Øyvind Morken – Distinct Dialect / Imaginary Dancer

After inaugurating Full Pupp’s next 50 releases and remixing Todd Terje, Øyvind Morken is moonlighting again. The imprint, and exclusive vehicle for Øyvind’s more esoteric productions, returns with a 12” double A-side featuring Distinct Dialect and Imaginary Dancer. It follows the Attenborough-inspired Jungelerotikk 7” of last year and sees Øyvind dragging some of those jungle rhythms out of the forest and onto some Balearic beach. Øyvind previously described the new record like the sound of the “Burrell brothers if they just got their heart broken by the same prostitute, and did loads of heroine in the studio while crying” – quite a loaded image, but one that nevertheless almost immediately captures visually what Øyvind’s created sonically on this record.

Like Jungelerotikk and Signal processing before them, Distinct Dialect and Imaginary Dancer sheds some of that Full-Pupp-disco-in-a-tin-can sound and sees Øyvind embracing more of that eccentricity you’ll find in an Øyvind Morken set. The functionality of the beat is offset by the nomadic curiosities of the digging personality. On both sides of the new record Øyvind strips down the music to their archetypal roots, taking the music back through House to the primordial ooze buried somewhere deep in our collective subconscious. He relies on repetition more than form on this record, taking Distinct Dialect and Imaginary Dancer further into the progressive realm, where songs naturally gestate the further you travel into them, through repetitive loops and unresolved melodies and harmonies. Distinct Dialect uses a dominant chord played through some synthetic keys like purgatory, resting there for what seems like eternity, before lapsing back into the tonic but only for moment, before the whole cycle repeats itself almost immediately. Everything about the track loiters, showcasing impeccable restraint and favouring a subtler excursion from Øyvind as Jungelerotikk did before it, while maintaining some of the more assertiveness from previous releases on Full-Pupp.

It’s more of the same on the flip, and where Distinct Dialect crooned, Imaginary Dancer raps with that warm bass-line and percussion anchoring the detuned organ through the progression. The loop-based progressive structure of the previous track is upheld in Imaginary Dancer and it grows on the listener like moss on rock. Before you know it, you’re locked in a Trance like I imagine the Burrell brothers would be in that scenario Øyvind describes, sans the muggy mentality of a heroin user.

This latest release also shows a softer side to Øyvind Morken’s production aesthetic from previous releases. The percussion has retreated a little further to the back and the need for functionality and familiarity is surpassed with an introverted hedonism, that very often ventures into the obscure and unhinged – I’m particularly referring to the detuned keys of Imaginary Dancer and the unresolved harmonies of Distinct Dialect. Like Jungelerotikk, I feel we get more of a personal investment from the artist in terms of marrying the DJ with the producer, and if Moonlighting stays the course, the discography will surely reflect the rich tapestry of Øyvind Morken’s trippy kaleidoscopic view on music from his perch.