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Ulver: "The idea that pop music’s easy to make is a myth"

Having dropped suddenly out of nowhere, Ulver’s new album represents another brilliantly beguiling left turn for the most mercurial band to have emerged from Norway’s black metal scene

“I guess we all tipped 40!” chuckles frontman Kristoffer Rygg, explaining the timing of Ulver’s decision to release an album of exuberant, shimmering pop and dance music. Anyone with a passing awareness of the Norwegian avant-garde collective will know they’ve been blindsiding listeners with a sequence of exploratory curveballs for more than 20 years. Emerging from the black metal underground via acoustic orchestral folk, by the end of the 1990s they’d mastered electronic, ambient, trip hop and industrial forms, yet 2017 is the first time the band have fully embraced the transcendent euphoria of pure pop.


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