Norwegian producer Bjørn Torske marks the 20-year anniversary of his solo career with Byen, his fifth solo album and first in 7 years, out July 6th via Smalltown Supersound. Recorded over the past year at Torske's home and studio in Bergen, Byen finds the veteran musician fusing two distinct sides of his catalog - clubby, inviting house music, and side-long pastoral ambience. It continues to show his flair for fusing indelible melody with propulsive rhythms. Upward scaling lead single “Clean Air,” is a mountain-traversing track with piping synths and crisp backbeats laid over a warm, inviting bassline.
Since the release of his last solo album, 2010’s elegant Kokning, Torske has kept busy with a steady drip of single and EP releases as well as reissues of his first two albums, 1998's Nedi Myra and 2001's Trøbbel, and last year's collaboration with Prins Thomas, Square One. "Apart from having made this album entirely by myself, this was also more planned," Torske states regarding the differences between Byen and Square One. "My collaboration with Thomas was pretty ad-hoc and messy in its conception, but this album is cleaner and more straightforward—more primed for the dance floor." Whereas much of Torske's previous work (including 2007's Feil Knapp) featured tracks that had been in gestation for years, Byen's songs were recorded entirely within the confines of 2017.
"My original idea was to keep things simple and more driven by melodies than has been my wont with the earlier releases," he states regarding his thematic intentions behind Byen. "Still, I am always considering myself to produce music for DJs, so there is hopefully some material that will find its way to select dance floors."