WHEN The National first heard the debut EP by Kvasir a few weeks ago, its November 4 release date seemed just too far away. Such is the giddy excitement its sparkling, compulsive tracks evoke, it has been a challenge not to start collaring folk in the street and demand they lodge my headphones in their lugs.

If much modern dance music has become a test of how one can move to ever-challenging innovation, here were four tracks you couldn’t help but move to. From the addictive pulse of opener Motion through the kaleidoscopic romance of Exchange, the dream-pop of Lyon and the dizzying closer First Throws – an adrenaline-fuelled tizz which features notorious trader Alessio Rastani telling the BBC News Channel in 2011 that he “goes to bed at night dreaming of another recession” it’s that exceedingly rare thing: a piece of music you want to share with everyone you know who’s passionate about music.

Or passionate about dancing. If any of these tracks were to come on in a club, guaranteed you’d be grinning within seconds.

But who is the person behind the music? Online searches revealed nothing of the artist’s identity beyond that name, a nod to the Norse god credited with introducing poetry to mankind. Pictures revealed only a figure wearing a fencing mask. Was it one half of Daft Punk, going solo on a covert mission? Arch-pop playboy Tiga? Anthony Gonzalez from M83 attempting to make amends for the disappointment that was aptly-named recent album Junk?

The truth, as in recent TV hit Stranger Things, soundtracked by US peers SURVIVE, is more curious still.

“Part of the reason I don’t really want people to know my real name is that I play for a band in Scotland who are really well known,” says the voice on the phone, his deep tones a marked contrast to the gauzy softness of his recorded vocals. “I play with them quite a lot. So I thought: ‘how do I get around this?’ and came up with the mask thing. I thought: ‘Maybe could do this for the rest of my life and no one would know who I was’.”

'Just popping down the garage': Kvasir steps out

Kvasir, which he pronounces “Kuh-vay-seer” is very different from his work with that famous band. “They love what I’m doing and they are really supportive of it. I don’t really talk about that much because I don’t want to come across as some entitled wee tw*t thinking he can just go off and have a dance music career.”

Which would be all very well if the mystery man did not have the epic dance pop smarts to match that aspiration. It was during a 2015 tour with his main outfit that he saw a show by Hamburg-born house music master Solomun that Kvasir resolved to ally his long-standing love of dance music and evocative film soundtracks (Drive soundtracker Cliff Martinez being another identifiable touchstone).

“I was just blown away by Solomun, the response he got from the crowd was mind-blowing,” he recalls. “When I got back to my laptop I thought: ‘Right, I’m really going to start this thing. I’d collected loads of ideas over the years, but often ended up using them for other people. Whereas then, I knew I really had to start something for myself, something that was just me.”

“I never want music to be too complicated, I want to retain that pop sensibility, and having reworked a lot of tracks for other people, that’s something I have always been aware of trying to do,” he says, after explaining that his hushed vocal work on the EP is partly as a result of working on the tracks discreetly in his band’s tour bus.

If The National is a big fan of Kvasir, the feeling is at least partly mutual.

“I wasn’t really that politically aware until the aftermath of the 2008 recession and all that’s happened since, including hearing that trader (Rastani) saying that ‘governments don’t matter’. And I think what’s happened in Scotland is one of the few hopeful things since then and The National has been a big part of that.”

And the mask? Apart from shielding his identity, the fencing protector seems a talisman of his identity as Kvasir.

“When it finally came through the post, I unwrapped it and sat and looked at it for ages before putting it on,” he says.

“It felt like an important moment.”

Kvasir’s debut EP is released on November 4 on KV10 Records.

Stream First Throws on soundcloud.com/kvasirmusic/first-throws

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