Datarock Play “Fa Fa Fa”

Listen to this track by red-tracksuited Norwegian dance-rock boundary crossers Datarock. It’s “Fa Fa Fa”, their multimedia cult hit song as featured on their 2005 debut full-length, Datarock Datarock. The record was released in two forms; one in Europe, and another that featured a different track listing in North America in 2007. Further, this song appeared all over the place in commercials, video games, and movie soundtracks, perfectly in line with a typical indie-rock post-radio strategy. It was a part of how barriers between media were becoming more permeable by this time.

This permeability took on other forms, too. By the early years of the 21st century, a lot of work had been done by pop bands to tear down the walls between genres and to undercut listener expectations to create something new. The effect was often a case of taking disparate textures and musical elements sourced from various styles and eras and smashing them together just to see what would happen.

Because there were alternate channels to market beyond commercial radio, and through niche scenes forming that would support all of this, some great music came out of it. This included this eminently danceable track that turns out to be more than the sum of its parts beyond what we hear on its surface.

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Kings of Convenience Play “Me In You”

Here’s a clip of Norwegian folk-pop duo Kings of Convenience, here in their natural habitat of Bergen, Norway. It’s “Me In You”, a track that can be heard on their most recent record, Declaration of Dependence from 2009.

In addition to being a reminder of their skills in creating melancholic, atmospheric music that seems to fuse pop, jazz, and samba-like rhythms, this clip gives you an overview – literally – of their hometown. It was the first video that the duo directed themselves, although I’m not sure whether it was Erlend Øye or Erik Glambek Bøe , the two KoC principles, who oversaw the remote-control camera (if that’s what it was!).

This clip touches on a two of my personal passions. One is accessible, intelligent pop music that pulls from disparate sources and eras, yet is still to be considered as wholly original. The other is city planning designed for humans and human happiness, not for cars, for developers, or real estate speculators. Just look at that town. Beautiful.

Bergen Norway
Bergen, Norway: picture postcard perfect home of Kings of Convenience

And there’s a point. How does one’s environment affect the way one’s music comes out? Is there a correlation? And how does it play out here? Read more