Norway has to be responsible for some of the most remarkable space disco producers and DJs, and Third Attempt is carrying the baton! With a relentless release plan on Beatservice Records, Third Attempt continues to conquer ears and hearts about the globe. On the week of the release of his ‘The Spirit EP’ we catch up with the exciting young artist for a little talk.
WWD: Hello Torje. Thanks for talking the time to have a little talk. Where are you this moment and how are you spending the day?
What’s up! Currently in Tromsø playing a weekend up here. Chilling on the couch at my mom’s house, listening through some unfinished music. Preparing do a DJ set later.
WWD: How is Oslo at this time of year?
Minus the winter, Oslo is pretty much nice all seasons. People are returning from holidays, sliding back into their rhythms, making the scene more active in the weekends. Generally, a lot of stuff going on.
WWD: What is the view from window right now?
Classic northern Norwegian postcard. Mountains, birds and trees! Nice autumn colours.
WWD: What do think is Oslo’s hottest export? What is the city most proud of?
I think Oslo has had something funky going on ever since I can remember. I can only speak for myself here, but I am proud and still excited about how the space disco sound broke through internationally. Inspiring stuff.
WWD: What was your first musical interaction as a kid do you recall?
I remember my parents often putting on music at home. In combination with the album art, I vividly remember Moon Safari by Air being played in the living room.
It’s wild, but I’ve later been told that they played music when my mother was pregnant. Deliberately placing the speaker as close as possible to her stomach. Probably worked out better than expected.
WWD: What kind of music were your family into/ were you exposed to in your early years?
My father was and is a big jazz fan. Has a good collection of records, and used to play a lot of ECM stuff (still does). Also played good stuff in the car.
There was often music on at home. I remember my mom had a CD collection of James Brown music, which I copied onto my computer so I could later jam out on my Ipod. Also listened to an exaggerated amount of Michael Jackson.
WWD: Who were the artists you were into as a teenager?
When I became a teenager I started exploring and developing my own tastes. At first I got it all wrong, because I thought all electronic music was over the top eurotrance. So I completely shy’d away from it. Even arguing with my friends when I didn’t have a clue.
Until I heard John Dahlbäck, Deadmau5, Wolfgang Gartner. I got totally swept up by the EDM wave, but then I gradually later got into more underground stuff. Which was way less over the top, and blended multiple genres. Such as Todd Terje, Cobblestone Jazz, and Floating Points.
WWD: What were the first clubs that you went to and who was playing?
The first clubs I went to was up here in Tromsø. I moved here when I was in my late teenage years. Because of the small but thriving music scene, I found it easier to network and hang out with the right people. Through my mother’s connections I got to play and hang out in a club called Circa. I wasn’t really old enough to be there, but since I often played they looked the other way.
I remember the founder at the time, Øivind Sjøvoll (Kohib) was surprised when he first met me. Because he had heard my music and “thought I was a grown man”.
He went on to give me some great opportunities there. Circa was peaking around that time. Artists like Kohib, Ruuny, Mental Overdrive, Bjørn Torske, Rune Lindbæk, Charlotte Bendiks was playing. Really good club scene for electronic music, DJs and dancers. Every weekend was packed pretty much. The place sadly had to close down in 2018. From the beginning, I was just the curious onlooker, but in the end it evolved into me getting to close the shop, and play the final ever set there. What a journey, what a night and what an honor.
WWD: Who are the artists that have inspired the music that you make today do you think?
I can easily mention some Norwegian names. Todd Terje, Røyksopp, Lindstrøm, Bjørn Torske, Paronsoda. Really helps my enthusiasm to see what these guys have accomplished.
I also get inspired easily by music that isn’t necessarily electronic. Soul, Funk, Disco. Particularly at this time, Northern Hill Blues. I’ve become obsessed with RL Burnside. This style of playing has a lot of similarities to modern dance music. In terms of hypnotic, repeating patterns.
WWD: What was the first record you ever purchased?
Thriller by Michael Jackon.
WWD: I’m pretty sure you’ve been a massive hip hop fan over the years. Who are your hip hop icons?
Gang Starr, Tribe Called Quest, MF Doom,
WWD: There is often an element of ‘funk’ bass in your tracks. Do you play bass and to what degree?
Pretty much all my bass is either samples or programmed in my DAW. Key is good plugins and patience in the piano roll.
WWD: What was your first record you actually released?
The first single I released was ‘Russemusikk’. Which is quite big with the teenagers in Norway. Under another alias. Really cringe to listen to now, haha. Won’t disclose here, If you dig for a minute or two you will find it.
WWD: You have put out a lot of music the last few years. What do you think has been your most important release so far and why?
I think Shoreline did quite well, helped me gain some attention in the beginning of my career as TA.
WWD: You must be making records weekly with your studio output. How long do you tend to spend on making a track?
I’m in the studio full time. A track probably takes me on average around 15 hours to make. But I wont’ release it all. Just pick out the best ones.
WWD: Where is your studio and what is your most important piece of kit in it?
Studio is in Gamlebyen, Oslo (old part of the city). Sharing with other artists, some who release on Beatservice (Realcyclers, Future Prophecies).
Mostly in the box. So I will have to go with the most boring answer ever, my laptop.
WWD: Where do you look for inspiration when making a new track? How do the ideas begin?
Nowadays a track usually starts with a bassline or a sample. Digging and getting influences from other genres helps a lot with the enthusiasm and inspiration going into an idea.
WWD: How did you hook up with Beatservice Recordings originally?
Around 2017, I sent Vidar a few e-mails before I actually met him in real life. Tromsø (where I lived at that time) is a real small community, so I had to bump into him eventually. Suddenly, he showed up at my first live gig, the Insomnia festival in 2017. After that he became very interested in what I was doing, and we started regularly having meetings. He’s a one-man band, who runs the show. He put out ‘Shoreline’ in 2017, that was my first single and it did quite well actually. After that we just had a solid relationship, and now he’s a good friend of mine. Check out Beatservice, it’s great!
WWD: You have been very loyal to the label. I guess this is more than artist / label relationship right?
Yeah you can say so..
WWD: This release has been long time coming. When did the first single drop and tell us about the rationale for such a long release plan?
Yes. Fist single dropped earlier this year. This is called the waterfall teqnique. Reason behind this is that you can only pitch one single track per release to streaming services such as Spotify. Pitch meaning that you choose a focus track. So if you release one at a time youre maximizing the chance of that song getting playlisted and heard by as many people as possible, before you drop the next one in the same fashion. Building up your release track by track. Rather than releasing a bunch at once which sometimes can be much more inefficent. Especially in these days, when attention spans are not something to brag about.
WWD: Talk us through The Spirt EP a little. What was your motivation to together this EP?
The Spirit is tied together with my upcoming album, which is called Momentary Bliss. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am somewhat of a romantic. So these tracks are centered around my love for many things. Among them is dance music. Woven together with feelings and reflections from a very special time in my life. Reneweing my eye for beauty and uplifting expressions. These influences were used as fuel in the studio. Probaly making it my most productive period yet.
WWD: What else are you working on for the rest of ‘23 that you can share?
My upcoming album is dropping in November!
WWD: What motivates you keep creating Torje?
Expressing myself through different outputs, especially music has pretty much become a way of life for me now. I continue to believe that exploring creativity (strong connection to the subconscious) can contribute to make us better people.
WWD: What are your goals for 2024?
My goal is to get Third Attempt more on the map. Play and release more internationally. Setting up a tour with my newest album. Continuing with the busy output plan. I’m also setting up a Third Attempt band. Which I am really excited for.