In its slightly glitchy melodic electronic pop, Röyksopp's 'Daddy's Groove' opens the duo's Late Night Tales album in much the way you would expect. It's soft and laid back and a little bit left field, but ultimately it's exactly the sort of piece we've heard from them before. In fact it only emphasises how much of what follows is distinct from the band's output as musicians. As DJs they have crafted a selection of music that is intensely cinematic, dreamlike and some distance from the carefree music Röyksopp are usually associated with.
The duo appear to have been very influenced by seventies west coast rock when making the selection for this album. There's an abundance of blue-eyed, blonde soulful and smooth rock music that crops up at various points. Rare Bird's 'Passing Through' and the 'The Light Of Day' by Little River Band put in early turns, with their classic hooks and multi-instrumentation giving the album a dreamlike feel and though neither bands were actually American you wouldn't know it from the songs here.
The dreams keep coming as we gently segue into Vangelis' tear stained 'Blade Runner Blues', a beautiful momentary pause before we move into the synthpop of Röyksopp's other original track here, Depeche Mode cover 'Ice Machine', and then Icelandic neo-classical composer Jóhann Jóhannsson's haunting 'Adi Et Amo'.
Things get more dreamlike there on out. F. R. David's 'Music' is all west coast again, but this time hazy and soft focused. Prelude's a capella cover of Neil Young's 'After The Goldrush' is heavenly and a little David Lynch-esque in its surreal warming purity coupled with lyrics about spaceships and getting high. Acker Bill's 'Stranger On The Shore' maintains a similar feel - old fashioned but slightly unhinged in this context, the veneer papering over your nightmares.
Towards the end of the album things feel like they are barely held together in any physical sense. Melodies hang mid-air on John Martyn's glorious 'Small Hours' as Martyn's delicate vocals float weightlessly through the air. It's the sort of selection that makes these albums the treat they are.
Röyksopp appear to have interpreted the Late Night Tales a little differently. Where some end up strung out or spinning come-down dance tunes this album feels like it has been crafted for the exact point your eyelids become too heavy to force open any longer, and as they clamp shut your mind gradually shifts to another world, and Röyksopp are rather fine architects.