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Music Geek Track of the Day: Todd Terje’s ‘Inspector Norse’ Is Lounge Disco at Its Finest

Weekend 2 of Coachella is coming up and before you know it the eastbound 10 from LA will be more clogged than the arteries of a dude who exclusively eats Del Taco, as hoards and hoards of humans head back toward Indio to ravenously catch performances from great artists.

Last week I shared the Ultimate Coachella Roadtrip Playlist, which actually included “Inspector Norse” by Norwegian producer Todd Terje, but I am gravely sad to report that I was unable to catch his set because I was to busy being mesmerized by the psychedelic guitar riffs of Tame Impala at the main stage. I am not saying I made mistake, but I had serious FOMO when I heard that Bryan Ferry (yes, Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry) came out for Terje’s “Johnny And Marry”, which features the esteemed singer on vocals. Everyone I talked to about Terje’s set conveyed how incredible the performance was wordlessly, with wide eyes. Sure some of that could have been the chemical mixtures people were riding on, but I remember having that same wide-eyed reaction to Todd Terje the first time I heard “Inspector Norse” with my headphones hugging my head.

An overt, yet classy aesthetic nod to the ’70s and ’80s lounge music (look at the album cover!) that you would have heard in elevators and posh lobbies round the western world decades ago, Terje’s latest album, It’s Album Time! celebrates the camp of this genre while bolstering its sound with heavier disco-friendly beats. Anthony Fantano of the Needle Drop astutely points out the prevalence of  the idea of reclamation within this album, pointing toward Daft Punk’s latest record for opening that door (why do you think Nickelback tried to make a disco song?), and this concept of proudly enjoying this era of music is punctuated by the last track on It’s Album Time, “Inspector Norse”. It starts of slowly with a robotic pulse, adding in bulbous electric keyboard riffs, until finally the repetitive synth line leads you directly into the funkiest, most satisfying groove of the LP (I feel like a spaceship is taking off at the 3:38 mark). It’s repetitive, bright and adds a third dimension to the lounge music that probably pops into your head when you think of that genre. I am so mad I did not get to dance to it last weekend. 

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