Norway’s capital Oslo, in the north of Western Europe, experiences only six hours of light in the middle of its coldest season. It’s appropriate then, that the latest album from the Oslo-based group 120 Days is designed squarely to take advantage of these extended evenings with their new club-centric focus. Titled 120 Days II, it has taken the band over five years to follow up their promising, self-titled debut. Their latest album reflects the obviously difficult process the group went through in recording a follow-up but they can be proud with the results.
Opener "Spacedoubt" is immediately familiar, with the propulsive rhythmic core that the group deployed to great effect on their debut and the familiar space-punk vocals of Adne Meisfjord, this song could slot neatly between "Come Out, Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone" and "Be Mine". The clockwork tick-tocks that introduce the second track, "Dahle Disco", however, immediately put the listener on guard that the group have expanded their repertoire. Its steady, cumulative build presages a glorious drop into a bass-ridden, disco by-way-of Kraftwerk epic.
Again changing the pace, the first part in a three section sonic trilogy, "Lucid Dreams – Part 1", is a foreboding alien soundscape that sneakily gives way to "Lucid Dreams – Part II", a heady dance floor beast that feels ripped from the Chemical Brothers latest, Further. The final part in the trilogy crosses into electro-stomp akin to Boys Noize’s oeuvre.
Deflating the accumulated energies of the preceding, "Sleepless Nights #4" introduces dreary psychadelia that drags until the second half of "Sunkissed" attempts to rejuvenate the piece. "SF" sees the group further exploring the electronic frontier alternating between blissy meandering and driving groove. Finally, "Osaka" closes the loop, returning Adne Meisfjord’s vocals to the foreground and pounding beats to underpin him.
Taken as a whole, 120 Days II is a surprisingly neat transition from their debut. It’s apparent that the band underwent a lot of experimentation with style and direction and this is reflected in the dips in momentum that the album does occasionally suffer from. Nevertheless these issues aren’t sufficient to detract from a release that has benefited from a long-gestation period and which hits with force, on the place it should, the dance floor.
MP3 Stream: "Dahle Disco"