Casiokids – Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammeni

January 01, 1970

(Polyvinyl)

www.polyvinylrecords.com

So where’s the Casio? The opening (and title) track of Casiokids’  Aabenbaringen
Over Aaskammeni
, is a feathery orch-pop overture that layers twirling
strings, fluttering woodwinds and chirping birdsong over organ drones.

That intro turns out to be misleading, but only moderately so. Much of this
Norwegian quartet’s third album is the sort of synth-pop for which the group is
known. But the set also includes wispy instrumentals and sounds that don’t
flaunt their artificiality. Of course, some of the perhaps-natural timbres
featured here — notably gamelan and steel drums — are so piercing that the
real thing can’t be distinguished from its synthetic counterpart. And those
tones, like the rippling acoustic guitar on “Selskapets Triste
Avslutning,” are integrated into a mostly electronic context.

The most immediate songs, which include “Golden Years” and
“Elefantenes Hemmelige Gravplass,” are bouncy, keyboard-based numbers
with cooing, falsetto-inclined New Romantic vocals. They recall late-’70s Bowie and early-’80s
Depeche Mode, rendered slightly exotic by Ketil Kinden Endresen’s insistence on
singing in his native tongue. “Det Hester!” and “Dresinen”
vary the formula a bit with, respectively, squelchy synth-bass and fuzzy
electric guitar, while the album-closing “Aldri Ska Me Ha Det Goy” is
a oozing slo-mo ballad that layers Endresen’s vocals to suggest  The Four
Seasons Sing Pet Sounds
. In between, though, there’s plenty of Casio.

DOWNLOAD: “Golden Years,” “Elefantenes Hemmelige Gravplass”
MARK JENKINS

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