Norway’s Datarock have returned with the follow up to the geek-chic party album of 2005, Datarock Datarock. Their debut mixed Happy Mondays punk-funk with warped Devo humour, and was well received locally with Computer Camp Love landing #12 on Triple J’s Hottest 100.

The new album Red has lost none of Fredrik and musical partner Ketil Mosnes’ aptitude for so-classic-you-must-haveheard-it-before hooks, but this follow-up is an altogether more concept-driven beast.

For example, lead single Give it Up was actually an idea for a music video before it became a song, paraphrasing Beat It, Bad,West Side Story, and Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film Romeo & Juliet. And what a music video it became, featuring red-hot moves and hot-red tracksuits that set the international blog world afire following its premiere on Pitchfork. Australia, too, gave it up for the track which received continuing support from Triple J, Channel V, and MTV.

As an album, Red is a thoroughly unashamed love-letter to the influences that made Datarock what they are today.

DEVO, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Talking Heads, Haruki Murakami, Don Delilo’s White Noise, Scott Walker, the works of John Hughes and Peter Greenaway, and even Molly Ringwald (in the song Molly) are all referenced. Pop cultural fluff that is meaningful because invoking them now as adults is a sharp reminder from a more innocent time that we should ALWAYS be having more fun than we are right now.

But Red is not all nostalgic longing. Datarock are just as interested in this day and age, expressed through their love-hate relationship with technology and communication. On The Pretender, Fredrik announces he is, “In love with my avatar!”, before reeling off a list of the multiple duplicitous identities available to him online – North Korean?
South American? Presbyterian? The Blog, meanwhile, is an attempt by these technology-fetishists to romanticise the early utopian promise of the Internet, before it became something that people just took for granted and got annoyed by. It’s total retrofuturism.

Red isn’t just a socio-political tract about the fluid nature of identity in the Internet age. It’s also a eulogy for nostalgia. It’s an abstract notion in an era of instant data retrieval. And it’s the party album of 2009!

Datarock will be touring nationally in December/January

05.01.10The Hi-Fi MelbourneVIC
Tickets for all shows will be available from OzTix retail outlets.
To find the closest OzTix retail outlet to you, click here.