bit synth gurgles and playful keyboards that truly push it into left field.
That's really just the beginning of it, though, and before you know it he's tripped through a slew of other styles. "Loe Bar" takes a slippy disco funk beat and laces it with some lounge-style effects and multiple layers of percussion while "Ørkenrotta" brings back the vintage style synth percolating and mixes it with an undulating layer of soft feedback and what sounds like some overdriven Eastern instrumentation. Album closer "Fembussen Hjem" sounds like a spy-movie theme stuck on loop while lulling keyboard phrases and flanged guitars give it an oddball feel that's hard to deny. With ten tracks running just under an hour, there are certainly a few places where Torske could have used a bit more self-control, but for the most part this is yet another completely unique album from a somewhat lesser-known Scandinavian artist.