AOTW: Casiokids

Norwegian natives Casiokids create ultra danceable tracks with a childlike expressiveness. Open-ended, playful, wistful, curious, and unpredictable; they bob and weave electronic rhythms glazed with high papery vocals.

The Casiokids have just released a new album which is being distributed by independent label Polyvinyl Records. The disk is a compilation of tracks previously released as singles in 2009. It is the group’s fourth album release and is entitled, Topp Stemming Pa Lokal Bar (loosely translated: “Great Vibe at Local Bar”). Polyvinyl is billing it as the first Norwegian-language pop album ever to hit the United States.

The band assembled in 2005 when five young men came together and drew inspiration from varied sources of musicianship. Influences include; Paul Simon, New Order, and Fela Kuti. That’s right, the eclectic Casiokids even incorporate afro-beat into their unique sound.

The bands music and their intention can be soaked up by youngsters and hipsters alike. The Casiokids play around with conventional perceptions of age-bound genres of music and can easily perform for a Kindergarten class or an adult festival in the same day.

The Norwegian quintet has also made a name for themselves as providers of sound installation and theatrical performance. At a festival in their hometown they created a giant wall of grass through which they played sampled speech of passers-by coupled with city sounds to evoke a human-based nature scene.

The kind of production indicative of the Casiokids style at large which combines urban soundscapes with forest primeval to create tracks that are ultra-modern (if not futuristic) and seemingly innocent.

As the band itself explains, they try and infuse their lyrics with “…humor, surrealism, bombastic simplicity, and existential thought.” If that sounds like a heady mix of inspiration, it is. However, the Casiokids pull together these varied elements to offer up essentially lighthearted, dance-inducing songs.  Many of the tracks included on their new album are imbued with this vibe. Songs like “Fot i Hose” frolic within graphically mapped spaces while maintaining gravity and club-romping appeal. Also, numerous tracks feature a healthy mix of keyboard, guitar, and digitized sampling, all while putting forth darting melodies with definite pop edges.

The group recently debuted a new video for “Finn Bikkjen” (Find Dogs), one of the singles from their new album. The forest locale video follows a young pajama-clad man in search of his dog to a soundtrack of ethereal electro-pop.

This summer the Casiokids have been performing theatrical shows incorporating a blend of shadow puppets, video projections, and animal costumes for festivals throughout Europe. If you get a chance be sure to catch them live and listen to BTR for music from Casiokids!

Casiokids LIVE!!!

July 02 – Roskilde Festival – Roskilde, Denmark
July 03 – Voss – Voss, Norway
July 9 – Festival de la Cite – Lausanne, Switzerland
July 10 – Pohoda Festival – Trencin, Slovakia
July 14 – Festplassen – Bergen, Norway
July 17 – Kjorrefjordfestivalen – Farsund, Norway
July 22 – Vinjerock – Eidsbugarden, Norway
July 31 – Sommerfesten – Giske, Norway
August 6 – Lost Weekend Festival – Askoy, Norway
August 7 – Standon Calling – Standon, United Kingdom
August 8 – OFF Festival – Kastowice, Poland
August 12 – Oyafestivalen – Oslo, Norway

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– Amanda Decker


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