matinée 079 / February 2011
- Heart Stab
- A Friend Of A Friend
Debut Matinée release from bold Scandinavian duo Champagne Riot. Formed as a solo project of Caspar Philip Bock (who also serves as bassist in fellow Matinée hitmakers Northern Portrait), Champagne Riot released a superb EP on Shelflife Records in 2008. Along the way, Champagne Riot became a duo with the addition of Anders Reuter and the two proceeded to experiment with new sounds and a bolder approach to pop music. Recording from the basement of a neglected Copenhagen shopping mall, they make pop music of a kind that rarely exists anymore.
Their melodies take you back to a distant youth of sentimental evergreens on noisy AM airwaves, long summers of true love, and endless possibility. Their soundscapes are painted large and grand and draw inspiration from a variety of places, including the world of classical music, Scandinavian melodic tradition, and electronic pop’s greatest torch-carriers including Kraftwerk, New Order and Pet Shop Boys. In contrast to the music, their lyrical universe describes a lifestyle full of chaos and apathy.
‘Moonstruck’ begins the EP with a self-composed classical arrangement that gradually evolves into a massive electronic pop track full of arpeggio synths and layered drum machines plus a sweeping, radio friendly chorus. The song tells the tale of a night out in Gothenburg, Sweden and the resulting paradox of feeling perfect in the moment while realizing a late night crush will never survive the light of day.
Following the lavish title track, ‘Goldrush’ showcases more rich instrumentation including piano, mellotron, harpsichord, layered snare drums, and hand played percussion, while ‘Heart Stab’ is a club hit inspired by classical French pop, with organs and harpsichord melodies mixed with sweeping synthesizers.
‘A Friend Of A Friend’ concludes the EP with a clever mix of electronica and traditional instruments including piano and flute, plus nice female backing vocals. The song celebrates the beauty of shameless laziness, another recurring theme in the life of the band.
Champagne Riot's uniqueness lies in their ability to translate and express a sense of inner chaos and urge for rebellion through songs of purity, beauty and romance. ‘Moonstruck’ is a confident step forward for the band and a magnificent and unexpected release for Matinée. Perfect for fans of classic electropop or modern artists like The Drums (whom Champagne Riot supported on their recent European tour) or The Radio Dept. Limited to 1000 copies in custom minijacket.
Denmark might not be renowned for its musical history, but it seems like that they're definitely on to a winner with Champagne Riot. Blending Hurts-esque soaring choruses, '80s Pet Shop Boys electronica-bleeping and Eurovision levels of catchiness. Moonstruck EP is a tight collection of 4 pop songs, kicked off with the titular track, a majestic electropop song which hits every electronica nail on the head, from Nintendo bleeps, sustained notes and a vocal breakdown that will have you swinging your arms in delight. Blurring their influences into something listenable could have resulted in the sort of thing that they wouldn't even play on Magic FM, but the EP is infused throughout with a Scandinavian darkness and edgy cool that makes them still the number one source of British pop records. --Planet Notion
Maybe it's just me but I can't recall a January like it for quality releases. Bodes well for 2011 and the good tunes just keep rolling, this time courtesy of Matinée Recordings and their newest signings (and our old pals) Champagne Riot. The 'Moonstruck' EP will be with us in March but the title track is available straight away to get you worked into an electro trance. 'Heart Stab' is also there and you'll know how much we heart that one as it featured in our top 42 songs from last year. 'Moonstruck' sees the Danish duo ply us with enough dancefloor fuel I could yet brush off my sambas and engage in the sort of sultry hip swivels (the non-breaking kind I might add) that could have nightclub cage owners the world over taking note. Speaking of which, it was never like this for Cher and her Cage. --mp3 hugger
Danish duo Champagne Riot have scored their third Popjustice Song Of The Day today, with 'Moonstruck'. They band have an EP of tunes out via Matinée Recordings later this month and 'Moonstruck' is on it. We love the band for their warm and charismatic, slightly maudlin pop tuneage. Splendid. --Pop Justice
Champagne Riot might be a pretty terrible name for a band, but when they write an ep as dreamy as 'Moonstruck' you can almost forgive them anything. What you get here are four drops of synthpop beauty. The title track soars and sweeps and has a chorus that doesn't so much take glide off and erupt vertically. 'Heart Stab' takes the title for the song that's mostly likely to be in your head for the next six weeks, depriving you of sleep and making you want to wail along like, oh - I dunno, a pretentious teenager. 'Goldrush' is almost choral. It's quite something, listening to something this powerful and wondering how it can come from just two people. Last up is 'A Friend of a Friend' - four minutes of delicious melancholy wrapped around a simple keyboard part that doesn't just tug at your heart, it rips it out and plays football with it. The music here is massive, yet the lyrics deal with a kind of world-weariness it's hard to find elsewhere. And I like a bit of that now and again, don't you? You can order 'Moonstruck' from the Matinée Records website now. And, frankly, you'd be a bit daft not to. Whilst you're waiting for it to arrive through the letterbox, the ep is streaming on the Champagne Riot website. --A Layer of Chips
Champagne Riot have just released a new four track EP titled, Moonstruck EP, on Matinée Recordings. The Danish duo continue along their journey of slick electropop with a quirky Scandinavian edge. The title track is a prime example of the sophisticated electronic music that these guys produce. Owing equally to the 80s and contemporary indie-electro the track is rounded and retro without sounding like a homage to anything. A cavernous sounding chorus is complimented by introverted indie verses. Definitely worth a listen. --Electronic Rumors
This Denmark pair (I thought saying "duo" would be too obvious) has a lot going for them. Moonstruck is instantly catchy with a lot of layers involved with their process. With influences like Hedonism, nihilism and Abba, obviously something is working right here. --Rhyme et Reason
Sexy electro-pop. We love it. Especially if there's something a little bit camp and bubblegum in its construction. And this is exactly what Danish duo Champagne Riot do. They make mocha sweet but ever so slightly downbeat sugar rich songs from the same stall as The Sound of Arrows and The Pet Shop Boys “from a damp basement in the violent concrete ghetto of Copenhagen.” Not that their sound is at all damp, violent or anyway as tough as concrete. In fact when we first heard their music we envisaged Caspar Bock and Anders Reuter - who are Champagne Riot - in a neon lit studio lined from wall to wall with computers, cotton wool and scantily clad beauties in gold underwear. But enough of our sordid fantasies, instead here's some hard facts. Champagne Riot will be releasing a four track EP in the UK very soon, and it's rather lovely if you like shimmering gold dust electronica. They are also due to play as part of the Nordic Music Export gig in London on 18th November alongside the equally excellent Niki & The Dove from Sweden and Lara Runars from Iceland. It happens at the Lexington, a venue we always enjoy attending when we head away from our cosy south coast abode. Some other facts are that Champagne Riot used just to be a solo project but is now very much a duo, all of their Top 8 friends on Myspace are called Ingrid and that they would actually rather come from Sweden or Iceland than Denmark. Let's just hope that they know really it's not about where you're from, but where you're at. --Breaking More Waves
Sounding like a cross between an electro Mew and the best 80's act that never was, Champagne Riot's 'Heart Stab' has the makings of a classic. This tune is an immediate joy, a powderpuff delight that could attract the attention of a wide audience were European dancefloors to look beyond the obvious for a moment. Ibiza, here's this year's sleeper anthem. --mp3 hugger
When I first got a press release of Champagne Riot, I expected that one of the participating members of Northern Portrait would bring me more hooks of the angular sort. Not surprisingly, the Moonstruck EP definitely has plenty of hooks on it, but with a more delicate electronic bend, as opposed to my preconceived power-pop sort. “Moonstruck” begins the affair with a nice little intro, but then this pounding rhythmic groove jumps in, as electronic beats seem to walk across the track. Caspar Bock’s voice have this gentle quality that really bring the song together, and while you’re tempted to kick your boots up on the dance floor, there’s a bit of a steadying effect to the song. Regardless, it kicks off the four-song trek joyfully. You’ll find a bit more of traditional electronic-pop on “Goldrush.” Every beat here is a bit more subdued than on the opener, which opens way for this soaring harmonic vocal that really seems to carry the entire track. This track reminds me of the innocent joy I had as a young kid, when I first busted out New Order‘s Republic, before I worked backwards through the catalogue. Perhaps my favorite element of this song is its straightforward presentation; its not trying to be clever or witty, just wants to be a great track, which it is. “Heart Stab” is possibly the one track here that just gets to sweet for my ears. In the mix with a full album, you could probably slide it in nicely, but perhaps too much of a good thing can be bad. It sounds really familiar too, and perhaps that’s why this song sort of irks me, due to the fact that I can’t place it! Still, there’s a bit of a twisted element in the lyrics, which sort of makes you wonder where Champagne Riot could truly go if they had time to craft an entire record of such music. Your short journey with the Moonstruck EP ends with “A Friend of a Friend.” You’ll find that this song holds the future for Champagne Riot, as electronic elements are definitely present here, but piano/keyboard touches occasionally dominate the beats themselves, not to mention that the vocal delivery has this soothing quality. You’ll find somewhat of an operatic montage moment in the latter half of the track, demonstrating that the duo are capable of pushing themselves in regards to their entire sound. By the end of your journey, you can’t help but to wear a smile. The tunes are written well, the melodies are great and sometimes we just need to let loose and enjoy this sort of fun. --Austin Town Hall
A swirling mass of 80’s sounding Pop. Uplifting and bombastic in that way only 80’s Pop ever was, there’s more than a little Erasure in these tracks, the production and arrangement is incredibly sophisticated. Most of all though, Champagne Riot are fun Pop music, but intelligent in a way that makes you forget about any rubbish chart music ever released and reinstates your love of the pure Pop song. --Electronic Rumors
"Heart Stab" does exactly as the name implies. It stabs you in the heart with these achingly beautiful melodies and gorgeous uplifting music about love. --Off The Radar
What began as a solo project of Caspar Bock in 2008, Champagne Riot has since transformed into a duo with the joining of fellow Dane (and music journalist / producer) Anders Reuter. The band’s stated inspiration of Hedonism, Dadaism, Nihilism and Abba sums up their sound pretty neatly – infectiously melodramatic tracks which delve head first into the blissful froth of pop. --What's On The Hi-fi
Matinée Recordings is a strong and consistent label, and their latest signing, Champagne Riot, is no exception. Unlike the C86/indie-pop jangle that they're known for, Champagne Riot is a straight-up new-wave pop band. And that's okay, because this little EP is wonderful! Champagne Riot is a Danish combo (featuring Caspar Bock, of Matinée's other dark-pop band, Northern Portrait), and in looking at a picture of the duo, I can't help thinking Erasure. That's not a bad comparison, either; Anders Reuter plays the Vince Clark to Bock's Andy Bell. "Moonstruck" kicks things off with a dance-inducing melody, though they slow down a little bit for the next three songs. "Goldrush" (which definitely does remind of Erasure's classic Chorus). "Heart Stab" is a nice, epic number, and "A Friend of a Friend" is a lovely love song. This EP's only flaw? It only has four songs! The band says a full-length is a-comin', and I for one am totally waiting to hear it. --Dagger
filled to the brim with twinkling electronica production and ear-worm melodies, ache with an inherent sadness on top of a sugary disco beat. It’s almost like listening to The Beach Boys if produced by Kleerup or Röyksopp–plenty of riffs, and plenty of tears. For fans of Hurts, the Pet Shop Boys, and all things Scandinavian pop. --MuuMuse
This Danish duo delivers quite the dance pop with a side of sophistication and clean-edged fun. Their latest EP release is electronified in what we think might be the perfect amount, and their lyrics are actually emotionally relevant. In other words, their music is creative, yet still relatable. Although they have yet to release a true debut album, it seems as though it might happen this year. They've gained critical indie acclaim in the UK and in Denmark, and are well liked for their live performances. What we really enjoy about them is their uber-honest blog, where they talk about feelings and society and how these impact their music. Their next release will be a concept album - be sure to check it out. This duo is going places. --New Band Daily
If you know me, you probably know that I think Matinée Recordings is one of the top 2 indie labels (the other being Captured Tracks), and they've got me excited all over again. They've just put out the newest work from Champagne Riot, which features the bassists of neat-pop group Northern Portrait. The four song collection is titled the Moonstruck EP. The lead track “Moonstruck” definitely has more of an electric feel than a great deal of the work on Matinée, but what's present, as a label standard it seems, is infectious hooks and melodies, making you want to go back and spin the song over and over. I guess there's nothing wrong with that, or this great duo. --Austin Town Hall
Looking for some synth-heavy electro pop gold to kick your Thursday off in style? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Today, The Get Downnn would like to introduce you all to Copenhagen-based producer duo Champagne Riot. Known for crafting dreamy, keyboard-filled tune-age, Champagne Riot are only a few days away from dropping their Moonstruck EP via Matinée Recordings and in honor of the occasion we’re posting up 4 of their tracks below. If Champagne Riot sounds familiar, you’re probably on to something because the duo have been well received across the blogosphere, and are gaining some serious momentum. If you’re a Pop Justice fan, then you already know–the site recently featured 3 of Champagne Riot‘s tracks–for their “songs of the day”. Put on your flip-flops and head down to the beach, these poppy ballads will take you away. Enjoy! --The Get Downn