Release Date: May 26, 2009
Record label: Eskimo
Mellow, smooth, relaxing: In traditional pop music lingo, these are euphemisms for "boring as hell. " But traditional pop music lingo never got around to anticipating the downtempo, prog-infused strain of house music that eventually became generally known as space disco. At its best, it's music that throws you off by how calm and airy it feels on the surface, and right when you're about to be lulled halfway to inattention, the rhythms start to build on top of each other and the melodies start seeping into the forefront and you're hooked.
Blissful second album from Norwegian DJs/producers Hans-Peter Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, the kings of "cosmic disco", a perfectly summery blend of Krautrock, prog rock and more danceable grooves..
Music fans in the Digital Age are a restless bunch. They want their new music the day before the musicians step into the studio. The persistent, irascible competition to be current, which could surely be defined as a principle qualification for hipsterdom, cripples musicians and exhausts record labels looking for solutions. As a likely response to this, Eskimo recordings sent out promotional discs for superstar Norwegian producers Lindstrom & Prins Thomas’s long-awaited follow-up to its eponymous debut (creatively titled II) with the album’s eight songs dispersed somewhat arbitrarily throughout the 99 tracks allowed on an optical compact disc.
The current wave of nu-Balearic certainly challenges the listener more than you might expect for a genre derided as trendy background music. So it is with the latest album by Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas. The name of either attached to a remix is usually a guarantee of quality, but here, they move further away from their trademark "space disco" sound into a realm of instrumental rock: guitars and pianos echo away, bongos patter, synthesisers hum and whoosh.
It’s not hard to guess who is drawing the most amount of attention between Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Thomas Hermansen for their latest collaboration on the Eskimo imprint, appropriately titled II. Lindstrøm had a huge 2008 with his solo debut, the much discussed Where You Go I Go Too. Prins Thomas was much less brash with his offerings, but introducing the Internasjonal imprint and propagating the balearic movement with a few remixes and 12” singles meant that he was indirectly playing Lindstrøm’s foil in the press – mostly by staying out of it.