Norway’s FREDRIK SAROEA (of Datarock) Teams Up With BIT20 Ensemble for Chamber Version of Datarock Classic

“Countless bands hedge their music with heaps of irony (arguably vice versa in some cases), but few buttress it with Datarock’s  technical prowess… they also sport some of the slickest dance production in the biz, not to mention their effortless traversing between neurotic post-punk licks and coked-to-the-gills 1980s synth pop.” – Pitchfork

“Datarock’s ears are in the past, while its mind — juggling admiration, mockery, irony and commitment — is fully in the present.” – New York Times

Release “Laugh in the Face of Darkness

Fredrik Saroea with BIT20 Ensemble – Laugh in the Face of Darkness (chamber version)
“Laugh In The Face of Darkness (Chamber Version)”
Photo credit: Stein Berge Berntsen

DECEMBER 16, 2022 (Bergen, Norway) — DATAROCK’s front man Fredrik Saroea follows up his critically acclaimed, recent solo album Rona Diaries: The Chamber Versions Live at the Grieg Hall, Bergen — with “Laugh in the Face of Darkness,” a bonus track recorded at the very same concert during Norway’s 69th annual Bergen International Festival (which took place on May 28, 2021).  Whereas the album consists of 12 new tracks written during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the new single features a chamber rendition of a DATAROCK “classic” lifted off their 2018 album Face the Brutality, updated with orchestrations by Bjørn Morten Christophersen and performed live with a sting quartet from the acclaimed contemporary art music pioneers BIT20 Ensemble – Martin Shultz (violin), Liene Klava (viola), Agnese Rugevica (cello) and Johannes Wik (harp).

Recorded live by Andre Lucien Trebbi (Kings of Convenience, Boy Pablo), mixed by two-time GRAMMY® -winner Mark Rankin (Adele, Harry Styles, Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop), mastered by the GRAMMY®-nominated UK legend Mike Marsh (Björk, Oasis, Depeche Mode, The Chemical Brothers, Calvin Harris) and illustrated by Magnus Voll Mathiassen (who illustrated Rihanna’s Unapologetic cover art and the 93rd Oscars key artwork).  

“Laugh In The Face of Darkness” single artwork

Combining his passion for indie rock with sweeping pastoral soundscapes, Saroea combined forces live with BIT20’s string quartet. Tracks such as “Battered & Bruised,” “Heaven Knows Those Songs Weren’t Heaven Sent,” “A Matter of Dying” and “Bulletproof Vest” were adapted from Rona Diaries while singles “Bergheim” and “Understatement Lovesong” are exclusive to Rona Diaries: The Chamber Versions Live At The Grieg HallBergenand were premiered to an unsuspecting public who were more familiar with DATAROCK, Saroea’s other band’s rhythmic brand of dance music.  

Rona Diaries: The Chamber Versions Live At The Grieg HallBergen was released on June 10, 2022 and was mixed in Los Angeles by the two-time GRAMMY® winner Mark Rankin (Harry Styles, Adele, Weezer, Florence + the Machine) and mastered by Mike Marsh (Björk, Depeche Mode, Oasis) in the UK.. The new single is released today, December 16th on YAP Records via SONY’s The Orchard.  It can be streamed/purchased here:  

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