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Even countries apart, the singer Robyn and electronic duo Royksopp seem to be completely in sync—going so far as to finish each other’s sentences.
“The album it’s like an outgrowth, or like a new limb that came out of this…” said Robyn, in her native Sweden, on a conference call with WWD.
“Mutation,” added Svein Berge from Norway, one half (alongside Torbjorn Brundtland) of the Royksopp duo.
The three release their first collaboration project together today, “Do It Again,” a five-track EP, and are in the midst of gearing up for their world tour, starting in Barcelona on June 13.
The 35-minute mini-album is the first full collaboration as an official group for both Robyn and Royksopp, but not the first time the three have worked together. The three minds created the hit singles “The Girl and the Robot,” for Robyn’s “Junior” album, and “None of Dem” for “Body Talk.”
“We’ve made music together for a long time but wanted to create something that could stand on its own two feet,” said Robyn. “And it’s really a big change and I love it; it’s nice not to be alone and make music with other people.”
Indeed, the three sat down after collaborating on the single “Monument”—the album’s frenetically subdued 10-minute opening track.
Robyn said, “After recording that, we thought that this was something new for all of us and I guess it had its own life and identity. If just felt more…”
“Of our universe,” Berge chimed in again. “It’s like we were God and made a new universe and a whole new thing.”
The album’s lead single, “Do It Again,” is a wallowing anthem, effervescent with its addictive, danceable electronic beat. This is contrast to their latest, “Say It,” which plays on a stark, aggressive techno track that loops throughout. The experimental video is set in black and white with a cold industrial backdrop. The elfin Robyn sports a structured origami dress with rope detailing by the designer Patrik Söderstam, dancing maniacally. The video is aligned with the album’s cover art with Robyn standing in front of two faceless robots.
“Robyn has that rope thing on her there’s a sort of Eastern samurai thing going on,” said Berge. “There’s a hint of bondage going on and the two of us as a protective guard, robotic almost. Robyn can sort of hold her own because she’s in front of us. It’s a damn good picture and it’s useless intellectualizing it too much.”
“It’s obvious we wanted to make a cheerful and colorful and happy cover,” said Robyn, laughing. “That’s what we did!”
Which can be said for the album itself. The three agree that there is no set genre or box that easily labels each track.
“I don’t like to talk about my music in genres,” Robyn said. “I think that’s for other people. That’s fine if people want to label, that’s cool, I don’t mind. But it’s just really hard for me.”
“The three of us came together with this new band we kind of opened up aesthetically to new ways of working which I think is technical but we were able to let go more,” said Brundtland.
The collaboration was so successful for Robyn that the 34-year-old is thinking about the possibility of never going solo again.
“I don’t know what I’m doing next,” she said. “I don’t know when I will make another solo album. I’m not interested in that format at the moment. It doesn’t mean that it won’t happen because I have some ideas, but I’m not interested in that way of making music at the moment. I’m so interested in this format.”
As for the costumes for the summer’s tour, Robyn was mum on details.
“It’ll be a collaboration with my stylist [Ellen af Geijerstam with Ebba Camitz] and Patrik [Soderstam] and it’ll be really out there,” she said. “But you’ll have to come in person to see what exactly it is.”