Hanne Hukkelberg:: Rykestrasse 68

Norwegian Hanne Hukkelberg’s Rykestrasse 68 was inspired by her six months spent living in Berlin. This album comes across somewhat otherworldly, in part as a result of an array of sounds ranging from a cat purring, kitchen utensils, rhythms manufactured by typewriters, and whatever else she decided to use from her imagination. Rykestrasse 68 soars with an unusually comforting pale mood, betrayed by a defiant liveliness with its own undeniable color. Using a creeping melody injected with real sounds from the city itself, opening track “On Berlin” is lit by a nocturnal vocal treatment, coming across as if it is holding court over the stars. “Cheater’s Armoury,” is the first released single, the albums quickest mover, and much like the entire record pre-loaded with a hip sway owing as much to the past as it does the present. Part of the majesty of this record is that it is built with foreign orchestrations and seemingly odd passages, which combine to saturate the air with a future-old world feel. Hanne also shows a gift for sweep-you-away refrains and choruses when she chooses, and never exemplified better than on “The Pirate.” There is certainly a charming strangeness pervading Rykestrasse 68, perhaps even magnified on the vocal cacophony of “Fourteen.” In terms of gripping music box exotica, “The Northwind,” shows drama at its’ highest point on the record, all encapsulated by a chorus which escapes its’ chains in grandiose fashion. In conclusion, Hanne Hukkelberg will most likely never be invited in by the vanilla crowd; however, anyone who has a love of all things wonderful, will have a hard time denying those powerful escapist movements on my favorite track,”Break My Body.”

A Cheater’s Armory


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