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Datarock w/ Codebreaker – Mezzanine, San Francisco – Thursday, March 29, 2007


Norwegians: What can’t they do? They’re gorgeous and effectively style conscious; yet humble and talented, where most disarmingly stunning people vainly take their appeal as an equation to having everything under the sun on silver platters.

The simplest modern Norsk archetype is an old fisherman dedicatedly tending to his tackle, stoically unmoved by the harshness of his climate. But you must remember that—like all Nordic people—the same old Viking was once one of the most handsome, smoothest, most sensual, creative and romantic yet protectively strong young men any culture could imagine. You can’t help but conclude that these are among the finest people ever bred. The Gaelic are pretty fucking tough—and yet gentle and kind; but in private, even we tip our hats.


Right now the population of our world that dances is abuzz about Datarock, smooth young talents from Bergen, Norway. A very busy duo, comprised of Fredrik Saroea (vocals, guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards) and Ket-ill (bass, background vocals, programming, keyboards); these two make it look pretty easy. But don’t be fooled. When these boys kick it off live, it’s a swarm of music and motion that makes even the sturdiest of wall-flies shutter. And visually, in matching red sci-fi film space-invader tracksuits from planet Cool (they location of origin is ascertained by the sporting of big black sunglasses in the dead of night) they are manifestly captivatingly.

This evening’s performance has a third performer on stage, but shielded by the signature shades, there’s no telling who it is. The Datarock website lists a dozen or so associate members, and we can only assume this persona grata is one of them.

Datarock have put out a slew of singles and split singles, and a self-titled full length CD. The banger this release is Fa Fa Fa, a proggish disco-synth jam that makes takes you to the 70’s; although it’s hard to tell if it’s the 1970’s or 2070’s… The signature sound of Datarock persists throughout the s/t disc, and is well worth its purchase price.

Openers, Code:breaker hail from Wisconsin, which is proof that weird things happen in normal places. They are fashionable without pushing boundaries. Tight poly-jeans and nice Nikes (if you’re not into child labor, of course there are no nice Nikes, but that’s another issue). Their sound, you ask? A bit less synth—but only a bit. They mimic a fair bit of The Cars with a border on Gary Numan in the Tubeway Army era. Definitely tech—but in the way Robert Moog was kind of a hippie.

These two groups are a great bill-pairing, but are worth taking in as stand-alones. If either of them show up in your neighborhood, dress appropriately and get your ass there.
video of Datarock’s “Bulldozer” track –


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