“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
Warn Against The Toxic “Rabbit Hole” Of The World Wide Web In New Video And Single
New Album Media Consumption Pyramid
Out Sept 29th via YAP Records
JULY 21, 2023 [Bergen, Norway] — “’Rabbit Hole’ is all about falling into the nefarious echo chambers of online rabbit holes.” explains DATAROCK’s mastermind and frontman Fredrik Saroea. The synth-heavy track, seasons New Wave flavors that infused their first single “Heart Shaped Circle” but with a harder kick. Taken from their forthcoming album Media Consumption Pyramid (release date: September 29, 2023 via YAP Records), “Rabbit Hole” is, as Fredrik explains, “inspired by both Happy Mondays’ baggy Madchester swag and David Byrne’s preacher man style delivery with text and melody.”
DATAROCK’s haunting new A.I.-generated video for “Rabbit Hole” was created in conjunction with Aldea – Center of Contemporary Art, Design and Technology, crafting a video that’s both fascinatingly surreal and visually ominous. “The inspiration is from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, mixing his words with quotes everywhere from The Wizard of Oz to The Matrix,” Fredrik explains of the video’s mashup of fantastical elements.
“When we prompted the A.I. to generate the music video, we added a dose of H.R. Giger to give our animation an eerie feel,” adds Fredrik, referencing the biomechanical Swiss artist most notable for creating the xenomorphs for the Alien film franchise. Art collaborators Aldea futher explains, “we’ve utilized cutting-edge technology to produce a series of music videos, each distinctively crafted for four tracks from their new album…..in the world where A.I. meets creativity, these advanced models translate the core emotions and narratives of the music into compelling visual experiences.”
First exploding into the mainstream in 2006 with their catchy single “Fa-Fa-Fa,” DATAROCK adds a new chapter in their history with their upcoming album Media Consumption Pyramid which was inspired by tragic events that Fredrik witnessed. He explains, “As we were rehearsing for the 15th-anniversary tour of our debut album [2005’s Datarock Datarock], Covid lockdowns shut it down before it even started. So in lieu of touring, we’d kinda found back to where it all started – by getting back deep into our earliest material.”
While working on the new material, Fredrik revisited a horrific event that shattered Norwegian’s normally placid reputation. In 2011, the band performed in Utøya (an island in Norway) the night before 69 people were killed and 100 injured by a right-wing terrorist. Plagued by survivor’s guilt and grief, the band suffered from the emotional toll that draped them and the country. Eventually pulling out of the shroud that enveloped them, they emerged restored but no less affected.
“Man, trying to regain some sense of safety and balance got harder and harder,” he replies. “The two last releases [2018’s Face the Brutality and 2019’s A Fool at FortyIs A Fool Indeed EP], kinda felt like an end to that chapter. With this new album, it feels like we’re starting something brand new – more based on the joyous ‘innocence’ of the early days of DATAROCK, both creatively and in regards to letting ourselves be a bit confrontational, tongue in cheek, not taking anything to seriously, and even in regards to not allowing ourselves to be terrorized by threats.”
Turning a new leaf, DATAROCK began to regain their old roots, becoming their youthful selves again and enjoying the moment. Fredrik adds, “That is the nice thing that came out of a dark time of COVID lockdowns was enabling us to move on from a long period affected by our part of Utøya in ways we probably didn’t even know we were affected, we kinda came back to being that group of weird friends hanging out in our rehearsal space/studio making music for ourselves and each other again like on that very first album.”
An energetic and masterful album that combines music and message, Media Consumption Pyramid finds DATAROCK in a beat-frenzy, mixing and matching Madchester’s acid disco, synthpop’s textural soundscapes, and New Wave’s oontz-oontzes.
“The first tracks I finished were ‘Tick Tock,’ ‘Digital Life‘ and ‘Video Store‘ due to our insatiable, undiscerning appetite for digital consumption – made scarily clear to me during the pandemic, and the absurd consequences easily manipulated to provoke in our day and age,” Fredrik explains.
From the call to vote in “Tick Tock,” to the baggy trousers-inspired “Rabbit Hole” (which could feel comfortably at home on Happy Mondays’ epic Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches), to the jerky rhythms of the James Chance & the Contortions-inspired “DISCObedience,“to the breakbeats of “Metaverse,” the album is a refreshing and energizing splash of color in the current rather gray music world.
“Media Consumption Pyramid is an eclectic collection of electronic tracks dancing to the beat of our insatiable, undiscerning appetite for digital consumption – but it’s also a celebration of the fact that we got all the seven original DATAROCKers to come back out and play again after years in hiatus” says Fredrik.
Adding to the excitement of the new album, DATAROCK will be performing at the Öya festival in Oslo, Norway on August 9th, playing after the New Wave legends DEVO.
1. “Armadillo Pt. II”
2. “Heart Shaped Circle”
4. “Rabbit Hole”
6. “Tick Tock”
7. “Video Store”
8. “Aeon Flux”
9. “Digital Life”
10. “Armadillo Pt. II”
11. “Double Vision” (Bonus Track)
Formed in Bergen, Norway in 2000, DATAROCK made a huge splash across multiple media in different formats. Their music was not only massively embraced by the dancepunk community but also widely used across multiple platforms. Their breakthrough single “Computer Camp Love” placed at #88 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Best Songs of 2007.” Many of their singles including “Fa-Fa-Fa,” “True Stories,” and “Give it Up” were sync’ed across multiple platforms including commercials for Apple’s Nano and Coca Cola, on videogames such as The Sims 2: Free Time and FIFA 09 and 10, and on TV shows such as Chuck, Jersey Shore, and Yo Gabba Gabba.
While easily recognized for their coordinated matching tracksuits (originally red, but switched over to black in 2018), DATAROCK did not rely on a shtick for attention. Instead, as All Music Guide lauds, “DATAROCK doesn’t use humor as a crutch but instead as a coat rack, so to speak, to hang their excellent productions on… they appear capable of spinning virtually any musical idea into gold.”
DATAROCK is guitarist/vocalist Fredrik Saroea (Rock Steady Freddie), bassists Ketil Mosnes (Ketel One) & Thomas Larssen (T-Man), Casio-operator Stig Narve Brunstad (Stig The Mystical Casio Operator), keyboardist/saxophonist Kjetil Møster (Ketel Two), and drummers/percussionists Øyvind Solheim (Ike Andy) and Tarjei Strøm (LA Gear).
Media Consumption Pyramid was engineered by Øyvind Solheim, mixed by Steve Dub, and mastered by Mike Marsh and will be released on September 29, 2023 via YAP Records. “Rabbit Hole” is Mixed by Mark Rankin, and is available on all streaming platforms now.