With nu-disco being a well established genre now it’s been subjected to many sideways influences with lots of different styles getting mixed in and working the genre in inspiring new directions. Ironically what makes listening to Todd Terje‘s Is The Arps EP so wonderfully exotic and exciting is that it’s very traditional nu-disco that as a concept breathes new and vibrant life into the genre.
The opening piece is the playfully titled “Inspector Norse” a luxuriously languid escapade into a disco dreamland. The groove is mined deep, with tasty accents and delicate nuances to work the hooks deep. Upon the midpoint of this adventure the melody blossoms into a supernova of absolute brilliance. This is a spectacular track in every respect and every second of it is a joy to behold. As an opener this is exceptional, as a first stop on this journey of new discoveries, it merely opens a door.
Myggsommer, track 2, takes us deep into a disco jungle, steaming with possibilities and mystery. Only a birdsong to guide us on our perilous expedition through a flowing melody that streams through the lushness. We’re unsure of our direction, lost, disoriented and in need of some guidance. The jungle begins to close in and the music senses our panic, guiding us deeper into the unknown. Before total exhaustion hits, we look searchingly to the heavens for some kind of help and find a guiding light just peeking through the canopy. It’s a star, a Swing Star. With a star to guide us, the pace picks up and we can feel the sense of excitement and anticipation of what’s next begin to take over in an almost uncontrollable way.
Swing Star continues our adventure in two parts. Our first episode drives along at a frenetic pace that seems to pinwheel into itself in a hypnotizing way that’s impossible to resist. The melodies quicken and we’re now flying through disco haze of exasperating layers that rise and fall with precision and balance while our view become clearer as the melodies escalate to fever pitch. Through the clouds, into clear skies the Swing Star takes us higher into the atmosphere, flying like chrome birds of prey. Diving, soaring and circling untill the descent begins.
Swing Star Part 2 bounces us deiberately back onto solid ground as sparks of disco flourishes dance like sprites around us. Settling down to groove hard along a funk laden melody the Swing Star augments our reality in layers of palpable disco emotions. Each corner presents a new twist as the adventure gets even deeper into itself. Melodies caressing us with warmth and promise, winding in and out of surreal rhythms before taking us back home in a most gentle manner as the music fades out.
As a concept, It’s The Arps is a definitive nu-disco classic. An experience who’s parts make a whole far beyond the limits of track breakdowns. It would be criminal to listen to this EP in any other manner than from absolute start to absolute end. Next time you’re needing a musical holiday, an exciting adventure to parts unknown, take a sabbatical with Todd Terje’s nu-disco discoveries. You won’t be disappointed and will come back refreshed, reinvigourated and restored by the power of pure nu-disco power.