Since they first burst onto the scene with the release of their classic debut album Melody A.M back in 2001, Norwegian electronic music overlords Röyksopp have only released three further studio albums. First came 2005’s more experimental The Understanding, then 2009’s extrovert, pop-lead Junior followed swiftly by its more introvert sister album, Senior. That was back in 2010. Four years later, however, and following a burst of creativity instigated by personal upheaval and the general living of lives they’re about to release their second album in the space of six months – following Do It Again, their collaborative mini-album with fellow Scandinavian legend, Robyn – in the shape of the multi-faceted, The Inevitable End. “We feel there’s a lot of music out there that just doesn’t have any identity – something that we really strive for in our music,” says Torbjørn of the time it takes between releases. “We don’t feel like we’re in any hurry; we intend to make music we cannot find elsewhere – which is both ambitious and time consuming” agrees Svein. “And we also want our music to have longevity, therefore we always seek to produce and engineer it in a way that steers clear of generic production trends.”
As with most things Röyksopp do, there is a multi-faceted reason behind the album’s title, The Inevitable End. At the core of the album is this universal sense of conflicting emotions and choice; in pursuit of fulfilment, how far can you go? Should one heed one’s conscience or succumb to one’s desires – albeit the moral ramifications? And then there’s doubt and denial. And the battle between reason and desire, that’s summed up perfectly on ‘I Had This Thing’ as Jamie softly flits between the lines “I still don’t know just what I’ve done” and the emotional final mantra of “I never meant to let you go” while a cavalcade of electronic textures descends around him. But while the lyrics deal with darker themes, this isn’t a musically introspective album. This is a cohesive, fully realised electronic symphony from a pair of production geniuses constantly looking to innovate. “’Senior’, for example, is very introspective; both secret and raw production-wise. ‘The Inevitable End’, on the other hand, has a very clean and crisp production in comparison,” explains Svein. “We wanted this pristine surface to act as a contrast to the grittier subject matter that lies beneath. At first listen, one might get the impression that T.I.E is a place of solace and bliss. But if you pay attention to the lyrics, you’ll tap into the somber undercurrent running through it all – as if the music is bleeding. This is not a dance album at all. This is home listening as far as we’re concerned. It’s headphones music.” All you need to do is pop them on, sit back and let Röyksopp take you into their own special world again.