Standing on top of Utopia
Kasper Bjørke has had a lengthy career, and here’s his second full-length album. He comes from the heart of the thriving Copenhagen electronic scene along with Trentemøller. After more than a decade as a busy producer and DJ, Kasper has released his work on labels like Plant Music, Fine, Thugfucker and V2 Records and received a Danish Music Award as Best Producer for the well-known project Filur. Standing On Top Of Utopia is a multi-genre journey through glittering synthesizer jams, warm throbbing post-disco trips, dark pop songs and haunting minimal house with an analogue feel. Bjørke employs a handful of Danish singers–Louise Foo, who is sister to Sharin of The Ravonettes, Tomas Höffding of WhoMadeWho, and Jacob Bellens–instrumentalists like Davide Rossi (Coldplay, Røyksopp), and American musicians Kap10Kurt and Dominique Keegan for this offering.
The album kicks of with “Animals,” a Roxy music style, Depeche Mode-referencing track, and follows up with “Young Again,” the first single lifted from the album. Jacob Bellens (I Got You On Tape/Murder) wrote it, but his accent is so heavy that it takes the focus away from a nice early ’80s dark disco vibe to something similar to Hercules & Love Affair. Sometimes accents aren’t cute or interesting, like in this case. More vocalizing tracks arrive with “Efficient Machine,” post-disco, Blondie sounding pop, and the lush atmospheric, almost bossa nova sounding Rolling Stones cover of ”Heaven.” It’s quite a moody record and half of the songs are instrumentals. Standing on Top of Utopia is a strong album, but utopia also means “an illusion”–a non-existent place–and sometimes it sounds like too many moods under one cover.