Bjørn Torske – Gata

Swagger steps into the street on “Gata” by Bjørn Torske. Those with this certain strut have legs that are entirely too long for most humans, but they carry their length with ease as bass ripples out from every pointy black-booted step. The track feels like something out of an old cartoon, yet also a police show, and it has an undeniably retro feel to it.

“Gata” is the second single from Torske’s forthcoming LP Byen, following “Clean Air”, which hit just over a months ago. The upcoming LP will be his first solo record since 2010’s Kokning. He often works with Röyksopp.

The new track possesses a type of cool that could only be Scandinavian, and, of course, Torske is Norwegian. And at 47 years of age, he still has more mojo swinging through the disco-inflected 8-minute “Gata” than almost any other younger man does through any attempt at re-defining the classic genre. There is life here. It pulses, it breathes, and it carries the energy of youth.

As Torske explains, “While Byen means “The City” in Norwegian, “Gata” means “The Street.” This is where the youth of my early years in Tromsø had to spend their evenings since there was no place for them to go. But ‘gata’ is also a Rumanian word meaning “ready” or “prepared,” as in “let’s go,” which to me fits just as well or even better than the title’s original meaning.”

There is a post-grooviness groove that at one point seems straight out of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”, but just when you’re beginning to settle in, a new element appears. It’s most noticeable at about the four-and-a-half minute mark when a voice comes howling in. It becomes an almost Gregorian-type chant before drifting away and then returning later.

“Gata” is patient and mesmerizing. It knows what it is doing and it does it well, never trying to do too much. When you’re this cool that’s all you really need to do.

Byen is out 7/6 via Smalltown Supersound.




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