Todd Terje: A Defining Dance Track
Scandinavia's electronic disco scene of the past decade or so has been especially fruitful, not least because of Terje Olsen, who records as Todd Terje. (The moniker is a tribute to the New York house DJ Todd Terry, whose cut-up production style, redolent of the hip-hop also ruling the city in the late '80s, had an enormous impact on dance music's future direction.) Terje started out making lush house — his piano-driven remix of Lindstrom's "Another Station" is featured on Michael Mayer's excellent DJ mix, Immer 2 — with a healthy side of re-edits, in which producers slow down and trick out snippets of old disco records until they take on an otherworldly glow.
Terje hadn't produced any new material for a half-decade until last year's double-sided hit "Ragysh" b/w "Snooze4Love." Now, on his own Olsen label, Terje steps out with a winning four-track EP titled It's the Arps — and it is, because all the music was made with a classic old ARP synthesizer. Terje's range and dynamism is on full display in Arps' lead track, "Inspector Norse," which starts with a cosmic whoosh before settling into a hopping little disco groove.
At first, the track doesn't sound like much, but as it builds over nearly seven minutes, things coalesce neatly: The lead "piano" line begins meanderingly but soon settles into a fetching tune, and when it drops out about two and a half minutes in, a computery-sounding line that had been playing support steps into the limelight and steals the show. It crests and ebbs differently for the rest of its time, too, but that groove remains rock-solid, impossible to resist, and critical to what's already one of 2012's defining dance tracks.