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Norwegian duo Ost & Kjex will make a much-anticipated return to Snick Snack Music this June. Run by themselves and long-term friends Trulz & Robin, the label will welcome ‘Songs from the end of the world’: a nine-track LP aiming straight for the dance floor, inspired by the sounds of their youth. Featuring guest vocals by their long standing collaborators Viviana Vega aka Whalesharkattacks and Tracee Meyn. It acts as their first album together since 2015, marking another milestone event for the pairing.
“Songs from the end of the world is a love letter from the northern most frontiers of club music and a comment on the world’s current state of affairs. Inspired by the harsh times, we went back to our early influences such as industrial music, goth, wave, EBM, rave, classic house and techno to create what we consider our most technoid release to date. With the choice between submitting to pressure or going with hope, we are headed for the neon lights! So here are nine tracks we made with the dream of you dancing to it, this summer.” – Ost & Kjex.
Mountain Girl leads the charge, taking the form of a driving electronic music cut, packed full of drawn out synths built around Ost’s atmospheric vocal harmonies. The Gallery comes next, building with a brooding intensity thanks to a punchy, eighties wave influenced bass line and Whalesharattack’s laconic vocals. It could have been the sounds Steve Strange and the New Romantics were dancing to, had they been coming of age in 2022. She’s not from Spain manifests as a garage-leaning and rave breaks inspired number topped by Ost’s funky falsetto and Tracee’s soulful adlibs. Telling the tale of a certain lady, wishing she were Spanish. This is classic Ost & Kjex, dreaming back to good nights out in London.
Little Boxes soon arrives, a no nonsense house tune, driven by chanteuse Viviana’s laid back, sultry vocals and a catchy bass line. Heading straight for the Parisian dance floors, with its sexy French chorus. Dickie’s Pix is another ode to the break beat realms, with a driving electro beat and menacing pads. Inspired by the German electro meister Anthony Rother and industrial soundscapes, it has a dark, brooding atmosphere, dragging you firmly into the rabbit hole. Which leaves us ready for the minimal and deep feel of Nocturne. It flows along with a certain softness via gentle piano stabs and the vocal duet of Ost & Whalesharkattacks, eventually opening into track number seven: Above Trees. A techy, minimal-laced cut that’s innately danceable and packed full of groove. Negative Space comes next, acting as the album’s penultimate closer. This is kraut rock for the 21st century, cosmic and spacey, leading us down a celestial wormhole until Laila rounds off the near hour-long journey on a dystopian, ethereal note. Inspired by the spectacular downfall of a Norwegian politician’s wife, it captures the duality of the humours and tragic, often found at the heart of the Norwegian duo’s work.